As the majority of the country sets fire to their NCAA brackets, let’s think about how you can inspire people to hop on board your brandwagon.

No matter what your seeding is in the eyes of customers.

Little Guy A&M

When we think about the tournament’s Cinderellas, we think the little schools. So, Davids of the world, what puts you on the customer’s radar? How are you proving you deserve to be there? Why is your way of doing things more personal (or more private) than the current #1? Show how your commitment to your mission is translating into success in the market, and the people will follow.

Challenger State

You’re #2 on the leaderboard. You’re not coming out of nowhere, so you’ve got a more difficult climb trying to break through. Where do you step outside of your biggest competitors’ shadows and outshine them? Is it customer service? Is it your attention to detail? What efficiencies have you passed up to maintain high quality as you’ve scaled up? Choose a path that shows why #2 with a loyal following is better than taking #1’s approach of all things to all people.

Disruptor Tech

While sharing traits with the Little Guy, the ramblin’ wreck of Disruptor Tech is banking on success by bending the rules and bringing a new way to win. You rely on trust more than any other competitor in the bracket. So you need early adopters and a vocal cheering squad. Start with the social media influencers of your target audience and the local journalists in your most receptive markets. Because you want to change the way people think, not just who they buy from.

Goliath U

Lets face it: People like to see the big guy fall. But even the biggest brands on the block have their underdog moments. (See Apple vs. the guvment.) The moral of the story: There’s always a bigger fish. Find a cause, an idea, a rival that reveals your values. And commit to taking on those larger-than-life challenges in a style that only your brand can.