Building a Brand: The Jiu-Jitsu Way

Posted by Jack Wilkinson on Sep 19, 2018 7:00:00 AM
Jack Wilkinson
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Brand building plays a major role in most marketing strategies. And branding is no different than jiu-jitsu. If you want to be the best, you have beat the best. To build a brand, do what some of the most dangerous jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet have done.

Be Authentic
Ever hear of the Gracie Challenge? Back in the days before the UFC, Rorion Gracie (eldest son of jiu-jitsu legend Helio Gracie) came to America and issued an open challenge to martial artists everywhere: beat us if you can. Rorion preserved these challenge fights on video -- and a martial arts dynasty was born.


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Don't be afraid to make promises, but make sure you can keep them. Everything you say in the marketplace is a promise. Ad copy, blog posts, collateral. If you say it, you better be able to back it up. Because if you don't keep your promises, you'll lose customers as fast as you get them. Authenticity is a building block to a formidable reputation.


Dangerous Brand

The gentle art has much it can teach us about other areas of life -- including marketing.


Stay Unique
Eddie Bravo marches to the beat of his own drum. He eschews the gi, creatively pushes established boundaries, and made history by tapping one of the best fighters of all time, Royler Gracie, with techniques that Bravo more or less invented.

Establish a position that your competition can't easily replicate. Keep them guessing. Forge your own path and become a legend. It's not easy -- but start by spending less time running with the pack and more time exploring what makes your organization unique.

Make an Impact
Everything was going fine before John Danaher showed up with his Death Squad. For years, competitive jiu-jitsu "ignored 50% of the body", focusing almost exclusively on ways to attack arms and necks. Danaher had other ideas. He created a system that focused on attacking legs and feet, trained his team on this system and now they are some of the most dangerous jiu-jitsu players in the world.

Strive to build a brand of significance. Talk to your clients, partners, vendors and team to learn about what truly matters to them. Let this feedback shape the meaningful characteristics of your organization and brand. At the end of the day, you can be genuine and you can be one-of-a-kind but if no one appreciates what you bring to the table you will go nowhere. Make an impactful contribution to the marketplace.


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Topics: Marketing