Messi and Likable Brands

What a FIFA World Cup with had! Marred by controversies for years, the event once started was one of the best-ever sporting spectacles. The tournament had ups and downs, and a few favorites were knocked out, but we had the two best teams in the final. And what a final that was! The French came back twice to challenge the Argentineans, and the penalties decided the ultimate winners. And the world finally could witness what they wanted to for so many years – Leo Messi lifting the ultimate trophy, the World Cup.

The Messi Mania

It won’t be an overstatement that many people who otherwise do not follow the sport or might not be able to locate the nation on the map were supporting Argentina only because of Messi.

There were reports that Adidas had already sold out of their famed number-10 Messi jersey worldwide even before the semi-finals, with many non-football countries such as Bangladesh having counterfeit jerseys being sold at outrageous premium prices.

The Messi-mania was or rather is at an all-time high.

The Likable Messi

What is it that makes Lionel Messi so universally likable? How can people who’ve never even seen him play in person still adore and revere him? Brands seeking to emulate his success may want to consider the same questions about tennis great Roger Federer or cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. What allows them to capture hearts across the globe with their captivating personalities? What makes them so likable?

It is no secret why Messi has become a household name. His remarkable knack for scoring outstanding goals and delivering incredible assists, combined with his impeccable technique on the field, undoubtedly played an essential role in this success story. Messi somehow managed to climb even higher into the football Pantheon with his leadership and gameplay in his final FIFA World Cup. You could see the amount of hard work that had gone into it. Yet even these accomplishments don’t fully explain how likable he truly is.

Fans adore Lionel Messi by fans worldwide for various reasons, but one that stands out, in particular, is his humility and affable nature. Despite having won countless accolades throughout his career, Messi has maintained an unassuming attitude – from interacting with members of the media to how actively engages on social platforms. This relatability gives him an edge over many equally accomplished contemporaries.

Messi embodies everything special about sports. He plays with enthusiasm and style and never fails to have a good time on the field without disrespecting his opponents. His infectious passion for the game has attracted millions worldwide and made him one of history’s most beloved athletes.

On a more personal level, Messi’s renowned for his generosity. For many years he has been donating to children-based charities and other projects that are dear to him. He married his childhood crush, sports a tattoo of his mother’s face on one arm, and is managed by his immediate family – all convey that family matters most to him! Despite being a superstar, he is an average simple guy at heart.

So what can brands learn from Messi and other likable personalities?

Ensure that you are on top of your game.

Don’t be afraid to be the hardest-working organization. Ensure that you are making truthful promises and doing your best to deliver on your brand promise.

Be authentic and stay humble and grounded.

Building a likable brand is not about absolutes but staying authentic and relatable to your target audience. This means being honest, genuine, and approachable at all times. It also means knowing when to turn off the “marketing machine” and showing your true self.

Be genuine and passionate.

Brands that embrace these values are more likely to build lasting bonds with consumers and earn their loyalty for years to come. Whether a sports brand like Adidas or a technology company like Apple, likable brands will always be at the top of consumers’ minds and hearts.

Put your customers first.

The most likable brands always put their customers’ needs, preferences, and interests front and center. Whether responding to customer feedback or going above and beyond to provide a fantastic experience, they always look for ways to exceed expectations and build lasting relationships with their audiences.

What makes Messi and other likable brands so successful is their ability to connect with people on a deeper level. By focusing on relationships and building genuine connections, they have built long-lasting brand loyalty that cannot be easily broken. And this is something that all marketers can learn from and apply in their work to build likable brands.

Amit Tilekar
Amit Tilekar

Customer-obsessed digital marketer and growth marketing consultant

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