Adventurer Mark Beaumont reveals how to build a brand

Mark Beaumont became the fastest rider to cycle the length of Africa. Picture: Neil Hanna

Mark Beaumont became the fastest rider to cycle the length of Africa. Picture: Neil Hanna

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HE MAY be renowned for his record-breaking endurance expeditions, but adventurer and broadcaster Mark Beaumont believes he has had to establish and maintain himself as a brand to help continue his achievements.

Track record and credibility are “absolutely everything,” he told Scotland on Sunday: “I’ve built my brand, my reputation and my credibility, which has given the freedom to take some pretty big ambitions over the last couple of years.”

Beaumont grabbed headlines in 2008 when he completed a round-the-world bike race, smashing the previous world record by 81 days, and last year he became the fastest rider to cycle the length of Africa.

Speaking before presenting as guest speaker at the Marketing Society’s latest Albion Dinner in Edinburgh, Beaumont said how his projects are portrayed is very “significant”.

“The reality is that it’s quite an ambitious enterprise behind the scenes. The scale of the team involved and how you build these projects on very tough timelines and then market them is actually quite relevant to any business.

“What’s different with my marketing and my brand is that I am the brand.”

However, he acknowledged that as is the case for any business starting out, initially it was “incredibly difficult to get those significant shareholders to buy into what you do,” – in his case broadcasters, sponsors, and businesses that now back him. He currently works with four businesses, including Lloyds Banking Group private equity house LDC, and recruiter Livingston James Group.

Beaumont said he enjoys these roles, “because you’re not just coming in, speaking and leaving,” and he focuses instead on making a meaningful impact.

He stressed that the lessons to be learned from the pressures of long-term endurance are “massively transferable,” and in both big business and his expeditions, “there’s this mindset of ‘neverendingness’ – you’ve got to somehow find happiness and motivation in what you’re doing, as opposed to looking forward to a time when you’re not doing it”.

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