Dare to Be Different

The NIKE brand did it

The NIKE brand has always promised those who buy the brand are winners.

That's different...

...from promising you will run faster and jump higher. 

Because NIKE is all about YOU

NIKE is a brand about who you are. Not what you do.

If traditional branding worked, you would find HUGE price differences between generic and branded products.

And you would see more consumer preference just for the promise of the parent brand. 

But you don't.

What we see is similarity in products. Hardly a brand exists that is not competing on price.

Back in the day...David Ogilvy helped make Hathaway a respected brand.

Did that model ever work?

But Hathaway competed with a small group of other national brands and an even smaller group of generic no-name shirt manufacturers. 

To improve marketing, brands incorporated the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) into the mix. 

Then brand managers combined human attributes with the latest product benefit—launching branding as we know it. 

Brand seemed to work but not because of the human attributes which they called  "desired brand image." 


Wrong answer. The advertising was more effective simply because it was more memorable. 

Because USP is not brand differentiation. It is just a tactical tool

And this brings us back to the beginning. 

Consumers pay a market multiple of 4 to have this logo on their shoes. 

Nike  is confident that they will do the same for anything else they decide to brand.

If you want to steal share in this crowded market, your brand must recognize something... 


Every purchase a consumer makes holds within its nucleus the DNA of self-description.

It works like this...

"Show me myself, not as I am but as I wish to be", and I will buy it every time. 

And I will feel incomplete without it once I know it exists. 

REAL brand is all about the customer, not the product.

It actively tells the customer who they are when they use it. 

Does that work? 

Ask Nike.