You are the best possible representative of yourself and who you are is a direct reflection of your company. After all, it was YOU who created that company. You came up with the vision and mission. You put in the sweat equity to get it where it is today. Your company is your brand as much as you are your brand. The two are not mutually exclusive.
I like to use real-life examples of people who are seeing, in real time, just how much their choices and actions impact their personal brand, and can’t think of a better example than Kanye West.
In this recent article from Licensing International, they talk about the fact that several of West’s partners have cut him off after a string of offensive comments and antisemitic remarks he made publicly. This points to a larger clamp down on celebrity licensing contracts, particularly where the morality clause comes into play.
Of course, companies do need to be prepared to hold a celebrity to a morality clause, which can be incredibly challenging if sales are very high, as in the case of West’s partnership with Adidas. In the article, we learn that West’s Yeezy footwear and apparel accounted for about 8% of Adidas’ $20.9 billion in revenue in 2021, for which West received a 15% royalty on each sale.
The article points out that the situation with West and Adidas is an exceptional case, and it has pushed agencies who represent talent to filter their talent to make sure there is genuine buy-in as well as a strong sense of integrity.
Do you think that the actions West has taken reveal his true brand? Did Adidas go too far or not far enough? What other examples have you seen?