Not all brand activities are born equal.
This is a brand principle that Nike know better than most brands as the recent release of the ‘Nike sole’.
The Nike sole has been developed to fit onto the ‘flex-run‘ prosthetic running blade, designed for by Nike for competitive amputee athletes in collaboration with world-record-holding amputee triathlete Sarah Reinersten and össur. As product line extensions go, this is one that has no commercial basis, but it was never intended to deliver directly to the sporting company’s bottom line.
Nike’s brand essence is all about athletic inclusivity – ‘anyone who has a body – has the potential to be an athlete’. Their reason for being, their very brand cause is based-upon inspiring us all to just ‘do-it’. The millions of people around the globe who own Nike shoes, apparel and sporting equipment are not following the brand – they’re acting for themselves, for what they believe in and how they wish to see themselves.
By creating the Nike sole, the sporting goods business has developed a rich and evocative gesture that captures the very essence of of the brand’s reason for being – and communicates it with brilliant clarity and compelling purpose. Understanding that a small percentage of all brand activities will deliver a disproportionate benefit to brand equity, Nike have displayed their talent for investing their energies and budgets in the right brand activities. If a brand is the sum total of its gestures, then Nike have again proven why they are the masters of creative branding and remain one of the world’s best known and most loyally followed brands.