Marketing lessons from the El Capitan climb.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

By now you’ve seen the headlines of the First ever free-climb of the El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park: Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson using only their hands and feet to ascend what is considered the most difficult pitch-climb in the world. A climb that took nearly 3 weeks covering 3,000 feet of sheer granite, twice the height of the Empire State Building. And it took seven years of prep work mapping out routes, practicing maneuvers on each section and gathering a dedicated team of supporters resulting in a highly choreographed climb.

Who needs Spider-Man.

While less physically demanding, it’s a great metaphor for creating your marketing plan:

  • #1, set that great big aspirational stretch goal. To hell with the naysayers (throw them a wink and a told you so when you get there).
  • You’ve spent years mastering how to build a brand, learning a few things along the way. Time to map out your brand plan, take calculated risks and go for it.
  • Stay in your head; remain calm and confident with your ambition.
  • Rally your team, and the team behind the team.
  • Shit always happens. Just keep climbing, stay calm and refocus. Jorgeson fell 11 times in a 7-day battle to clear one Keep moving.
  • And try to have fun. Even these guys clinging to a slab of granite found time to joke around and listen to music.

For an excellent article that sums up how incredible this climb was click here. And as Jorgeson has said: “It’s a big dream, it requires teamwork and determination and commitment. And those aren’t climbing specific attributes. Those are common to everybody, whether you’re trying to write a book or climb a rock.” Or build your brand.