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Tattoo or not tattoo?

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A tattoo is hot! One in two millennials has one. They can be beautiful pieces of art with deep meaning, drunken mistakes, a fleeting holiday love, your favourite club, or a memorable emotional event. A tattoo is an expression and a mark for life. But would you be willing to get one for the brand you work for, for good? Google it … it does happen!


I recently asked 80 managers: “Which one of you is so proud of your work that you’d get a tattoo of the company logo?” Two of them proudly raised their hands. I was surprised because the brand didn’t have a very nice logo. But how cool that employees are so enthusiastic about their work that they would show this with a tattoo. On the way home I started to wonder how special this really is. Yes, quite special!


Tattoo brand and work: There are many fans of brands who like to stand out. For example, Nike, Harley Davidson, Disney characters, Red Bull, and McDonalds are popular. In my online search, I also came across a lot of tattoos of tools for practicing your profession: hairdressers, painters, and even dentists like to show this.


But my search yielded more. The Domino’s pizza tattoo campaign for a lifetime of free pizza was stopped because too many people participated. As I delved even further, I came across some remarkable tattoos. A worldwide promotion for the non-sexy brand Cisco even yielded 700 tattoos. This unique community receives all kinds of extra information for this visible loyalty that they can use for their work with and at Cisco.


There are also many similarities between getting a tattoo and choosing a job. Especially your first ones! Both have an important meaning in your life, and also on your resume. It gives you a certain status and appearance. You choose very carefully where and what you’re going to do. I’m not referring to your summer jobs, but what you’ve studied for and what’s really important for your career. The ultimate match would then be that employees are so committed, passionate, and even a fan of their work and brand that they get it tattooed on their bodies. When you achieve this as a brand with your employees, you can really speak of an irresistible organisation. Even though you’ll work elsewhere at some point, you’re still proud of your tattooed brand and what you did there. This commitment goes far beyond the salary you receive.


Ask yourself: tattoo or not tattoo? How proud are you of your brand and the company that you work for? Would you show it off with a tattoo? If not, what would have to happen for this to work?

Ben Verhagen

Founding Partner

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