Thursday, July 7, 2011

Branding Lessons from Barbaro

Barbaro’s story – like many tragedies – is both sad and inspiring. A magnificent racehorse who romped through five easy victories to win the Kentucky Derby in 2006, he was widely expected to win the Triple Crown. Unfortunately, disaster struck during the Preakness race: After a false start, Barbaro fell down with a broken leg. For the next eight months, the racehorse hovered between life and death at the New Bolton Center run by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Though Barbaro’s fracture healed, he contracted laminitis, a foot disease, and he was euthanized in January 2007, to the deep sorrow of his legions of fans. Although more than four years have passed, why does Barbaro’s memory continue to inspire people? That is the question that author Alex Brown answers in his book, Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy. As Knowledge@Wharton’s video interview with Brown shows, Barbaro’s story offers instructive lessons to anyone who wants to understand the emotional factors that drive powerful brand-building.
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