If brands are reflections of people then who are the characters?

In Brain Solis’s new book, What’s the Future, he quotes “We live in a time where brands are people and people are brands.” So, if this is the case then which people do you believe would best exemplify the successful characteristics of a brand?

Here are my choices:

Nelson Mandela. He has many great qualities but the one that stands out for me is his unwavering commitment to a single cause. A vision that was so compelling and so important that nothing would distract him. Brands also need to take the long road and to have a purpose greater than just commercial achievement.

Andy Ripley. This is very much a personal choice as very few people reading this blog will know him but there was no one more authentic than Andy. An English rugby player, a character larger than life who wore his heart on his sleeve, always approached everything with passion and gave it his all. Brands need to follow in the footsteps of this colorful character and be honest and authentic at all times.

Steven Spielberg. If every brand were a reflection of people stories then Steven would have to be on this list as one of the greatest storytellers of all time. He has that uncanny knack of being able to help an audience experience the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of other people and to build emotional bonds and connections. He has that remarkable ability to create empathy.

Diana, Princess of Wales. A brand needs to be able to engage and there is no one who could do this like the Princess of Wales could. Everyone was important, nothing was too much trouble and everyone who met her went away with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. Every engagement lifted the soul.

Susan Boyle. Every brand needs that wow factor, that ability to do the unexpected. Brands are all about the experience, not what you say or what the potential promise is, they are all about the delivery. I have a dream, we should all dream shouldn’t we? Has anyone ever done this better?

Robert Downey Jr. Well, there is only one word: swagger. Everyone wants it, that confidence, that joy for life and the ability to never take anything too seriously. Successful brands are always those that find the “cool” factor.

People talking

This is my list; who would you choose?

Published by David Newberry

Marketing technologist, digital start-up entrepreneur, loves brands, views are my own.

5 thoughts on “If brands are reflections of people then who are the characters?

  1. Another great post and very interesting observation. My votes would be for Richard Branson, Donald Trump (not a likable brand) and Oprah. When I think of them, I am left with a very strong impression of what they stand for (again, not necessarily that I like it). There is also a consistency that transcend time that is also critical for brands.


  2. Hi, I work in book discovery, so the brands I have to share are all writers, both living and deceased. My head was instantly flooded with dozens of names — Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Virgina Woolf, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King…and on and on. It seemed that every writer I thought of had a strong personal brand, whether they benefitted from modern marketing practices and PR channels or not. Then, it dawned on me…writers have strong personal brands because the world hears their voice through their books. I’m a big believer in the power of voice. Here’s a blog post I recently wrote about the power of voice and Paulo Coelho’s amazing and natural personal brand. http://bublish.com/blog/2013/08/what-author-paulo-coelho-can-teach-us-about-voice-and-book-promotion/ Great topic and post, by the way. Thanks for sharing it, David.


    1. Hi Kathy
      Thanks for the kind words and the great comments.
      I am thinking of who are the characters who don’t reflect great brands. Perhaps this would be a great post topic for Halloween.


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