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DT’s Tower: A Brand by Name

You might have been aware that Russell Brand stirred some controversy last month by not only showing up Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight but calling for a revolution.  I’ve never really ‘liked’ Russell Brand but I had to admit it was nice to hear someone speak up and say what a lot of people sometimes think.

I can promise you now that this isn’t going to be about politics… This is about a train of thought that finally FINALLY! allowed me to get my head around what it means to be a Star and the value they bring to the team.

Shrinking Violets and Shining Stars

As I might have mentioned, I’m a Lord.  I’m well and truly on the introverted side.  This doesn’t mean that I’m shy and retiring (far from it) but it does mean that the more time I spend in front of people the more it costs me in terms of energy.  To be quite frank, it knackers me out!

So I have always been perplexed by Stars, those people who draw energy from the attention of others.

Put them on the stage they glow, put them on the screen and they shine!

Stars = Marmite

I guess  you are looking at the screen and going ‘WHAT?’  Hear me out while I wax lyrical about that most divisive of sandwich spreads.  People LOVE or HATE Marmite.  There is no middle ground (I am personally a lover).


And this is where Stars truly shine and bring value to the team.

They are unafraid of stepping up and standing out, saying what others might fear or doubt to say.

In fact the more extreme the viewpoint they take on, the more the Marmite effect takes off.

Brand Awareness

Russell Brand started out as a stand up comic, moved into acting then shifted to presenting.  All of which you might say is typical Star fare.  However, in 2006 he started a column for the Guardian (admittedly focused on football) but after the London Riots in 2011 he penned a guest column criticising the government for their failure to tackle the root causes.

His appearance on Newsnight continued this shift in identity and it was while watching this interview and the subsequent reaction in the press, amongst other celebrities and the public that caused a metaphorical light bulb over my head.

The Lightbulb

“No press, no publicity… I’m a LORD!”

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Brand.  Regardless of whether you have even heard of him I doubt that you have missed the debate.

THIS is the power of the Star, the value they can bring.

Brand has shifted his identity (either on purpose or by instinct) from a stand up comic to a political commentator.

By doing that he has use his image to drawn attention to himself AND by association the issues he is talking about.  He has created political Marmite, whether you like or loathe you can’t help but talk about him.

Which of course plays into the Star’s strength, building a bigger platform and creating more value for their identity and the issues they are talking about now and will do in the future.  For us introverts, just thinking about doing something like this tires us out.

And that is why we need them.


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