Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Tiger and the branding of personalities

Ok- Tiger goofed up. But unlike most people, i am not worked up about it. I think his wife needs to handle the goof up, not me.

I am not a golfer, but i think Tiger is an outstanding athlete. A great brand, because apart from all other attributes, Tiger lasted (lasts) a long time- the true attribute of a great brand.

In maintaining a regular stream of "off the books" relationships however, Tiger seems to have suddenly turned from legend into a deplorable person overnight.

My two bits:
Tylenol was a bigger disaster- people died.
Firestone as well.
But the brands survived.

Why not Tiger?

Personality brands often highlight our own inadequacies. Tiger the perfect man- great golf game, great family....everyday men see Tiger on TV, they are reminded of their "average" existence. The wife drools over Tiger, the girlfriend fantasizes. It is the wide appeal of Tiger which will be lost forever. A tiger will now appeal only to a niche (like Paris Hilton- hopefully not to the same niche).

A moral fall is a great leveler. Suddenly our wives and girlfriends don't think much of Tiger. He has fallen, and by extension, i have risen. Do i want to see Tiger rise from this? Nope.

The brand Tiger is finished. Not zero, but nowhere close to where he was. He was on a pedestal, and now he is possible going to be held at the same level as a Paris Hilton.

If Tiger had been French, he would have been most likely forgiven by his countrymen. Not Americans, who still guard some "moral" values. (I am myself very uncomfortable with the word "moral" - how it is defined- by whom etc).

But America is the largest golf market in the world, and no matter what citizenship Tiger held, his worth in the US market would have fallen.

A very clear message for celebrity brands.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if in some perverse way, this actually makes Tiger even "cooler" with the "cool guys".

How many cool guys would love to try and get away with 15+ transgressions? The bar has been raised...