Rebecca Adlington wins a Bronze Medal in London 2012 by swimming FASTER than when she won a Gold in Beijing. A lesson for every marketer?


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Rebecca Adlington, a Team GB swimmer in the London 2012 Olympics, won a Bronze medal last night as I write this in the 400 metres Freestyle race. She won Gold 4 years before in the Beijing Olympics.

Rebecca Adlington won a Bronze (i.e. came 3rd) by swimming FASTER than she had in Beijing when she won the Gold Medal.
Delivering an important lesson and parable for every business person, marketing and advertising person out there.

As I have written before in “You Cannot Win a Race By Standing Still“, and “Nothing Breeds Failure More Than Success“, in order to keep winning you have to constantly be looking forwards and evolving as:

  • When you are “the winner” you become the focus of attention and the competition will focus ad target you to beat you. When you are coming up from behind, you can still surprise and do the unexpected.
  • The Competition will analyse how you achieved success and then replicate, improve upon and find out how to do it better to beat you.
  • The Competition will focus on where you are susceptible, or where your weaknesses are, and so where you are vulnerable to being beaten or outmaneuvered..
  • The Competition will not be constrained or limited by “what has worked for us” and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it mentality”. They will not be constrained in their thinking and cautious to change their “formula” for success.

Rebecca Adlington reminds us that to even just stay in the game you actually need to be MUCH BETTER than you were when you won.
After winning the Gold Medals in Beijing, she become even more focused. Trained even harder. Learnt new techniques and ways of swimming faster, better and more efficiently. She avoided the trappings of her success in Beijing and limted her media profile and non-swimming activities. She stayed focused on the competition, competing and on how to win as she knew younger, ambitious and new competition would be fast comign up behind her and overtaking her.

Something we all need to remember.
The game starts when you win. The next race starts immediately. No time to rest.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gary Bembridge
30 years of marketing experience managing and building brands globally for companies like Unilever and Johnson & Johnson, as a Global Vice President Global Marketing. Now a freelance marketing consultant, blogger and podcaster. The podcast has won awards in the European Podcast Awards (Business) the last 2 years.


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