The Olympics are over but there are plenty of stories that captured our imaginations and hearts. One of the closely scrutinized people by the media was Lolo Jones, a favorite in the Olympic 100 meter hurdles. She had a heartbreaking loss in the last Olympics in Beijing. She struggled through adversity, as all the athletes, to seek a medal in the London games.
However, Lolo Jones fell short of an Olympic medal once again. For fans, it was heartache again.
The New York Times Harsh Criticism
Earlier in the week before the race, a New York Times article came out with harsh criticism of Lolo Jones as being unsubstantive and overhyped based on her looks and the marketing used to promote Lolo’s brand by the media, sponsors and herself. It was a philosophical point of view protesting the hype. Another heartache which was classless and in bad timing.
The article captured the resentment from teammates who were not getting equal attention. It created a firestorm.
In a rebuttal, Darren Rovell of ESPN stated a different point of view in his article, “Jones earned every marketing dollar.” It offered another perspective that raised the value and reality of the place of marketing in an athlete’s success.
The fact is that most people don’t know Lolo’s teammates who medaled. They are amazing, for sure. But their brand is not recognizable. Who’s fault is that?
If giving a great performance or being a great product was all there was to having mass appeal and winning fans, then the spoils of fame and fortune would simply go to the unobjective winners.
Lolo didn’t just rest on her accomplishments as an athlete, though highly impressive. She worked hard to build her brand, tell her story, and let the world know who she is and what she stands for. It’s marketing. It takes just as much work, if not more, to get attention, keep it and win over the hearts and minds of people.
Hard Work to Build a Brand
Here’s the point. You may think the New York Times point of view is legitimate. Being a fast runner (or good company) is enough. But you may end up being the best runner without any recognition. How about working just as hard ensuring every facet of your brand is marketed well.
Robert Kiyosaki in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, pointed out to an aspiring writer interviewing him that his title showed “best selling author” not “best writing author.” He complimented her tactfully to let her know she could be both. She walked off in disgust, feeling insulted that he would encourage her to learn about selling, not just better writing.
Lolo shows us that best running hurdler is not enough. Best marketing hurdler is also a worthy and hard goal to aspire towards.
How are you growing your brand to get above the noise of other excellent choices? What do you think of Lolo’s story?