Thursday, August 11, 2011

Protecting what matters

Earlier this week Tag Heuer announced it was not renewing its contract with Tiger Woods, even though he's on tour and has pronounced himself ready to resume his normal schedule of events.

So if Tiger's back, why are his sponsors still dropping him nearly two years removed from the scandal?

Because Tiger's not back.

Tiger hasn't won a tournament since 2009. That's the only reason that sponsors flocked to him up until two years ago. He was a winner. The most spectacular winner in the history of golf.

Brands like Accenture, Buick and others aligned themselves with Tiger, not because he was a good guy, but because he set a new standard for excellence and they wanted some of his mojo to rub off on their brands.

Winning is the core asset of the Tiger Woods brand. Not his smile. Not his soft spoken style. Not his red and black outfits on Sunday. Until Tiger wins and wins regularly, he will be just another golfer.

And that's the lesson brands can take away from this.

There's always one thing that's most important to your brand. One asset, one facet, one benefit, one attribute that sets you apart from the others. Don't let anyone take that from you and don't, like Tiger, let yourself be distracted by all the shiny things that don't matter. Or one day you'll wake up to find you've lost everything.

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