Nature Boy: A Lesson in Personal Branding

Almost everyone knows the name “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

And if you aren’t familiar with the name, you know his signature “WOOOOOOOOOO!”

As ESPN celebrates Flair’s career with a well-deserved 30 for 30 film, you can’t help but wonder what’s made “Nature Boy” such a beloved figure well beyond his in-ring career. There’s a new hip-hop song called “Ric Flair Drip.” We’ve seen his face plastered on the cleats of NFL players. He’s given motivational speeches inside the locker rooms of the biggest franchises in sports. The 68-year-old has transformed into a pop culture icon.

I think it comes down to two things: consistency and personal branding.

This guy won his first heavyweight championship three months after I was born. I was at his last WWE match at Wrestlemania 24 in 2008. The man had a 40-year career that touched multiple generations. While so many wrestlers came and went, Flair was a constant.

And while the 16-time world champion adapted and evolved during portions of his career, he was always the same “Nature Boy.” When you saw Flair, you knew exactly what you were going to get:

Signature Strut

ric-flair-mental-hospital

Bleached Blonde Hair

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Rolex Wearin’

rolex

Limousine Ridin’

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$10,000 Robes

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WOOOOOOO!

woo

Dirtiest Player in the Game

low

While we may not follow his lead when it comes to his signature front-face flop or flip “up-and-over” the top rope, we can all learn a lesson in personal branding from Flair.


“The Nature Boy” built a brand over four decades that few can match. He was consistent, creative, and memorable. He always delivered at the highest level — day in, day out. All reasons why he’s just as popular today as he was back then.

To be the man, you have to beat the man.

It’s not just a catchphrase, folks. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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