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Federer’s authenticity, a lesson in Branding

Written by: Gabriel Troiano

Made for all. Live for greatness. Two distinct offerings represented by two brands but embodied by one man: Roger Federer. You may have been following his tennis career since the start, or maybe you’ve just heard of his retirement plan. The truth is that Federer has a lot to teach us, not only in the world of tennis and sports, but in the world of Branding which we operate in.

Since announcing his retirement, Federer has sparked a massive surge in popularity, both from seasoned fans and from new admirers. But it’s his commitment to bringing two brands together in the later stages of his career that got our attention. Uniqlo and Rolex. The interesting thing is that most athletes wouldn’t be able to live with this duality. In other words, they would either end up annoying the users of Uniqlo, or most likely, the users of Rolex with their higher purchasing power and differentiated taste. And yet, Federer manages to bring these two audiences together with his unfaltering charm and world class charisma.

But it hasn’t always been this way for Federer. In the start of his career, the tennis player was known for being irritable and would often throw his rackets on the court. As time went by and his rankings rose, Federer became much more disciplined in his attitude not only on the court, but outside, in his personal and familiar life. As we at TroianoBranding love observing and analyzing human behaviors, we can’t ignore the great work that Federer has done throughout his life, to incorporate two very different brands into his arsenal, without dropping the ball on either one.

His maturity in handling this reality, above all else, is what inspires us to always think about the reputation of a brand, of what people say about you when you leave the room, as Jeff Bezos says. What do people say when the legendary tennis player leaves the room? Certainly, a slew of praises and positive remarks, because he has impeccable integrity surrounding his world of tennis.

Most importantly, Federer teaches us to embrace differences. Because he has such a complete personality, he is able to combine these two brands and its consumers in a way that is effortless and authentic. He represents the universality of certain things and stands in a rare rank of people like Michael Jordan or our beloved Ayrton Senna.

Finally, what we learn from Federer, once more, is that brands are not sidings. On the contrary, they must be transparent, authentic, visible to us who want to be reminded of their value and purpose. So, like Federer, they can become and coexist like the effortless contradiction in his wardrobe–Uniqlo and Rolex.


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