Grumpy Cat ROKCs!


Katie van Syckle’s article “Grumpy Cat” (Photo: Jeff Minton) appearing in the magazine New York is great example of the ROKC approach.

In reading this article, you can easily identify the key component: “[Grumpy cat’s] permanently cranky face is pure snark. Technically a birth defect,…”, explains van Syckle.

This birth defect creates the competitive advantage: “’Grumpy Cat has more expressive potential than some of the other options do for that kind of sarcastic response to the universe,” says Henry Jenkins, the co-author of Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. “If the culture is going to be snarky, you need images that communicate snarkiness.’”

According to manager Ben Lashes, it has a long-term potential: “I wanted to be really focused on the ones that I thought had a timeless quality to them.”

Which allows him to create a product, licenses of the Grumpy Cat image to select businesses that pay “royalties [that] are typically between 6 and 10 percent of an item’s wholesale price.”

To a receptive customer base “The photo racked up a million and a half views within the first 36 hours.” And, “The Reddit community, for example, asked for T-shirts, while Facebook commenters wanted a plush toy. But everything else, the mugs, magnets, key chains, stickers, calendar, books, belts, trading cards, earbuds, iPhone cases, postage stamps, and note cards, just made sense.”

And lastly, the business is managing risk to the key component using the law: “A sharp legal team is crucial, because Grumpy Cat’s ability to make money depends on protecting her likeness, a problem meme-based celebrities are especially vulnerable to.”

Learn more about how ROKC, Leadership built on the Return On Key Component can help you better understand and manage your business by purchasing a copy on Amazon, today. Available in the US and internationally in both print and kindle editions.