Your brand is one of the most important aspects of your business, which is why you need a brand strategy to succeed. You may choose to ignore your brand, but your customers will form it for you—probably for the worse. Branding sets you apart from your competitors and is what brings customers to you over other brands. Considering it’s not something you can technically write down and create a tangible version of, your brand is something that requires a lot of thought and time to evolve. Your brand is who people perceive you to be. So what will you do to guide that perception? Take a look at these 3 aspects of Nike’s branding strategy that put them at the top of their industry and apply their strategy to your own brand.
Establish Your Mission
Your mission is what differentiates you from your competitors. Yes, that’s what your brand does, but your mission is the foundation of that brand. What is your vision for your company? Why do you exist? Your goal isn’t to make money but rather to: ____. Make other’s lives easier, encourage confidence…you fill in the blank for your business.
For your brand strategy, you need to consider what you want people to associate your company with. Think of your audience’s needs and what they are looking for to achieve their goals and be that for them.
How Does Nike Do It?
Nike doesn’t brand themselves just as a shoe business. They have advertised themselves as the brand who encourages people to test their limits and “just do it.” Nike saw a need: people needed to get in shape. What stops people from doing that? They make excuses. So Nike decided there should be no excuses, no limits. Anything is possible. So gear yourself with Nike and attempt the impossible.
With that mission, Nike is able to connect with people on an emotional level. That emotional connection is the brand strategy that creates customer loyalty. They choose your brand over your competitor because they want to fly under your flag and what you stand for. Why will people spend more for a product with a highly esteemed name over a no-name brand who sells an equal product? Branding. They want to feel like they belong to something greater.
How Does Nike Do It?
Nike created an “Unlimited Together” campaign to connect with their audience emotionally. This campaign promotes connecting everyone under one word: “limitless.” Throughout their social media, they post videos and images with a message that encourages people to do anything they set their minds to. One video shows a man with no legs climbing a snowy mountain. Their message: no limits. People love to be believed in and told to reach for the stars.
What emotion do you want your brand to stand for?
The key to brand recognition is brand consistency. If Nike were to follow their Unlimited Together campaign with a second campaign promoting a different message such as “embrace all cultures” (Coca-Cola’s message), their brand would get muddled. Even though “embrace all cultures” is a great message, it strays from Nike’s original message they’ve always stood for. Whatever campaign they launch will always have to relate to the lines of “Just Do It.”
In addition to keeping your message consistent, you also need to keep your message relevant. Some brands make the mistake of posting unrelated messages on their social media accounts. For instance, let’s say a lawyer’s office posts a football poster of their favorite team. Or maybe they just post funny things they find on the internet. While neither of those things is bad to post on a personal Facebook or Instagram account, they only serve to distract from a company’s brand. Whatever you post under your business’s name, it has to have a purpose and be relevant to your brand.
How Does Nike Do It?
Nike’s brand strategy is to post only things related to their message as a company. They don’t talk about what’s happening in the world or anything funny they saw. They post things to support what they believe in.
Their Instagram posts show people in action either working out or working hard to accomplish their goals.
In this Twitter video, Nike chose to show someone overcoming a physical disability to accomplish their goal.
The more consistent your brand, the stronger it will be. Don’t give in to the temptation to post a funny meme to your Facebook, unless it’s directly related to what you do. Instead, put some thought into what you post.
There’s a reason Nike is one of the leading brands in their industry. They didn’t just put thought into their consistency but to their brand strategy as a whole. They established a mission to encourage people to forget their limits and go out and accomplish their goals whether for weight loss, fitness, or climbing a mountain. Then they used that emotional connection as a rally cry for their customers to gather under and kept that message from getting confused by staying consistent with their message. Using those same strategies, your brand can become just as strong.