There’s an interesting article on Shotgun Marketing Blog relating the drastic changes made by the Miami Dolphins football team after their losing season to consumer branding. The article takes the approach that the management of a football team is a branding exercise and that since the team had such a bad season it had made itself a “losing” brand. The point of the article was that to change the fans perception of the team, the organization needed to take drastic steps. By removing elements of the team which could be easily associated with the losing season (in this case the head coach and general manager) the team was trying to show their fans that they were no longer the same “losing” brand, but were now becoming a different brand, one which would be more successful.
Another element of the Dolphin’s rebranding on which the article does not focus was the original hiring of Bill Parcells as the head of operations for the team late last year. Parcells has a very successful brand. He’s won Super Bowls, presided over the rebuilding of several pro football teams and many of his former assistant coaches are now successful head coaches in their own right. In short, the Parcells brand represents winning within the context of professional football. By hiring Parcells, the Dolphins are associating their losing brand with his winning brand. This association makes their brand more attractive to their consumers (ie… the fans) by presenting the possibility that the Dolphins will be more successful (i.e…. win more games) due to their association with Parcells.
This sort of branding by association can translate to other businesses as well. Things like hiring a new employee, entering into a new business partnership or acquiring new equipment can all be used in this manner. Associating your business with successful brand is a great way to build your business’ profile and get new customers.