Rogue Report Episode 3

Right place, right time


In How I Met Your Mother, the series that last aired on prime time TV in 2014 but which has continued to gain popularity thanks in large part to it presence on Netflix, Ted Mosby, the primary character speaks about being in the right place at the right time.

In the episode of the same name, Ted gives the following advice to his kids: “The great moments of your life won't necessarily be the things you do, they'll also be the things that happen to you.” The same idea can apply to brand strategy and brand management.

We can’t always predict what will impact our brand the most but we can make all the right moves to be at the right place at the right time when opportunity strikes. In other words, no matter how great your plan is or how perfectly you execute it, sometimes it helps to have a little luck.

Create long-term plans that make sense in the short-term

In July of 2018, the Toronto home of the Raptors and the Leafs was renamed the Scotiabank Arena after 20 years as the Air Canada Centre. While it is not unusual for arenas to change names, the Montreal Bell Centre was once the Molson Centre and Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre was once named the Corel Centre.

What was unusual was the price that Scotiabank paid. The bank promised $800 million over 20 years. This is widely considered to be the most ever paid for building naming rights and team sponsorship in North America. At the time, some speculated that Scotiabank may have overpaid. However, that was before the Raptors became the center of the basketball universe and eyes across the world turned to the 3 Finals games that were played in the arena. You could say that Scotiabank was at the right place at the right time.

What does this mean for your brand?

Learn how to ignore naysayers. Not every move your brand makes will be unanimously approved of by pundits or outsiders. Have the courage and conviction to make moves that might not be popular in the moment but that will likely pay off in the long term.

Look to where culture is going, not where it has been

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky once gave the following advice: Skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. The same applies for brands when looking at population trends and movements. Greystar Real Estate Partners has understood this well. Despite homeownership still representing a life goal for much of the population of the United States, it is a dream that is increasingly becoming out of reach. Add to this the increase in reports that many people are feeling lonelier than ever. And an interesting and compelling business case for the future of apartment living emerges.

By doubling down on apartments and student housing, Greystar has positioned itself as a leader for current and future generations who not only want to live within city cores (where home ownership costs are prohibitive if not unthinkable) and who cherish the ability to live in close proximity to a close knit community.

What does this mean for your brand?

Monitor population trends religiously in order to be better prepared to take advantage of future opportunities. They key is to identify when two or more trends are likely to intersect and to get ahead of this intersection.

It's not over until it's over

In the early 1990’s, whether it was on college sport or NBA uniforms or in gyms across North America, it was hard to go anywhere without seeing the blue and red Champion ”C”. Despite being relatively omnipresent, the brand did not sustain its presence and the brand all but disappeared from the North American cultural landscape.

Capitalizing on a trend of nostalgia for the 90’s and partnering with some of the most sought after brands such as Supreme and A Bathing Ape, Champion was able to stage a remarkable comeback and has once again positioned itself as a key player among sportswear brands.

What does this mean for your brand?

As is often said, trends are cyclical. Understand the key drivers of your brand in order to be able to capitalize on opportunities.

Champion’s play for a comeback was over 12 years in the making.

It was a plan that started almost 12 years ago. My whole thing was to take it from an urban phenomenon to pop culture. Because that's what I always believed the brand was. That's what it meant to me as a kid. And that was my mission.Manny Martinez, Champion's global brand ambassador


Look inside and out

Many of you likely use Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge almost every single day. You may recognize it more via its acronym; Slack. Incredibly this tool started off as an internal tool at a video game company. The team realized that if it made their work communication easier than it might have the same impact on other work teams.

What does this mean for your brand?

Sometimes solutions you might see as a hack are actually viable and marketable products. If you and your team find it useful it means there might be opportunities for it in the outside world.

Despite the best brand, product or plans, there is always a little room for luck. But luck doesn’t work on its own, as Oprah Winfrey once said luck is preparation meeting opportunity.