6 Branding Lessons from The Wolf of the Wall Street (Final Part)

We hope you got some insights from the first part of this series. Here is the concluding part of the branding lessons from the life and times of Jordan Belfort.

LESSON 4: Radical Differentiation

Aside from Jordon's impeccable business acumen, one critical factor responsible for the accelerated success of Stratton Oakmont is his radical differentiation. He ran the business with a liberal approach. No strict resumption time. What matters is getting the job done and hitting the target. He didn't only make his employees work hard. He also ensured they party hard: booze, drugs, whores, pool parties, and anything that ticks their fancy. Jordan even rewarded a female staff $10,000 to have breast implants!

Because of his unconventional approach to management and stockbroking, it wasn't long before he was crowned the Wolf of the Wall Street; a reputation that spread like wildfire among media circles and made Stratton Oakmont attract viral publicity in the industry. Jordan's ZAG didn't align with moral standards but it got him the attention he needed to scale his business.

The battle of marketing can't be won by imitation. It can be won only by differentiation. Scratch that! Radical Differentiation.

Marty Neumeier promptly advised brands in his book, ZAG: 'When everybody zigs, ZAG!'

The golden question here is: What is your ZAG? What is that unique feature that makes your brand stand out from the crowd and clutter of your industry?

Brands that are stuck in the rut of product and clutter of offerings, re-discovering, and re-thinking the differentiation might be the eureka moment for emancipation. Discovering a brand's ZAG can also lead to the discovery of new categories that can create the leverage of first-mover advantage.

LESSON 5: Brand Alignment

Jordan is the master craftsman of brand experience. From internal relations with employees to external relations with customers, stakeholders, and even enemies, Jordan Belfort leveraged on a cohesive brand experience powered by a radically differentiated business strategy.

Brand alignment is linking your brand strategy to your customer experience. It's simply articulating what you promised with what is experienced.

To be a great brand, it is important to understand how to attain cohesiveness with your promises, internal culture and marketplace perception.

In order to successfully align a brand, these 3 rules must be observed:

a. Say what you mean and mean what you say. There must a clear synergy between your intentions and your communication.

b. You must not claim to be one thing and do other things. It's called the principle of ONLYNESS. What is the ONLY thing your brand is known for? Define it. Emphasize it. Scale it!

c. Never introduce an element in your brand that doesn’t align with or accentuate your ONLYNESS. It results in wasted resources and dead ends.

LESSON 6: The Code of Consistency

When Jordan was given a choice by SEC to quit his company and relinquish ownership of some of his assets as an exchange to let go of his crimes, he was almost going to do it. But then he remembered it is against the culture he has built into his employees to NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. Despite the fact that his freedom is staked on the deal, he decided to renege because HE WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. Not because he wouldn't, he almost did. But because it is against the culture of his brand. To quote his exact words, he said: 'That's going to make me a hypocrite!'

From his famous line to new recruits: 'Sell me this Pen.' to his business operations and extravagant lifestyle, Jordan Belfort is a consistent man.

Consistency has been touted by motivational speakers over the years as the only path to be successful at anything. As it is with personal goals, the same applies to brand building. Every lesson explained above anchors on consistency. Without consistency, all your brand-building tactics won't be effective, no matter sophisticated and cutting-edge they are.

Consistency is the code of building winning brands. Let go of it, and the marketplace won't hestitate to throw your brand out with other bunch of hypocrite brands.

From these six lessons, I hope you have learnt something valuable you can implement in your brand-building effort. Thanks for reading and share your feedback in the comment section.