To some, the single most challenging aspect to creative advertising is drawing the line between a company's Mission and their Brand. To put it simply, your Mission is about YOU, your Brand is about the CONSUMER. Although it may seem like a simple concept to grasp, surprisingly enough, when you're in the thick of it, working with a company who bleeds their mission, making the distinction between who they are and what their consumer wants, is like ripping off an over-sized band-aid from Robin Williams' forearm.
Getting a company to let go of their mission (if only for a moment), to recognize that it relates very little to the needs of the consumer, and then allow a seemingly irrelevant brand to be broadcasted mainstream… doesn't make much sense to an organization whose sole purpose is to serve the customer. It's thinking from an entirely different perspective… like learning to write with your opposite hand. Unless you’re ambidextrous… in which case, I feel you would be very suited for the job.
So, let us bring the conversation back to Nike. As seen in the above picture, their Mission is to “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”. Now, what does that mean to you? I mean, personally as a consumer..? Absolutely nothing. What do you care? That's what they do, and that's great for them… but what about YOU? Well, they don't tell you about their mission, now do they? This is what they say to you, Mr. Consumer… “Just DO it.” – Thinking about going on a run today..? Just do it. Thinking about going to the gym? Just do it. How about going out for a round of golf? Just do it. Thinking about buying yourself a new pair of shoes? Just do it… Oh, and by the way… why not make it Nike? I mean, after all, they are the ones telling you to get out there, aren't they? SO, why not try their stuff?
There is such a large distinction between a company's goals and what that means to those who will buy it. Nike does a great job talking directly to the consumer, inspiring them to do, and in order to DO, you might just need some Nike shoes, or one of those fancy no sweat, dry fit shirts… That is the innovative thinking that keeps you relevant. And that's what companies need to survive and achieve greatness!
So, the next time you are trying to come up with a branding statement, remember – JUST DO IT.