Sunday, August 28, 2011

BJJ's Best Branding: Roy Dean

Continuing with the Branding Series:

In these days of easy publishing, branding is especially important to anyone producing BJJ related media or learning material. An academy has location, a facility and learning environment to draw in or put off students, but if you're producing an e-pub, managing a Twitter feed, that logo, your color scheme, those photos...they take on a whole different meaning.

To summarize Roy Dean's brand, it's a juxtaposition of the traditionally stoic martial arts and modern, accessible individualism. As far as recognizability goes, this brand comes out on top. Check out that video. Listen to the music. What do you think and feel? It's clean. It's modern, maybe even futuristic, but tempered with flavors of Japanese culture and imagery. Go to the website. Tell me you don't see the same thing. Now go check out one of his DVDs. Pay attention to the production. Go to YouTube and look at some demonstration. You'll see similar color schemes reflected in the studio itself.

Sure, a marketing firm could duplicate it, but that's not what's going on here. I've never met Dean (though I hope to one day), but it's honest. He composed the music. I'm 99% sure that's his (very distinct)  voice whispering on the track. The experience you get seems like a direct extension of his personality. In case you think the clean, fancy packaging is just for remote consumers, take a look deeper into the site. He lists when his seminars will be held. Tuition rates and schedule are clear and affiliate info is available.

But this is my favorite part. BJJ is an earthy martial art. It's not pretty, but it's beautiful. Roy Dean's presentation could easily be taken as cold or get get a look at his students individually. The site lists student ranks AND most of those names link to YouTube videos of them demonstrating technique. At the same time, you get a clear picture of who he is. The man's stuff is fully integrated, on multiple levels.

All that though, I think is summed up in his logo. Look at it for a moment.

It evokes movement without change. You can see the circles spinning and passing. It's reminiscent of the model of an atom, conjuring thoughts of energy and technical analysis. My favorite part though, is that looking at it, the mind creates triangles, and there isn't one straight line.

Take a look at the logo again. It's reddish-brown, which is intense, but still muted, controlled and organic. The rest of the site and images are based on a very calming and natural green, underscoring the accessibility of of his materials. He wears traditional gi colors of white, blue, and frequently black (which he seems to prefer for marketing material).

Photo and Video
All impeccably professional. There is an ABUNDANCE of video available on the site, both techical and artistic, and even more on YouTube. The photography though, is something amazing. You see a lot of closeups of live technique, a solid representation of his personal image, but also images of his students performing techniques. He shares himself and simultaneously highlights the students he's created.


DVDs, seminars, an eJournal, blog and online videos...point blank, free and paid, he's got a lot. What they amount to though, is a depth and breadth of knowledge that is up to date and accessible.

Dean's brand is clean, sophisticated and accessible. Most importantly though, all this is backed up by Dean's quality instruction and lifetime study of the martial arts. 


Liam H Wandi said...

Very nice work. To echo one of my favourite websites, can you summarise the brand in 6 words?

Megan said...

Thanks...I like that idea...I have one or two more I'd like to do and I think I'll start including that. For Dean, it's definitely, "traditional martial arts meets modern individualism".