Success of Nike’s Kaepernick Ad Means Trouble for Trump and Republicans in November

Success of Nike’s Kaepernick Ad Means Trouble for Trump and Republicans in November

Nike’s move to sign up Colin Kaepernick to represent the brand is not only entirely consistent with the brand identity and a great business decision. The unqualified success of the strategy at retail is also predictive of the coming election.

Nike’s Slogan is “Just Do It.” It has been a huge part of their brand identity for the last thirty years. A successful slogan, like “Just Do It,” needs to be renewed and reinvigorated to remain relevant and to continue to be successful.

Seventy-eight percent of retail customers appreciate a brand with a moral message. Nike’s target customers are young, rebellious, consider themselves ethical, and are a very diverse community. The First Law of Retail is to “Put People First.” One way to do that is through including the customer’s ethical worldview into your brand’s messaging.

Nike customers are not old and cranky. Mr. Wilson (of Dennis the Menace fame) and Archie Bunker are not the customer and not the future of the brand.

Protesting against social injustice and the government in general is as American and as old as the Boston Tea Party. Standing up for what you believe is what youth do, and that is what creates new energy for the brand (nation). It fits nicely into the Nike message of “Just Do It.”

There’s a common expression in retail that “The customer ‘votes’ every day.” That means they “vote” with their wallets. In this case, it is abundantly clear that Nike’s demographic is voting in favor of the brand and the brand’s message. Nike sales in the week following the ad launch were a huge success: up 31 percent over the previous year. In November that demographic will not vote with Mr. Wilson or Archie Bunker, who both represent a shrinking demographic.

That demographic isn’t shrinking fast enough.

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