When I was a kid, I worshipped at the altars of three entities: Liverpool Football Club, Star Wars and adidas.
There was no logical reason for this. I was a boy living in South West London, 240 miles from Liverpool, 620 miles from adidas’ Bavarian headquarters and 5,500 miles from Tinsel Town (I didn’t know when I first fell in love with George Lucas’ enchanting creation that large parts of the films were made in Buckinghamshire).
I simply decided I loved everything about those three things and would henceforth go out of my way to follow my football team, consume as much Star Wars content as I could find and wear adidas clothing.
Today, everyone knows this as “brand loyalty”. I’m not sure how long that phrase has been around. I certainly don’t remember it being as ubiquitous before social media started providing a more effective way for brands to market directly to their consumers.
I did a fair amount of fascinating work for a brand intelligence start-up in 2015-16. In penning the content for their website, creating blog posts and brochure copy to advertise their services and crafting engaging presentations for their leadership team, terms such as “social influencer”, “brand advocate” and “brand loyalty” became my bread and butter.
I guess little 80s John would have unwittingly qualified as a brand advocate, although fitting the criteria of a social influencer would have required him to actually have a social life! (What can I say? Once a writer, always a writer!)
Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who developed such an emotional pull towards this holy trinity back then. I’m also pretty confident that, if those others are like me, their attachment has also stood the test of time.
That’s why I’m proud to report that, with my latest client on board, I have now written directly for — or, at the very least, about — all these iconic brands during my freelance career.
There’s no better feeling than being paid actual money to write about subjects you love, and I certainly don’t take those opportunities for granted.
Whisper it, but I would have probably done it for nothing!