Successful brands don’t follow the crowd

I recently did a Pinterest search for “success” that returned endless bucket lists and quotes, prompting my question: “Why is “run a marathon” on so many bucket lists?”

Only .5% of the US population has run a marathon and 50% of runners have never tried a full marathon. 45% of runners have completed two to five half marathons. – According to

A fraction of the population has attempted a marathon, still begging the question, “Why is this listed as a sign of success or a symbol of something to be successful?”

Completing a marathon is no easy feat, making it a symbol of dedication, mental strength, and stamina. It’s a tangible sign that you’ve completed something. However, why is it seemingly a universal status symbol?

Know Yourself

Whether you’re a runner or not, knowing yourself means you can define your own version of success. You know what’s important to you and what makes sense in your worldview to complete.

Self awareness discerns which areas you want to improve, versus what the crowd aspires to complete. You don’t have to complete a marathon, get up at 4AM, or chug that green smoothie to be successful. Instead, you can focus on what’s important for your to excel at and what improvements make sense.

What does this have to do with branding?

To create a bold brand, you need to understand what drives you, what inspires your customer to work with you, and what you want to be the best in the world at.

It makes me ask questions like:

  • Would you make your brand run a marathon?
  • Does your brand even want to run a marathon?
  • Has your brand even run a 5K?
  • Is your brand more of a power lifter, dancer, basketball player?
  • Are they even interested in exercise?

Don’t pigeonhole your brand into something that they aren’t to look or feel more successful. Lean into who your brand really is to see it excel.

Your Do You

Run – or don’t run – your own race. Knowing your brand comes down to understanding who you are and what you want to be known for, so you can show potential customers a true insight into why you exist and why you’re best option.

At the end of the day, you’ll be better served by developing true insights into your brand (and what type of person they are) rather than trying to be one of the crowd. Focus on what makes you different to build your following.