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peaky blinders: lessons businesses can learn from tommy shelby

Written by Mackenzie

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Exploring marketing and business lessons from Birmingham’s most feared – yet famous – crime gang, the Peaky Blinders, may seem a little out of the ordinary. But after binge watching the series prior to the grand finale (which airs this Sunday,27th February), it felt like a great time to share the business and marketing tips you can learn from the series. 

No matter what sector you’re in, we reckon you can take a bit of inspo away from the show’s main character, Thomas Shelby. In this blog, we share our favourite Shelby family qualities…

Always Have a Plan

Thomas Shelby always has a plan to keep his gang of anti-heroes at the top of their game. The success of some of his schemes may be down to pure chance… but how much is down to strategic preparation and planning? His plans are always packed with insight.

“When you plan something well there’s no need to rush.” Thomas Shelby plans everything -, every single detail. He even visualises things before the action happens. He always knows what is happening and where it is happening. Throughout the series Tommy is calm, no matter what the outcome- he doesn’t rush or panic when things don’t go to plan and he always has a plan B. 

Anyone in  business or marketing should already be planning their next move. If you have your strategy sorted then the execution is more likely to be a success. Some plans will fail – sorry, but we speak the truth – but you can always learn from these failures and really take your business to the next level. 

Planning is the key to success! Work on pre-meditated strategies and think about every possible outcome before taking any action. 

Think Big and Better 

“Who’s going to stop us? NOBODY!” Becoming the MP of Birmingham? Buying a horse just to win the Derby? The Shelby family will pull off unstoppable moves so they are always at the top of their game. 

You may always stick to the day-to-day, small wins for your business, but think big and find the time to create impactful PR campaigns that will make your brand stand out. Creativity and bravery are at the heart of successful press releases, social posts and content.

It’s All About Brand Partnerships 

In the words of Thomas Shelby: “For me, family is my strength.” He is a strong individual, but one that is always surrounded by his family and just like Tommy your business should be surrounded by some great brand partnerships. 

Thomas Shelby’s business is strongly bound by his family and he usually always fails when they are not around – he prioritises them over anything or anyone else. As a business your circle – which often includes partners and employees – should show loyalty to your brand and always back you up! 

Mental Health Matters  

Various characters throughout the series of the Peaky Blinders suffer traumas – – many as a result of their experiences during the First World War – which impacts their mental health. This is an undercurrent of the show, as it tracks the lives of ordinary, working people post-war. 

Their mental health battles serve as a reminder that mental illness is nothing new, even if the characters’ desperate attempts to deal with their demons in an era without professional help is heart-breaking to watch. There’s growing recognition of the impact a busy and potentially blurred work/life balance is having on our mental health and that’s as true for business professionals as it is for workers in many other industries. Looking after your mental health, and being able to identify if those around you may be struggling, will help to foster a more supportive working environment.

Always Stand Up For Yourself and Your Business

Okay, okay, maybe don’t stand up for yourself quite like the Peaky Blinders do! We’re talking metaphorically here, people.

“You can change what you do, but you can’t change what you want,” is one of Thomas Shelby’s most famous quotes. Whatever Tommy does, he has the intention of growing his business. His goal is consistent. His approach may differ from time to time, but his goal to grow Shelby Limited stays the same. 

Standing up for your business and being consistent is key! You can’t do the same thing over and over again and succeed. The world is constantly evolving and you have to change with it. You might need to adapt your business approach, strategies or plans – but never deviate from your ultimate goal.

For more digital marketing tips and advice on the future of marketing, follow Flaunt Digital on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter.

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