Brand Bravery As A Go-to-Market Strategy

Nike’s tenet “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” is inspirational. While some are applauding Nike for standing up for what it believes, others (who disagree with Nike on this issue) find themselves torn between their love of the brand and their own beliefs.

Quinnipiac University found that American voters approve of Nike’s decision to put Colin Kaepernick in their advertising by a 49% to 37% margin. But that’s not the whole story. When it comes to taking a knee, 67% of voters ages 18–34 approve, while only 46% of voters age 65+ approve. The issue is also divided racially, with 53% of non-Hispanic white voters disapproving and 77% of black voters approving. Not surprisingly, 79% of Democrats approve, while 89% of Republicans disapprove. These numbers tell several stories. However, none of them say that taking a stand with Kaepernick as protagonist is a good idea.

According to Bloomberg, ten days after Nike’s Kaepernick ad led to calls for boycotts, shares hit an all-time high, closing at $83.47 Thursday. That said, in spite of an absolute dearth of competent NFL quarterbacks, no team has signed Colin Kaepernick.

The Marketer’s Argument for Brand Bravery

According to a Shelton Group study, 86% of consumers believe companies should take a stand for social issues, and 64% of those consumers are “very likely” to purchase from a company that makes that pledge. These people (dubbed “CorpSumers”) make up about one-third of the market, according to a Unilever study. Even for those who don’t speak with their wallets, corporate impact does not go unnoticed; 92% of consumers say they have a more positive image of a company when the company supports a social or environmental issue, according to a 2017 Cone Communications study, and 78% of Americans believe companies must positively impact society.

The Financial Impact of Brand Bravery

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Disclosure: Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for ...

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