When it comes to boosting awareness and standing out from the crowd, there are many lessons we can learn from the world of celebrity branding. One of the most interesting examples in recent years is Pete Davidson, the comedian and actor who has gained a massive following both on and off-screen.
While his personal life has been marked by controversy and turmoil, there is no denying that Davidson has managed to build a unique and engaging brand that has resonated with audiences of all ages.
Below, we explore some of the key lessons that businesses can take from Pete Davidson’s brand, and how these can be applied to your own marketing strategy to achieve success.
What is a brand?
Let’s flip from Pete to business for a sec. The American Marketing Association defines branding as “…a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
In English, a brand helps you differentiate from others in your industry. It lets you stand out from the competition. It’s done by creating distinctive content and visuals, or accomplished through a unique style.
Which takes us back to Pete Davidson’s brand and what business owners can learn from it.
How Pete Davidson’s brand helped him stand out
Pete joined the cast of “SNL” at age 20; one of the younger ones to do so. Even more interesting is how he got into comedy in the first place.
Born to a nurse and firefighter (the latter of whom lost his life while on duty during the 9/11 attacks), Pete was your average, mediocre 16-year-old student living on Staten Island and hanging out with his buddies.
One night, while at the local bowling alley, Pete’s friends dared him to perform a comedy act right there. The rest, as they say, was history. Following a handful of stints on MTV, Pete auditioned for “SNL,” got the call from Lorne Michaels, and was launched into infamy.
That, in turn, launched his brand, based on the following factors.
The “ladies’ man”
During the past decade, the “King of Staten Island” and “Suicide Squad” star’s dating record included a brief stint as Arianna Grande’s fiancé. Other women on his arm and in his life have included Kate Beckinsale, Cazzie David, Phoebe Dynevor, and recently, Kim Kardashian.
In his interview with SFGate, Pete indicated that he’s not interested in being liked. Nor does he care what people think about him. His goal is to do what he loves. And what he loves is being funny.
The “scumbro look”
His “whatever” converts into a singular style and appearance. Vanity Fair dubs it the “scumbro” or “a catchall for the R.E.I.-clad trustafarian co-ed meets Supreme. It’s pizza for breakfast and caviar pizza for dinner.”
Pete Davidson didn’t invent the “whatever.” He is also not the original ladies’ man, nor did he create the scumbro look. But he did filter it all through his personal lens, creating a unique brand that differentiates him from others.
Branding Lessons From Pete Davidson
You, too can be like Pete. No, you don’t have to wear weird clothes and have romantic flings. But you can develop your own distinctive brand to stand out in your industry.
To do so, keep the following lessons in mind from Pete Davidson’s brand:
- Be yourself. This isn’t some new-age guru-speak. It’s about finding your niche, one that fits. Pete’s whatever attitude is his style, one that he’s comfortable with.
- Adopt flexibility. There is a plethora of content about creating and supporting a brand. Some of it is good advice. But we doubt Pete referred to any of it when creating his style. So educate yourself. Consider what you learn. Then figure out what makes sense.
- Embrace bravery. Pete didn’t grow up thinking he’d be a comedian. But he jumped on it when the chance presented itself. If an interesting opportunity comes in your direction, don’t shy away from it.
- Develop your backstory. Use your history to find your brand’s voice. Pete’s history is a foundation for an interesting backstory. Son of a 9/11 firefighter. His launch into comedy. The “baby” of “SNL.” These are definitely differentiators. Use your own to stand out.
- Get noticed. Social media and Web 4.0 (i.e., connection via mobile devices and computers) make it easy to tell everyone and anyone about your brand. So tell them. Tell them again. Then keep telling them.
So when it comes to your business, take chances and build your foundational quirkiness — or “value proposition” if you’re into business-speak. Doing so will help you effectively compete against others in your field.
This mindset, combined with your abilities and talents, can help you build and maintain a unique brand that gets noticed.
Consistent branding builds confidence and trust. ClearVoice’s expert team of writers, editors, and strategists can help you develop a memorable brand with high-quality content, from brand voice to blog posts. Talk to a content specialist today to learn more.