Cheetos or Cheetahs?

Use the success of your business to create something apart from it that represents your business well

UHNW is a marketing term mostly used in the financial world meaning the super-rich (ultra-high-net-worth). So a fintech entrepreneur will say, “we’re marketing this to HNW’s and that to UNHW’s.” Talk about jargon.

What I find interesting about the ultra-rich though, is that nowadays they buy cheetahs.

There are only 7500 cheetahs left in the wild, yet the UNHW just keep snapping them up. I suppose they are easier to transport and house than endangered rhinoceroses.

I mentioned this fact the other day to my friend Dave, who responded: “Nowadays my ass”.

Apparently, the Pharaohs and lesser ancient-world potentates also kept pet cheetahs.

They were a sign of status – and still are. If you ever find yourself on a Zoom call with a prospective business partner or client, and he or she has a cheetah in the background, make a mental note.

In the time of Joseph, from the first book of the Bible, there was a Pharaoh who despite presumably owning a cheetah could not interpret his dreams. Joseph was born into poverty and worked as a servant for the captain of the guards. Yet this man of humble origins could interpret pharaonic dreams:

The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.

Which must have helped the Pharoah plan ahead for a downturn in GDP, like any competent, ultra-high-net-worth individual. 

Because of Joseph’s wisdom, he was named ruler of all Egypt, after the Pharaoh. He had great wealth and power and was welcomed and obeyed by people of all tribes.

But he never had a cheetah. 

When Joseph died, he was ridiculed and his entire family was enslaved in a backlash against his sudden rise to power. He had not actually established himself or his family. You may be able to predict the future – or have some other valuable skill – but is that enough?

Good brand marketing means owning a cheetah.

I don’t mean gaudy, illegal, and ostentatious displays of wealth. I mean something associated with your business that is a sign of its long-lasting success. It could be a podcast, a helpful study, a guide book, or even just an unusually beautiful and well-designed website.

My best,