The Temptation of the Middle Ground


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When was the last time Ted Nugent had a hit song?

My best guess is 1989, when he was part of the group Damn Yankees. They had one hit with the power-ballad ”High Enough”.

Yet 22 years later, his brand is so strong that he will be “too divisive” for the already divisive American political landscape. He told Billboard that he would love to be part of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign, but “I don’t know if I’ll get a stamp of approval because I am so volatile and because the line in the sand in a political campaign can be so ambiguous — and I’m anything but.”

He’s right. We all know that Ted Nugent is an ultra-right wing gun-toting animal-skinning rock ‘n’ roll lunatic. He is “The Motor City Madman”. There is no ambiguity.

Although it will prevent him from helping Perry, Ted Nugent is a great example for businesses.

Ambiguity sucks, but it is impossibly tempting for so many brands. They want to appeal to everyone, so they water down what they stand for in an attempt to reach more customers.

Kentucky Fried Chicken changes their name to KFC, introduces salads, and watches customers leave.

Jeep creates a family station wagon called the Compass and watches sales plummet.


KFC should be proud to be the finger-licking good chicken you treat yourself to once in a while!

Jeep should be proud to be trail-rated for the ultimate off-road capability!

The middle ground is a terrible place to be. It is a place where strong brands go to die.

Don’t go there, no matter how tempting it might be.

Fighting the urge to go there is well-covered in the new book Brand Like A Rock Star which you can order right now on-line.

You can also download chapter one absolutely free before you buy.


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