Vans, GT Bikes, Santa Cruz Skateboards, Powell Peralta, K2 Skis, Burton Snowboards, Transworld Media: these were the first brands I remember coveting. Their logos tattooed my every possession, their athletes covered my walls. These were the brands that shaped my view of the world beyond the suburban upstate New York life I knew. They inspired an unrelenting pursuit of fun, passion, creativity and self-expression, making it not only okay to be myself but a badge of honor to stand out from the crowd.
If brands have the power to influence people, as they did me, they can affect the choices individuals make, initiating a chain reaction that impacts people, places, culture and the environment the world over. If we have the power to influence people, we have the power to change the world. This is why we’ve devoted our lives to building and scaling brands.
This power brands possess – to connect with individuals on an emotional level, to paint a worldview that unites the tribe – has always existed. However, today’s brands have more power to influence than ever before. Brands are now media organizations with the ability to produce engaging content, scale reach, hyper target and optimize messaging in seconds, to ensure maximum impact. And these tools are no longer reserved for only the largest and most sophisticated organizations. This power can be tapped at will by bootstrapping startups in garages around the world.
The table is set. The tools exist. People are hungry for real solutions to the myriad challenges we’re facing. There is a craving for authentic connection, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Brands have the potential to be this vehicle in our lives. So together, let’s change the world.