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When Hugging Is Part Of Your Brand [Newsletter]

A friend recently tagged me in a video where a toddler at a public picnic proceeded to give every stranger a hug, after his parents told him it was time to “go bye-bye”. You can watch it here.

“This might be a soul mate” was the accompanying caption. In other words, “look at this kid hugging every random person for no reason… I can totally see you doing the same thing”.

She’s right.

You see, hugging is a bit of MY thing.

Remember that time I went to Dundas Square in Toronto on my birthday, and spent two hours hugging strangers? Watch the video below. It will make your day. [A year later I did that same very thing in Kansas City, just because that’s where I happened to be at the time.]

And, when people see almost anything hug-related, and think of you… well… that, my friends, is a brand.

A friend of mine, who is also a coach, is a self-identified “asshole”. He won’t put up with your shit, and give it to you straight Gillian Michaels style. That is part of HIS brand. Another friend puts images of elephants on all of her branding – all coaching tips, all blog posts, all merchandise. Clients send her little figurines of elephants. And recognize her images in their feed right away.

Yet another great example of a “thing” becoming part of a brand is Nerd Fitness – an entire website and fitness program centred around helping “nerds and misfits”.

Notice that this unique twist – whether you are one to hug strangers, or to “give it to them straight” – will attract some, and repel others.

Seth Godin talks about this quite a bit – most specifically, in his book “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable”.

The book points out how important it is to draw attention to your product by being different from the rest. Stand out like a purple cow, and clients will come.

Whether you make yourself the cheapest, the most expensive, the biggest, the smallest, the fastest, the slowest — the point is to explore the limits of what’s possible, to experiment and see what breaks.


What I find fascinating is that it’s almost impossible to “think this up” in an artificial let-me-invent-MY-thing way. Chances are… you already have a thing. You might be obsessed with otters, or use your dog as a mascot for your business. [If you look into marketing for GORUCK, Monster, the black lab, is featured pretty prominently there].

Want to figure out what your “thing” is? Consider what kind of material your friends and clients “tag” you in. Ask them if you are not sure. Are you tagged every time there is a Star Wars joke? Or, perhaps, whenever, FIFA is on?

Speaking of books you enjoyed – has there been a book that blew your mind recently? Hit Reply, and let me know.

I am thinking of my next project, and it might involve… book recommendations. I can’t wait to tell you more.

Hugs, SOLO

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