Superheroes walk a long and lonely road. While they are admired for their ability to rescue, they face constant criticism for the methods they use, their perceived motivations, and a never-ending list of competitive threats.
There's much we can learn from these four superheroes who elevated their personal brands above the noise.
The Quote: I am Batman
Who Said It: Batman
Who Are They: Seriously?? See quote above.
Our Perspective: This quote exemplifies two important functions of branding — differentiation and consistency. Batman is very consistent in protecting his identity and how he projects what he stands for. As a result he is highly differentiated among other superheroes.
The Quote: Of all people, you know who I am… who the world needs me to be. I’m Wonder Woman!
Who Said It: Wonder Woman
Who Are They: According to creator DC Comics, "Wonder Woman is the most famous heroine of all time...The full package of beauty, brains, and brawn, she’s been a feminist icon since her star-spangled intro in 1941."
Our Perspective: Wonder Woman understands that in order for her to be successful in the competitive and cutthroat business of heroes, she must deliver what her audience (people who need saving) wants from a heroine. Once she figured this out, she built her identity around the required skill set.
The Quote: With great power comes great responsibility.
Who Said It: The narrator (which may have been his Uncle Ben's voice in his head) in Spiderman's 1962 origin story comic.
Who Are They: Part of the Marvel Universe, Peter Parker was an average high-school student until he was bitten by an irradiated spider. He became motivated to use his powers for good when his Uncle Ben was killed by a burglar.
Our Perspective: Spiderman knows that brands wield much influence. They can be powerful forces that attract as well as repel. In Spiderman's case, his brand promise was given to him, but Spiderman still had to make the choice to adopt the words and make them his own.
The Quote: You will never be Superman. Because you have no idea what it means to be Superman. It’s not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It’s about what you do… its about action.
Who Said It: Superman
Who Are They: Sshh, don't tell anyone. Superman, the last Son of Krypton, is actually Clark Kent, the ho-hum reporter for the Daily Planet. He makes his home in Metropolis and has a flair for the dramatic.
Our Perspective: Superman is reminding us that a brand isn't something that sits on a website or on a piece of paper. Instead, a brand is a series of actions or experiences people have with the brand. The better the interaction, the stronger the emotional connection that forms between brand and customer.
Continue reading - Definitions 5-8: The B-Group of A-Listers
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