I recently completed the GORUCK Extortion 17 Memorial Tough in Louisville, Kentucky.  

Technically, we started at Big Four Station in Jeffersonville, Indiana, but we spent most of our time on the Louisville side of the Ohio River, and I live in Kentucky, so we will call it a “Louisville” event.  

This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life by a mile (or 12!). 

I was part of a 25 person team. The event began at 9pm on Friday night August 5th, went through the night, and ended around 9am Saturday morning August 6th. During this time, we wore a rucksack on our back (weighing around 40 lbs) and carried weights as a team; items ranging from a loaded down cooler, sand bags from 120lbs down to 40lbs, water bladders, and other fun stuff to carry. Total time was around 12 hours, we traveled a little over 12 miles, did 384 burpees, 1000 step ups in the middle of the night, and some other physical training along the way. 

I was not “ready” by any means for what came. 

Leading up to the event I trained, but it’s hard to fully train for something that is, for the most part, completely unknown, aside from knowing you will have your rucksack on your back and that you will carry other weights as a team over long distances. The rest is totally up to the Cadre for the event. Sounds fun right? Want to join me next time?

You’re probably thinking, “this is all great Landon, but – with all due respect – what does this have to do with branded clothing and supplies?”

Fair question. As it turns out, a lot.

After completing all of the above, after 12 hours, and smelling like – well, you don’t want to know – do you want to know what prize waited for me at the end? An embroidered patch….and a beer.  That’s right, a patch. It made me think of those shirts that say, “I [insert difficult thing here] and all I got was this lousy shirt.” 

It hit me though – after the event, with that patch in my hand – what that patch meant. It was a badge of honor. Proof that I did this incredibly hard thing, and that I had 24 new friends. After all, “I” didn’t do that event; “we” did.  

Driving home, it hit me that, while an extreme example, this is the potential power of branded clothing and promotional supplies. People wear and use things that represent brands, organizations, companies, ideas, groups, tribes, and more. These brands say something about themselves that they want others to know. You better believe I’ll be wearing that patch wherever I go. It means a lot to me and I’m proud to be associated with it, and, in some respects, partly defined by it.  

Does every piece of branded clothing or promotional item you give away have this kind of impact? No, it doesn’t. 

But it can. If – and only if – you build a brand that becomes so meaningful people believe it says something about them, and because of that belief, they want others to know. How else do you explain anyone wearing hats and shirts with the Apple logo who don’t work there? It’s not an attraction.

We are working hard to try and build that kind of brand at Goodson. The look of the brand is part of it, but the essence of who you are as an organization is what is really at the heart of it. We try to work with our customers in the same way. It’s ultimately what we care about the most. To create a team that we are proud to be a part of, that others will want to be a part of, and to help others do the same.

So, yeah, all I got was that patch. But it means so much more. We’d love to help you create clothing and supplies that will mean more to your customers and employees. 

If you’re ready, reach out. We’ll be ready.

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