Owen Benjamin is a comedian with some controversy. He went from Hollywood to Backwood and has built a loyal following by being sincere and involved with a tight-knit community.
The following video starts about 80 minutes into one of his (almost) daily live streams at Owen Benjamin Live on YouTube with VODs available at Owen Benjamin Comedy on YouTube. Can’t watch? Don’t worry, I give a brief description below.
In the clip, he spoke about why he loves live streaming because he can display his total complexity. There is documentation of his journey and he can be held accountable for mistakes he makes. In addition, I should point out, he explicitly states that he credits this to a lack of having a “brand”
What Owen Benjamin doesn’t realize (probably to his benefit) is that his regular live streaming and direct community building is what a good brand is all about. It is about sincerity and community.
I understand why many people shy away from terms like branding or marketing. They come across as detached or insincere. Because we believe that once something is put into a system or formalized that we lose it.
Despite Big Bear (Owen Benjamin’s nickname in the #unBEARables community) not seeing his system as a “brand”, I wanted to explore it from the perspective of a marketer who sees the importance and impact of branding and what a brand really is.
Without further adieu, here are three things that make the Owen Benjamin brand successful.
1) He builds a community
To outsiders and pessimists, what Owen is building has cult-like traits. The below Instagram post is just one example of the community he builds and the humor he brings to the table.
And Owen is not someone who takes and takes and takes from the community he is a part of. He gives back and tries to give those around him opportunities to improve their own lives.
It is a community member, Coddington Bear, that produces his comedy specials. It is a community member that runs another YouTube channel called Owen Benjamin Clips. Owen supports both endeavors (and others) because a strong community makes everyone stronger.
2) He communicates with the community
With his rise back to popularity, it would be impossible for him to respond to every comment or direct message that he receives. That being said, I have gotten email responses from him and even been “
If we look at the metrics available to us that show engagement (how many likes to views, how many shares to views, etc), he is blowing the lid off of the bigger competition. The community may be smaller, but the engagement is much higher.
3) He cross-markets
Owen has been a guest host on Louder With Crowder, a conservative talk show, he has guest hosted on InfoWars, and has made appearances on other streams and podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience.
All of these things contribute to his community. We all have our preferred podcasts and shows that we like to watch. It would be impossible for us to explore and check out every single one that may interest us. Cross-marketing, as long as you are allowed to keep true to your brand (yourself), is hugely beneficial.
The point of this post is to highlight how important sincerity is when building a market. As people shy away from controversy, they shy away from community. There is a time and place for everything, but being true to yourself and your beliefs is always more important than political correctness or tiptoeing around controversy.
Even writing this, I question if I may have burned bridges. Owen Benjamin has a lot of controversy surrounding him and has been labeled every horrible thing you can imagine. There is a risk that people will shy away from working with me because of this piece. But just like Owen, we all need to stand up for what we believe and realize that there will always be the potential for things to blow up in our faces.
If you enjoy this content and aren’t afraid to be authentic, follow me on Twitter.
For more information about Owen or to check out his comedy specials, check out his website Huge Pianist.
(Note: I was not compensated or encouraged in any way for this post. I saw an opportunity for some analysis and took it)