His silent protest became misconstrued as disrespect to the flag, America and the military. Because of this, he became something of a social pariah, drawing the scorn of the President and lost his job. He also became a hero and activist in the black community. And apparently, had been paid by Nike since 2011 even though Kaepernick hadn't worked with the NFL since 2017
For Nike's 30th anniversary of their "Just Do It" campaign, they dropped 'Beyonce-style' the now infamous ad and social media went nuts. It is simple and literally in your face. There is no question to what side Nike is on in this divisive issue.
Historically, Nike's ad campaigns have always been seen as progressive, thought-provoking and sometimes even controversial. Nike is known to push the boundaries in their messaging that has helped to shift thinking.
They were the first major company to lead the discussion of female empowerment in sports by sharing statistics.
Nike has always used social commentary as a part of their brand campaigns. But now, a line has been drawn in our nation. People are more divisive than ever and more companies are making political statements.
As a small business, how can we learn from Nike and other multi-billion dollar companies?
While many of Nike customers were very angry with their spokesperson choice in Colin Kaepernick, their calculated move probably foresaw a boycott and social media protests. (Remember when people started burning their Keurigs?) At the end of the day, Nike is a business and have board members to answer to, so they knew what they were doing and are playing the long game.
As a small business, you might not be able to afford to lose a few customers, or play the long game, but you can still take a social stand while building your brand.
Align yourself with the values of your customers.
Execution is key and don't exploit the situation
Understand the risks.
Through Wonder Curl, I am finding more women and men who are looking for companies they can believe in. Increasingly, more businesses are making a political stand and their customers either love them even more for that or revile them.
Knowing who your customer is and what they care about, will enable you to craft your messaging to them. Your social stand doesn't have to be as controversial as Nike's. Today's customers are becoming more aware of the environment, are looking for products that enhance their well-being and overall want to make them feel good about spending their money.
When your brand is in tune with your customers' values, then everyone wins.
Scarlett is a business owner and lover of pretty things. She started this blog to share some of her witticisms and favorite things.