Fight for Clear Marketing


Do you know this man?

If not, you may be one of the few left on the planet who don’t.

Manny Pacquiao is considered to be, pound for pound, the best boxer in the world.   He’s the first champion to win ten titles in eight different divisions.  He was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Oh, and his spare time?  In May 2010, Pacquiao was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines.  In his home country, he’s considered a national treasure.

Popular?   He was the most searched for athlete on Yahoo search in 2010.

His boxing record to date:  53 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws.

You’d think that a superstar of this wattage would have his pick of the endorsement pie.

But it ain’t so.

When it comes to Pacquiao the brand, there’s been one TKO after another.

A fascinating article in the NYTimes, Greg Bishop reveals the lack of clarity of Team Pacquiao’s endorsement strategy.   He writes:

At its disorganized, fragmented peak, Manny Pacquiao’s endorsement strategy was being handled by anywhere between 30 and 50 friends who claimed to represent him and made hundreds of cold calls, often to the same company. They brokered potential deals for everything, including sexual-enhancement drugs and poker chips, as if playing a giant game of marketing darts.

Bishop goes on to write how Pacquiao’s promotional team, in realizing their troubles, took the risk to hire a non-boxing marketing expert to come in and unify and create a coherent brand strategy.

Her name is Lucia McKelvey.

McKelvey’s previous area of expertise:  Golf.

The boxing ring is a far cry from the country club, but some of the principles remain the same.

They also apply in your business.  Here’s how McKelvey started off:

  1. Know your brand.
  2. Know what your value proposition is to your customers.
  3. Speak to your customers in their language.
  4. Follow through on your commitments.

How clear is your organization’s brand essence to your customers?

Can it be conveyed with a simple concept?

For example, if I was to give you these 3 movie concepts, can you guess the movie?

  1. Bomb on a Bus.
  2. Baseball field in a farm field.
  3. Shark attacks.

You guessed ’em:  Speed, Field of Dreams, Jaws.

Here’s one from business:

Just Do It


That one’s too easy.  But you get the idea.

What can you do to gain more clarity around your branding and message?

How can you communicate that to your customers to create understanding and value?

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