Ryan Gosling taught me two things about branding

Ryan Gosling shook my hand and taught me two things about your brand.

Yes, we talked, he shook my hand and a month or so later, I washed it.  And yes, he’s the last man I will likely ever see wearing a crop top in Whole Foods who can make the produce still look appetizing.

So what does a movie star have in common with your brand?  Plenty.


That is, if a brand is not just what you call yourself but what “they” call you.   You may not get stopped for your autograph, but if customers will schlep their dirty shirts to your dry cleaning biz only (and there’s three others on the block to choose from); and they thank you and tell their friends – congratulations you are their celeb. 
As in the dictionary definition:  “celebrity – to experience the state of being well known by others.”


When I met Ryan Gosling, while he wasn’t quite yet “The Hottest Actor Alive,” he had me at “Half Nelson” and I sincerely believed he was and would remain the best actor of his generation. So I, (not a celeb stalker and old enough to be Gosling’s mother), took my one shot to tell him so. 

“That is incredibly kind of you.” He stopped, genuinely surprised and present. “Wow. What is your name?”  I told him mine and in that instant his (with slight adjustment) was tattooed on my heart and mind.  Ryan Gosling became Ryan – “My Ryan.”  My dear friend and therapist promises it doesn’t make me clinically delusional that I also have this relationship with “My Whole Foods” “my accountant,” “my Pilates trainer and “my Nike.”

But it does make their brand strategies brilliant.   Whether conscious or not, they inspire me (and others) to know them, and feel “their brand” is about our humanity.  Their business is about turning their profits.  “I wasn’t just trying to be kind,” I told Ryan.  “I get that,” he smiled proudly reaching for my hand.  “ I sincerely hope I won’t let you down.”   “You won’t,” I assured him.  And I was right.  Why?

Because when we choose our brands, we root to prove our choices right.  Who doesn’t want to be both happy and right?  I’ve seen every one of Ryan’s films since.  I rave about the ones I love and forgave and literally forgot the names of the two that left me flat.  Such is the power of brand. 

Your brand is your businesses’ biggest muscle.  Here’s to your six-pack sans photo shop. 

If your brand core isn’t supporting your business growth, let me help you tighten it up so you can get on with it.  http://leahkomaiko.com/ 

Guest columnist Leah Komaiko is a frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics and helps business owners, authors and entrepreneurs with big ideas become iconic brands.  Her clients also include some of the world’s biggest brands. 







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