June 24th, 2016
The Value of Being an Underdog Brand
By Brokaw Senior Account Executive, Zorina Kennedy
There aren’t many things as sweet as the victory of an underdog. (Spoiler alert: this eventually comes back to our hometown Cavs.) Especially after our loyalty has been tested through hell and high water…and some hell water. But underdogs exist in every business. And even though they don’t always bring 1.2 million people together to celebrate in the streets, the stories are just as inspiring.
Here’s what drives a great underdog story:
Creativity. Kevin Plank, the inventor of Under Armour, noticed how heavy football players’ shirts got when soaked with sweat. So he maxed out his credit cards and started a company in his grandma’s basement. With an already over-crowded sports apparel industry, not many people thought Under Armour could break through the…uh, armour. But with creativity, hard work, and very little sweat (get it?), the brand surpassed Adidas as the number 2 sportswear company in the U.S.
Passion. You have to believe you can fly. (Thanks, R. Kelly and Space Jam.) A start-up founder’s passion has to drive the idea to success. Consider Blue Apron—in just four short years, three determined friends turned an idea into a $2 billion company with 2,500+ employees. Or look at Dollar Shave Club—who took on razor titans like P&G by zigging instead of zagging.
Pride. Hey, did you hear what just happened in Cleveland? (Google it, Grandma.) See, when a brand starts in your hometown, you feel a loyalty to support it through nearly any degree of adversity. (Yes, even the Browns-degree.) Both the Cavs and LeBron James are two of the city’s favorite brands. We’ve experienced plenty of ups and downs with both. But now, thanks to LeBron’s passion, leadership, and hometown pride, the city just celebrated its first championship in 52 years—despite everything the media said 2 weeks prior.
So whether you’re from BELIEVELAND or elsewhere, it’s the characteristics of an underdog brand that inspire others to begin their climb. So, with that, we proudly say: Go get that ring, Browns!
-Your friends from the underdog capital of the world.