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5 Branding Lessons from a Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Win

5 Branding Lessons from a Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Win

It is with a heavy heart that I AGAIN end an NFL season lamenting a Denver Broncos loss in the playoffs. This team shattered records while overcoming adversities like having a head coach undergo emergency heart surgery and having a defense get decimated by injuries. However, the Broncos fell flat in a Super Bowl where “everything that could go wrong – did” against the buzzsaw that was the Seattle Seahawks. Looking on the positive side, let’s celebrate the Seahawks victory with 5 Branding Lessons from a Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Win.

1. Stay Hungry

From the first snap of the season, the Seahawks came to play! I can’t remember the last time I saw an NFL team play with such a hunger to win. They did not enter a game feeling entitled to win – they went into a game expecting to rip the win from the beat-up, defeated hand of the vanquished opponent!

Branding Lesson – the day you come to work feeling entitled to your success and your clients…is the first day on the slippery slope to your demise. Take nothing for granted. Appreciate that loyal client, and explore new and innovative ways to find new clients while STILL embracing the time-honored traditions of picking up the phone, shaking a hand, and making yourself available in-real-life to win business.

2. Dominate Defensively

Not since the 1985 Chicago Bears have I seen such a dominant NFL defense. I may have complained about the Seahawks secondary holding receivers beyond 5 yards in the past, and they did some of that in this game, but most of the game was winning the individual battles with fundamental technique. And if they didn’t stop the pass completion, they definitely meted out punishment on the receiver after the completion. Meanwhile, they kept Peyton Manning uncomfortable all day by putting a hand in his face or chasing him out of the pocket.

Branding Lesson: The Seattle Seahawks proved the maxim that “defense wins championships.” In branding, defense comes in the form of active listening (on social channels and review sites as well as one-on-one with clients) and engagement based upon actionable intelligence gleaned from that active listening.

3. Efficiently Execute Offense

When the Seahawks had the ball on offense, they were efficient. Russell Wilson kept the chains moving with accurate passes, timely use of his legs to escape the rush, and good decisions after reading the defense. His running backs held on to the ball, and his receivers racked up plenty of yards after the catch.

Branding Lesson: When brands efficiently execute offensively, they are staying top-of-mind with their consumers. They may curate relevant content from other reliable sources, they create their own original content, and they are quick to highlight products/services successes with case studies. They backup all of that “content” with continued innovation with their products and services. And when brands are flawlessly executing their offense, their competitors’ offenses can’t take the field!

4. Capitalize on Opportunities

The Seattle Seahawks scored before 12 seconds had elapsed in the game – on a safety resulting from a botched snap for the Denver Broncos offense. They then took the free kick and drove it down for a field goal. After forcing a Broncos 3-and-out, and driving for another field goal, they then intercepted Peyton Manning for the first time. The Seahawks would get 3 more takeaways (1 pick-6 interception, 2 fumbles), but they also capitalized on special teams with a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Branding Lesson: Social channels provide brands with ample opportunities to capitalize upon. Whether brands are listening to their own brand mentions, and engaging their customers WHERE their customers are – or they are listening to mentions of their competitors’ brands and proactively reaching out to potentially new customers – fortune favors the bold!

5. Embrace Your Personality

Richard Sherman can have a “bigger than life” personality with his brash confidence. Marshawn Lynch tries to avoid the spotlight with quotes like “I’m just bout that action, boss.” And Russell Wilson is an unflappable leader on the field and gracious and well-spoken personality off the field. The Seattle Seahawks embrace their diverse personalities as well as take on the personalities of both their head coach and their city.

Branding Lesson: I may have missed my forecast of a Denver Broncos victory, but I did not miss some of the unique player storylines over the last couple of weeks. Several of these players have stories that resonate with our own experiences. As a result, we develop an empathy for the players. Brands should tell their stories and embrace their history and their personalities. How else will they distinguish themselves from the competition?

Better luck next year, Broncos. I hope this seals the deal on Peyton Manning coming back for another season, and let’s focus on the defense in the draft and free agency – ok?!? You are still my #1 team - a classy, well-run organization playing an exciting brand of football. I hope to cheer the Broncos to another Super Bowl appearance (and hopefully WIN) in 2015!

Meanwhile, congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for their Super Bowl XLVIII win.

Photo Credit: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and now grandsons! I am blessed in that I also love my job as a VP of Enterprise Solutions for ProKarma. I appreciate the convergence of big data and data visualization in our Pulse Analytics social listening and analytics platform as well as our core software / mobile app development, business intelligence, and test automation services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin. You can find Brian on .

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2 Comments

  1. Add a great leader in Pete Caroll. The players LOVE him! And if you’ve ever seen the 60 minutes piece on him you know he’s the real deal :) Just had 500+K at the rally.

    • Craig McBreen  He always has instilled loyalty and affection amongst his players – definitely a “player coach” that lets them find and leverage their own personalities and strengths. He proved that you could fail in the NFL…bounce back down to the college ranks, and succeed wildly…then make it in the NFL. However, I think Seattle was the PERFECT place for his brand of coaching and players.