I love Nike. Not the company, but the idea. It’s not about the founder Bill Bowerman and the story of his waffle iron, much more about the adrenalin and inspiraton that I felt tingling down my spine on the night when Steve Cram broke 3 minutes 30 for 1500m in Nice. I’ve worn Nike shoes and clothing for 35 years, and never considered any other brand. Products have come and gone, trends and technologies. It’s not about technical quality or superficial image, it’s about the confidence and confirmation that I get from wearing the iconic “swoosh”. It’s about me, and how I feel.
Brands have come a long way. From their origins in the “brandt” of a farmer’s mark on his cattle, to the reassuring symbol of ownership, and even premium value. But today, everything is a brand. So the best ones need to be more. They are a reflection of customers, uniquely shared value, and potentially your most valuable business asset.
Brands capture an irrisistable idea, compelling and intuitive, engaging and inspiring people in ways that companies and products cannot. They build platforms and connections through which customers and business can achieve more. A great brand captivates people emotionally and irrationally, about them and what they want to achieve, and ultimately to make life better. Brands are also your bridge to new products, catagories and markets, to sustaining and growing your business in a world of relentless change.