Marketing, a La Robin Hood

Robin Hood was a crook. A criminal. A scurvy, scheming, stealing thief that crept around in the night taking things that didn’t belong to him.

So why is Robin Hood one of the most well-known and celebrated heroes of children’s literature? Why, in a country that celebrates peaceful protest, do we love the way he didn’t bother trying to reason with Prince John? Why do we hold him up as someone to be respected and admired instead of someone who should be spending the rest of his days rotting in a dank, dark cell far away from civilization?

Sure, he did all the wrong things for all the right reasons.  But more importantly, he had personal branding down to an art form.

He was the man with the chutzpah to do what he felt needed to be done, his way. He didn’t ask for permission. He certainly didn’t sit around waiting to see if torturing the acting king was going to come back in style. He made his plan, he followed through, and he never hesitated to do the unexpected.

That’s a Marketing Plan We Can Learn From

It’s easy to pull our punches when we step out on the market because we’re afraid of what people will think. To avoid taking chances because we don’t want to be viewed as “extremists” (which means a lot more than just blowing up a building). But by choosing to walk down the middle of the road, are you really doing the right thing?

Or would you be better off channeling your inner Robin Hood into your marketing technique and letting your chutzpah pave the way?

Those Who Mind Don’t Matter, and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

Once you’ve decided to subscribe to the Robin Hood school of marketing the question becomes not whether you should, but how far should you go? How much chutzpah can you put into your marketing before you start stepping on too many toes?

Ask yourself this. Who do you want to be? WalMart set themselves up as the company that draws a hard line against high prices. That’s what they’ll always be remembered as. That’s the image their chutzpah made, and they’ve stuck with it. What kind of image do you want to make for yourself?

Let that image be the hard line when it comes to your marketing, and stick to it. Carefully brand it. Cultivate it. Those who need you will be glad you drew the line where you did. Those who object probably weren’t going to give you their business in the first place.