His brand is his story.
Charlie Chaplin is one of the most recognized actors in cinematic history. Yet, at the height of his fame, he entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
He came in third place.
Not only is that hilarious, but it also adds to his brand power. To understand the comedy in this, you have to know a little about Chaplin’s prologue, his beginnings.
Chaplin grew up in brutal poverty in Great Britain during the Victorian Era and was parentless by the time he was 14. After working for several years (because of the era’s lack of child labor laws), Chaplin eventually found work as an entertainer. In the eponymous film, the Tramp — dressed in baggy pants, a tight coat, and a bowler hat — tries to behave like a gentleman of the upper echelon of society to hide his actual status as a pauper.
Chaplin’s prologue as a poor street performer launched a brand that has become iconic to every generation. He was poor and had to smile through heartache.
Chaplin’s character is relatable. So relatable that two other people beat him out of his image!
The fact that he could lose a look-alike contest is genius and comic gold. At the same time, it reaffirms that Chaplin’s prologue played a crucial role in developing his brand identity.
Grammy-winning recording artist Adele also entered a similar look-alike contest but gave herself away when singing.
So, whether you are an entrepreneur with a solid business idea or a mid-level manager looking to climb the corporate ladder, start with building your brand identity. The first step is to look into your prologue. What story is yearning to come out?
“ One day, all of us will be forgotten but sure to do something that you would be remembered longer than others.” — Charlie Chaplin