Lessons from parenthood on how to run a brand.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

It’s occurred to me, after working with many different brands and raising a 3 year old, that running a brand is just like parenting.  Yeah sure, sometimes at work you feel like you’re dealing with whining, snivelling, tantrum-prone children (it’s sometimes your boss you say?).  But that’s not what I’m getting at.  I’m talking about your other baby, the one you spend the most time with, the one who helps pay the bills vs. creates them…your brand.

Here are 8 parenting lessons (just swap “child/ren” with “brand”):

  1. Have a clear philosophy when it comes to raising children.  There are a few styles out there:  authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, neglectful, Homer Simpson.  You don’t have to subscribe to just one, in fact please don’t.  But at least have a clear point of view.
  2. Have a framework of rules within which you control guide your child.  Without rules you’ll have one confused child on your hands.
  3. Don’t be a smother-mother: let your child explore, take risks, make mistakes.  Quit sniffing your own fumes; stay within your framework but don’t be over protective.
  4. As a parent you must establish leadership otherwise your child will become irrational, obnoxious, irritating.  Clearly I love my daughter, but I won’t take BS from a shrimp who can’t  tie her own shoelaces!
  5. Express your values through your child.  If you’re all over honesty, respect, courage, your child should be too.
  6. Allow your child to adapt to its changing environment.  They must never go against your values, but how they behave and mature should adjust.
  7. Don’t raise your child to be a mini-me.  Build on their strengths and let them thrive.  I mean, think of it, take a boardroom full of rich white men creating brands in their own likeness – gawd!
  8. Lastly, it’s important to remember that just when you think you’ve figured your child out, when you think you’ve finally nailed it as a parent…WHAM, they change it up on you.  There was Blockbuster, signing the next studio deal and here comes sweet little Netflix to screw it all up…

Here’s a fantastic parenting blog:  www.dooce.com.  It highlights another lesson:  it’s good to laugh at yourself and your kids once in a while…life’s too short to be taken so seriously.

Got any other “parenting” lessons to pass on?  We’d love to hear them!

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