How to Be the Jack Nicholson of Brands

Good branding can help your company become Jack Nicholson. 

Bad branding can help it become…”That guy from that movie, you know, the one with the hat?” 

We all love Jack Nicholson. If you don’t, watch some of his work (Chinatown, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Last Detail, The Shining). He is one of the greats and will be celebrated long after he goes. Just a measly three-time Academy Award winner and 12-time nominee! But why? Why is this average-looking guy from N.J. (who can’t do an accent to save his life) so loved and adored?

Jack Nicholson will always be Jack Nicholson.

He’s genuine, charming, and knows who he is. He knows his WHY.  In essence, his brand is on-point.

How does this relate to my company’s branding?

Well, I’m glad you asked. A rock-solid reputation is what your company should want for its brand identity. However, most companies, especially start-ups, fail to grasp their identity and go under or do not reach their true potential. 

This is one of the major reasons nearly 1 in 5 businesses fail in the first year. Many companies have no idea who they are when they look into the mirror. 

“I know I sell mattresses, but why?!”

Here’s a great way to give your company direction.

So, let’s say you sell mattresses. To have a better idea of what you want, give your company a C.P.R., which stands for Context, Purpose, and Results.


Who do you want to be like? What company out there has attributes you appreciate, and what are those characteristics? Maybe you love how Toms donates a pair of shoes for every purchase made. So you want to be kind, giving, and altruistic. 


Why do you want to have your business? What do you believe in? Since you look up to Toms, you believe that all people deserve sweet sleep. So your purpose is — AMAZING SLEEP FOR EVERYONE.


What do you want to achieve? What will be your company’s legacy? Take a deep dive into what you want, and be sure to make your goals S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.  

For example, you might want to start a nonprofit that provides mattresses for the less fortunate and will donate 10,000 of them in 2 years.

Go out there and figure out who you are.

Do this exercise and you will find your own way to becoming Jack: a well-known actor in your field who knows who you are and what you stand for.

“Here’s Johnny!”

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