Our history is peppered with stories of underdog victories. Even the most stoic among us feel a little tug in their hearts, when the dark horse wins. Underdogs victories have the capability to go viral at an unprecedented pace and if I’m right, that is exactly something your Business would want as well – to go from the unnoticed to the talk-of-the-town.
How can Businesses achieve this quantum leap? Is there something they can learn from underdog triumphs from the past that will help them in their journey? The answer is a clear ‘Yes’
We’re up to highlight the lessons brands can learn from a few unlikely underdogs. Let’s get started!
1. J. K. Rowling – One Eureka! Moment can change everything
Broke, divorced, unemployed – Individually in themselves 3 worst phases anyone can go through in life. Imagine a 29-year-old single mother experiencing all of this at once. Joanne Rowling’s life was in shambles in 1994. Utterly in despair as a self-proclaimed failure, Rowling’s one hope lay in her writing. As Rowling sat in the magical city of Edinburgh and wrote about a skinny 11-year-old boy, little did she know that she was weaving some wizardry of her own. Harry Potter – no one can explain why the series has become the global phenomenon it is today. Rowling said ‘Alahomora’ and we all unlocked our hearts to the fantasy series.
Any brand that is languishing in a rut of customer dissatisfaction or ill will needs just one great idea to change its course. A new design, a creative marketing campaign or even a heartfelt apology is all it takes to win back your detractors (unhappy customers). After all, customer evangelists are the best ‘Patronus‘ against the Dementors of ill will.
2. The Hare & the Tortoise – Just run your own race
‘Slow and steady wins the race’ – The first life lesson we all learnt as kids. The hare and the tortoise – the biggest and most popular underdog story in history. No one in their right minds would have given the languid tortoise the remotest of chances to win against the light footed hare. Yet, he eventually won not just because the hare became lackadaisical, but because he concentrated on himself.
A brand that constantly worries about its competition, is constantly at peril. When you are always looking over your shoulder, you lose sight of moving forward. Yes, it is always healthy to keep tabs on what your peers are doing, but it is all the more important to not let your trajectory be determined by what others are doing.
3. Rocky Balboa – Define what it means to succeed
A no-good, no-talent guttersnipe from the wrong side of the tracks, goes the distance in the ring and outside of it. Touted as one of the most motivating movies of all time, Rocky inspired an entire generation. Ironically, this is the story of a David, who eventually lost to the Goliath but still emerged the winner. For Rocky, winning was not about the title, it was about ‘going the distance’ against Creed.
Every brand needs to define what success means to itself. Even though your bank statement ultimately reflects your success, it is hardly that one dimensional. Success is not measured in dollars! Following a single metric makes for a misguided approach to brand strategy. Define the parameters that spell success for your brand and engage your customers based on that roadmap!
4. Leicester City – Teamwork Trumps Everything
What better way to end a post about Underdogs, than with the biggest fairytale of recent times. Leicester city – A bunch of young, driven passionate men who went on to score the biggest upset in footballing history. Clubs built on Oil Money, Russian roubles and even a great lineage became ‘Also-rans’ in this year’s English Premier League title race. All of us have read enough about this over the last few days, but the one thing we can take away from this story is the value of teamwork.
Any organization is as good as the teams which comprise it. Meaning, teamwork and team ethics is the ever-important catalyst in not just creating a great internal culture, but also when it comes to delivering on the brand promise to customers. And the thing with great teams is that they aren’t always made up of the cream. A team of not-so-great employees can sometimes make all the difference. You might be wondering how’s that possible. It all depends on how managers set their team to perform, what kind of atmosphere they intend to built and how is it that they motivate the players, employees in this case. Happy teams have happy employees who breed a culture of enthusiasm and relentless focus towards the end goal – keeping the customer happy.
Everyone loves an underdog. Human beings are engineered to root for the one with the lowest odds. If there is one thing in summary that brands can take away from underdog stories, it is ‘Play like a champion, but train, like an underdog’. Follow this life lesson and you don’t need ‘Expelliarmus’ to disarm your customer and bring them through your doors!
Have a delightful Cinco de Mayo! and…TRY OUR MEMBER EXPERIENCE PLATFORM!