Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

Commercial Construction & Renovation helps our subscribers design, build and maintain better commercial facilities by delivering content to meet the information needs of today's high-level executives.

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CRAFT BRAND AND MARKETING 100 MAY/JUNE 2017 CBAM-MAG.COM N Michael J. Pallerino editor's note Dream big, bet big, leave it all on the field Nearly 20 years after Kevin Plank started making T-shirts in his grandmother's Georgetown basement, his entrepreneurial legacy is one for the ages. Craft brewers take note. There are lots of takeovers from an entrepreneur who defied all odds when he decided he would take on the big boys at a game (sports performance apparel) they already had a stake in. Sports performance apparel, beer, does it really matter what it is? What matters is how you tell the story of your brand. What matters is how your customers view what you do, how you do it and why. Here's a nugget from Plank's book of beating the big boys at their own game. One of Plank's tenets for running his company revolves around three statements.: "This is what I heard." "This is what I think." "This is what we're going to do." The founder and CEO of Under Armour encourages all of his people to use this approach in tackling their responsibilities. Plank's strategy is about making sure people's voices are heard. Did I hear you? Did I understand your meaning? And then, he says, clarity. Everyone must have a voice, and everyone deserves clarity. These are the tenants of leadership and culture that increase performance, satis- faction and speed. Today, in case you haven't noticed, Under Armour has leapfrogged every single one of its competitors, including Nike, whose revered Swoosh once dominated the sports apparel, performance and foot- wear market. The secret lies in betting big. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. And while Plank will admit he doesn't always have all of the an- swers, the key is giving it everything you have. As Plank says, "I don't have to be right. I just want to win." It doesn't have to be his idea. He just wants the best idea. And then his team will bring it to life. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the entrepreneurs who put everything on the line to walk through the fire that too many others fear. "We must protect this house." That's the slogan Plank and compa- ny built their reputation on. I remember sitting with Plank in a trade show booth in Atlanta during the early years of his company. He spoke openly and honestly about his mission to make a name for his brand in the then highly competitive sports apparel performance market. Back then; he said all he needed was time and patience for his vision to play out. It worked. And in a time when craft beer is all the rage, it just might for you, too. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the entrepreneurs who put everything on the line to walk through the fire that too many others fear.

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