Everything about consumers and brands is changing. The way we communicate, the way we shop, the way we spend our time and our money.


We live in an age of Uber, Airbnb and Amazon. It used to be Yellow Cab, Marriott and Walmart. The times they are a changing. This is the season of the start-up. It’s the era of the entrepreneur. So what does that mean for the legacy brands that have been around forever? They need to find a way to survive in this crazy digital age. And they need to do it quickly because consumers are falling out of love faster than ever. Legacy brands need to do more than play catch up. They need to play a whole new game.


Listen up legacy brands. You really want to stay in the game? Here are 3 things you can learn from some of most successful entrepreneurs and start-ups out there.


Be fearless

There’s a fearlessness that start-ups and entrepreneurs have that legacy brands just don’t. Start-ups act like they have nothing to lose, because they sort of don’t. You start to play it safe when you get big and the stakes are high and the world is watching. Look at Uber. It’s the biggest transportation company in the world and they don’t even own one car. Airbnb was just valued at 30 billion (more than Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton) and they don’t even own any real estate.


Be the change

If you only look at your bottom line, consumers will see you looking at your bottom line. It’s time to think globally, to think about others and to do good. Look at how TOMS founder solved a problem he saw in the world and fulfilled a real desire he had to help those in need. Now he has applied his “One for One” business model beyond shoes to eyewear and coffee. TOMS is celebrating 10 years as a brand and continues on with its self-proclaimed “simple” mission.


Be yourself

For legacy brands, this one could be the toughest. Legacy brands are just so BIG that it’s hard for them to be relatable. And today’s consumers want REAL human people and REAL human stories. Look at the Clif Brand: named after the founder’s dad and solved a real human need of wanting food on the go to be healthy and delicious. For an extra dose of human inspiration, check out the podcast How I built this.” You can hear the Clif story there. You’ll also hear straight from the founder’s mouths of some of the world’s best known companies and brands.
Legacy brands will never be able to start from scratch. And they wouldn’t want to. But they can leverage their wealth of experience and equity and add a dose of energy and creativity to create something new. Something truly irresistible. Does this sound like something your brand needs? I’d love to talk.