You can probably come up with quite a list of things you’d like to learn from David Beckham and Internet Marketing isn’t one of them. But you’re not here to learn how to play soccer and how to get a hot wife. And I wouldn’t teach you those things anyway, I’d keep those secrets to myself! So let’s just stay on task here and see what Internet Marketing lessons we can learn from David Beckham.
I know we all have a lot of fun when we sit down at the computer and start blogging and Tweeting and connecting on Facebook. It’s exciting, too, to think that you no longer have to go to work somewhere and punch a time clock. You’re in charge of your own destiny now and the whole world is your oyster.
But sometimes we’re all caught up in the fun and excitement and we forget that what we’re actually doing is running our own business. The word ‘business’ sounds all mature and formal and serious, and it is. And the one aspect of your Internet business that you really need to concentrate on is building your brand. That’s the Internet marketing lesson we can learn from David Beckham.
The Beckhams are a brand and together their combined worth exceeds $226 million. The odd thing is that neither of them is still doing what they were doing when they became famous. David Beckham was the captain of the English soccer team and his wife, Victoria, is no long Posh, one of the Spice Girls singing group. Yet somehow, even though it appears they changed horses in the middle of the stream, their bond – and brand – grows stronger every day.
For most businesses, their brand would suffer irreparable damage if they stopped doing one thing and moved on to something else. Can you image if Pepsi stopped making Pepsi and decided to make refrigerators instead? Of how about if Nike stopped making athletic shoes and started making potato chips? Their ‘brand’, their entire business entity, would come tumbling down if they stopped what they were doing and made such drastic changes. It presents a confusing image for your followers.
How did Brand Beckham survive? Let’s look at some lessons we can learn from David Beckham.
When you’re ready to move into new markets, do it gradually, and bring your brand along with you. When the Beckhams first moved to Madrid, the fans all thought it was the end of an era. Beckham was done for and he wouldn’t be returning. The people of the Madrid were slow to accept them because they didn’t speak the language and they were newcomers.
The Beckams, including their children, gradually learned to communicate in Spanish, making an effort to fit in in his new country. And to make the transition easier on everyone involved, he continued to captain the England team. Both teams saw Beckham’s commitment and, rather than have to leave one market to move on to the next, he was able to maintain a loyal relationship with both.
One of the problems we have, as Internet Marketers, is establishing a brand. But generally, it’s because we have no idea what we want our online businesses to stand for. What are we trying to accomplish – exactly? Until you can define your business goals, it’s impossible to create an online brand. And without it, you can’t target a specific market, you can’t even develop a marketing strategy.
The Beckhams knew that they wanted to build their brand even larger and decided that the best way to do it was to move to America. But before they did, they did their research. Who was their audience? What was the best way to make the new connection, and still maintain the business connections they’d work so hard to establish? And most important, how could they do all of that and still be Brand Beckham?
In the end, they used their connection with Tom and Katie Cruise to bridge the gap between the continents. The celebrity couple, welcoming them to America, put the Brits at ease and let the world know that Brand Beckham was welcome in a big way.
Moving the Beckhams from one business model to another, from one continent to another, could have had disastrous results. But the Beckhams were smart. They realized they’d have to adapt their strategy – learning Spanish, and then learning the customs of different countries – but they didn’t change their brand. They’re still David and Victoria Beckham. David still goes to the World Cup with the England Team and Posh, who’s now a fashion designer, is still quirky Posh.
The Internet Marketing lessons we can learn from David Beckham is this: Establish a strong brand first and use that as the basis for your business. Then, as you’re ready to branch out into new markets, meld the old and the new together, to build a larger, stronger brand.