Four Michaels that made fortunes. Four Michaels that are completely ignorant about fans and marketing.
Mike Tyson never realized that he had the world in the palm of his hand. All he had to do was focus on one thing–fighting. The minute he took his eye off the prize he went down in defeat. And what an epic defeat it was. But even with that defeat, if Tyson would have climbed back to the top, like Rocky, the world would have loved him again. But he never believed the fans would get on his side. Instead he played the part of the villain. And for that fans hated him and still hate him today.
Michael Jackson didn’t understand that all fans wanted was music. He could have hid forever behind the scenes and just made music, but instead he had to do everything but make good music. I don’t want to minimize all of his wackiness and possible illegal activities, but at the end of the day he let his best product suffer.
Michael Vick claims that he didn’t understand dog fighting was illegal or that cruelty to animals was wrong. He failed the marketing test of understanding his audience. He focused on Michael Vick and not the people who paid for the luxurious life he lived. That’s a major fail on his part.
Finally, Michael Jordan had it all. And then his shameful Hall of Fame speech. Jordan proved to be a spiteful, vicious human who believed all of his own hype. There is nothing worse than a hero who complains that people don’t think more of them. How much more of a hero does he need to be? The only step above that is God-like. And Mr. Jordan proved himself to be a villain in sheeps clothing.
So, the point to this? Well, marketing isn’t only about products. Everything you do online and in the world is a form of marketing yourself. One wrong move and you could be in for a marketing crisis that is personal–and that can be the hardest crisis to recover from.