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I didn't hate Christian Laettner... I was the kid next door.

By Charley Arrigo

Prologue.

"Hate" is a word best put in reserve.

Go to it too often, and we dilute its power.

 

There's moral courage in abstaining from this great temptation, to throw the verb at whatever is bringing us woe. But sometimes self-control is no match for self-release. For not even world famous cocktails make the human mouth foam with more pleasure than a cathartic cry of...

 

"I Hate [blank]."

So when ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, decided to do a documentary on the most hated college basketball player in history, fans in the millions, from every corner of America, holding onto different allegiances that went back generations, came together in ways modern Presidents wish they could unite their countries, decrying to the heavens...

 

"I Hate Christian Laettner."
 

Introduction.


There's so much to be said about villains in marketing today. 

Yet heroes still rule the day. You've probably heard this one before — "Your brand is not the hero, your customer is the hero."

Usually said by that acclaimed marketing influencer on LinkedIn, with the website you can never seem to find. Whose other postings include: 'Why Steve Jobs was a marketing genius', 'How Nike doesn't actually sell shoes', and 'Gosh dammit, why can't I get a job?'

So let's go the other way with this one.

Let's kill the hero.

Because despite the sermons we hear on the topic, marketing has taught us differently—that it's not heroes, but villains who make the biggest impact in whether a product grows or dies.

That's why there's never been a better time to talk about Christian Laettner. And give the world it's first marketing article on college basketball's greatest villain. 

 

Not just because I have a personal connection to Christian Laettner that I've hid all these years. But because through this character study, you'll learn about the power of the villain—and how it can grow your marketing.

 

After all is said, you may even be tempted to put on the dark hat, and embrace a bit of your inner villain as well (because we all have one).
 

"I Hate Christian Laettner."

Thirty two minutes south of the great American snow town the world calls Buffalo, New York—there lies a town on the shores of Lake Erie.

It's a blue collar town.

 

With a per-capita income below the New York average, some would say it's a lower-middle class town. To which many in town would clap back.

 

Uncle Sam in his latest looking over, said that 2,029 people were living in this town. 

The population goes up during the summer months in town. But although the beaches are nice, summer seasons in town are painfully fleeting when you can see Canada from the lifeguard stand.

No one said you have to love the town you grew up in. No one said you couldn't hate it either.

I especially hated how they tore down that old Grandview Drive-In that we used to go as kids. The same one that Christian Laettner used to sneak in before he went off and hit it big.

 

Positioning isn't looking for a hero.

 

That thinking all started with Positioning.

 

Which of course you know about. But if we dive deeper into the concept itself, the very principle of positioning is loosely defined as manipulating what already lives in the prospect's mind.

(The idea of Positioning was invented by Al Ries & Jack Trout in the 1970s. If you've never read their seminal book on the subject, I recommend you do. It will change your life.)

What already lives in the prospects mind, are the perceptions that stand in the way of your product being successful in the market.

These perceptions tell us "What is Good" or "What is Bad".

 

To change them, you could go ahead with your new product launch with its

new promises.

 

But that's like taking a 19th century musket into a modern war being waged with nuclear warheads.

 

No, these perceptions have been fed too heartily, from the milk of That Great Big Terrible Beast—who, with his millions of mass advertising dollars peddle products off a factory assembly line made out of materials not even the Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion could hope to spell or pronounce, which are more than likely slowly but surely killing us, while making a fortune greater than God in the process.

Dramatic? Maybe, maybe not.

Others just call the above — a Giant Corporation (but's that no fun).

In this article about that

 

 

 

 

 

Thirty two minutes south of Buffalo, NY there lies a town on the shores of Lake Erie.

It's a blue collar town.

 

With a per-capita income below the New York average, some would say it's a lower-middle class town. To which many in town would clap back.

 

Uncle Sam in his latest looking over, said that 2,029 people were living in this town. 

The population goes up during the summer months in town. But although the beaches are nice, summer seasons in town are painfully fleeting when you can see Canada from the lifeguard stand.

Main Street was a ghost town in the village. 

No one said you have to love the town you grew up in.

But you do need something to hold onto when you're a kid.

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