Dustin Pedroia wasn’t the biggest guy on the ball field. And he certainly wasn’t the strongest. But the way #15 played the game presents some valuable lessons that marketers at brands both big and small can learn from.
If you don’t know who Dustin Pedroia is then shame on you. Just kidding. Picture David versus Goliath. Pedroia was David, but probably like a few inches shorter. Goliath was all the people who said he wasn’t big or strong enough to play in the major leagues. He was the ultimate underdog … or so it appeared.
Now let’s talk about your brand’s marketing. Do you also feel like you’re the little guy? Do you feel like you’re constantly trying to stay afloat and compete against category leaders who are bigger (more brand awareness) and stronger (deeper pockets)?
Yeah, your brand is pretty much Dustin Pedroia.
Too small to make noise (no fans/few customers). Not strong enough to power your way through it (small team/limited budget). It’s OK. If Dustin Pedroia can do it, so can you.
The following are some lessons we learned from watching Pedey’s career that every brand marketer can use to start winning.
SIZE DOESN’T MATTER – You Brand is Only as Big as You Believe
Pedroia was roughly 5’9 and was considered by many to be far too small to compete at the major league level. His small stature led many to discount his ability to succeed. He didn’t care.
Your brand is also considered to be too small – not only does it have very little brand awareness and a small social following, but your internal team is tiny and not really capable of taking big swings on its own. Not yet at least.
Pedey may have been small, but he had the nickname “the laser show” for a reason. The guy was laser-focused on improving his abilities – whether it be hitting, fielding or being a good teammate. And he did this by surrounding himself with the tools and team to get better.
So, if your brand feels too small at times remember that’s not an excuse to stop improving. Whether it’s bringing in a new team member to help handle the load, investing in some tools and tech that will get you there faster, or bringing in an outside team to be your brand partner — building your brand up takes work.
ALWAYS SWING FOR THE FENCES — Hit Your Big Idea Out Of The Park
Pedroia was known for having small hands – in fact one of his former managers said in this article that he had the smallest hands of any baseball player in history. It didn’t matter. Pedroia went on to win three World Series championships, multiple batting and fielding awards and many more accolades.
The reason he succeeded was because of his mighty swing — in fact, one baseball writer said he whipped his bat with such ferocity that it was amazing he didn’t fall over each time.
Does your brand take enough swings? Do you routinely swing for the fences with a big idea and hope it sails out of the park? If not, you should.
Pedroia went to the plate 6,000+ times and very rarely would he strike out (654 strikeouts). He got a lot of hits (1,805), a lot of walks (624 walks) and even the occasional home run (140). Now those are some good KPIs.
HUSTLE – Brand Marketers Win When They Get Their Hands Dirty
Pedroia was revered for his grittiness. We’re talking dirt-smudged uniform, playing through nagging injuries type of grit. The guy didn’t quit (his body did). And his attitude never wavered.
But the one thing that separated Pedroia from the rest was his hustle. He was relentless. He didn’t mind if he got his jersey dirty. He did what he had to do to win.
As a brand marketer, can you say the same about your performance? Are you hustling? Are you relentless? Are you getting into the trenches with your team to win?
Brands win big when the people doing the work aren’t afraid to get dirty. Just ask the Red Sox.
Brands like Dustin Pedroia are the best because they come out nowhere and destroy stereotypes. They disrupt. They win when they shouldn’t.
Need some inspiration? Check out these 10 tips that can help you win big in 2021.