What Tony Stark Can Teach You About Branding
By John Welch on December 18, 2020
Does Iron Man Have A Brand?
Obadiah Stane had one major regret: he wasn’t Tony Stark. If I asked you right now to create a list of Obadiah Stane’s personality attributes, what would you say?
You’d probably start by asking, “Who the heck is Obadiah Stane?” If you’re still wondering, he’s the villain from the first Iron Man movie, played by Jeff Bridges.
After you finally realized who Obadiah is, you might sit for a moment and try to conjure some picture of the guy’s personality. All I can think is that he was angry, jealous, and greedy. There’s not a whole lot more to be said about him.
Now, if I asked you to create a list of Tony Stark’s personality attributes, I imagine the response would be quite different. Tony’s arrogant and self-obsessed, but he’s also got a huge heart and cares deeply about protecting the people he loves. Tony is a dynamic leader with a long list of friends and enemies. He works tirelessly to achieve his goals and is willing to sacrifice anything to get what he wants. Tony doesn’t care what other people think about him, but that also means he makes enemies easily and struggles to connect with people who aren’t like him.
I could go on, but you get the point. Obadiah Stane doesn’t have a brand. Tony Stark does. With that in mind, let’s talk about 5 things you can learn from Iron Man about building your brand.
- Does Iron Man Have A Brand?
- Be Yourself
- Get Comfortable With Lovers And Haters
- Live Up To YOUR Standards
- Do Everything With Passion
- Hate Losing, Don’t Love Winning
- Building A Superhero Brand
No one can accuse Tony Stark of trying to be someone else. He is unapologetically himself, all the time. Even when he makes mistakes and doesn’t live up to his potential, Tony knows who he is and makes no bones about it.
The only way to build a brand is to have a brand. The only way to have a brand is to be you. By definition, you have a different brand than anyone else, but only if you’re willing to show up as yourself. This takes courage to step out and risk ridicule, disagreement and
Get Comfortable With Lovers And Haters
You either love Tony or you hate him, a quality he shares with rock idol Tom Petty. There’s no middle ground when it comes to the debonair head of Stark Industries.
This is what happens when you take a stand. It is impossible to stand FOR something without standing AGAINST something else. If you stand FOR affordable products, you necessarily stand AGAINST top-notch quality. If you stand FOR luxury and status, you stand AGAINST the average and everyday. Businesses that don’t have lovers and haters are doing it wrong. If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.
Live Up To YOUR Standards
Tony doesn’t let anyone else set his goals for him. Tony picks his target and pursues it. Whether that means creating a psychotic AI that tries to kill the world or flaunting his suit in the face of the US government while refusing to turn over his technology, Tony lives up to his own standards, not anyone else’s.
Something magical happens when you stop competing against other people and start competing against yourself. A big portion of the pressure, anxiety, and stress that people experience on a daily basis comes from comparing who they are to someone else’s standards.
No one can tell you who to be. When you let people do that, you hurt yourself and you hurt the world. The world doesn’t need more of someone else. The world needs more of you.
Do Everything With Passion
One of Tony Stark’s most admirable qualities is his passion. Tony is passionate about inventing, creating, loving, winning, and protecting others. At the same time, Tony is passionate about the things he hates too. He hates letting others be in charge, he hates losing, and he hates being wrong.
You can’t pick what you’re passionate about. It’s built in. Being passionate means aligning your life with the things you naturally love and getting rid of the things you hate. Instead of trying to fake passion, it’s much better to change what you’re doing so that you can actually be passionate about it.
Hate Losing, Don’t Love Winning
There is nothing Tony hates more than losing. He can’t stand it. He’s obsessed with not losing. Even when Loki has brought war to New York City and the Avengers aren’t sure they can win, Tony says, “We may not be able to save the world, but you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.” Even in the middle of losing, Tony can’t face the possibility.
Next time you really want to get to know someone, ask them the question, “Do you love to win or hate to lose?” Most people say they love to win. The problem with loving to win is that it doesn’t push you the way that hating to lose does. If you’re just “trying to win” you’re going to put in as much effort as you think you need to. If your mindset is that you will not lose, you’re going to put in every ounce of effort you possibly have.
Don’t love winning, hate losing.
Building A Superhero Brand
We can’t all have a larger-than-life brand like Tony Stark (yes, I’m aware I’m talking about a fake person). But, we can all build a brand and make an impact on this world. Who you are means something to this world, and it means everything to your audience. No one wants to see your version of someone else’s life. Everyone wants to see you as you are.
This world is better off for every story that is told. It doesn’t matter whose story. What matters is that the story is true. You have a story, your story. You have a brand, your brand.
- Be yourself
- You will have lovers and haters
- Live up to your expectations, not someone else’s