Wrestling with brand identity?

Anybody who reads this blog will know how important I think point of difference is.  I spend a lot of time with my clients helping them to develop “difference” and I admire brands that achieve it.  I’ve said many times that I always prefer different over “nice”.  Nice is usually insipid, rarely as “in your face” as a brand has to be and therefore can never be responsible for raising anybody’s pulse rate – and that’s what a brand has to do if, ultimately, it has a hope of succeeding.

With this as a backdrop I was delighted to see a brand from the past, in the shape of Mickey Rourke on screen this weekend in a trailer for his new movie “The Wrestler”.  Mickey is one of those “characters” who encountered the key danger associated with “difference” – that though some people (you hope “most”) will love you, there are bound to be a few at least who hate you with equal vehemence.  Its that narrow path that all brands walk.  We all love to be loved and its easy to see why, because of this, many brand managers try to be all things to all people and end up being nothing to anybody.  I tell my clients, its life, you can’t hope to be on everyone’s Christmas Card list so get over it.

It seems that after a spell in excile, self-imposed or otherwise, divided equally, it appears, between the gym and the botox clinic, Mickey Rourke has gotten over it and has come back with new, and in my book, rightly placed confidence.  I always thought he was a great actor, I don’t think I’d bother having a drinking contest with him, but I liked his difference and it seems that he has come to terms with the double-edged sword of popularity.  Listening to him talk about the movie it seemed to me that its a tad autobiographical.  I can’t wait to see it, but moreso I’m looking forward to seeing Mickey Rourke give us his different best for a few years yet.


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