Apple & Nike At The Olympics: Brand Activation And Brand Expectation

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As your brand becomes more and more activated, remember to consider the growing expectations of your audiences. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but vigilantly hold true to the ideals at the …

As your brand becomes more and more activated, remember to consider the growing expectations of your audiences. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but vigilantly hold true to the ideals at the foundation of your relationships. Know and use your brand expectations to satisfy, surprise, and delight your customers and prospects.

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  • 1. By Michael Ruby, Creative Director, Stein + Partners Brand ActivationApple & Nike At The Olympics: Brand Activation And BrandExpectationIn his post last week, my colleague Ted Kohnen published Part One Of The 2012 LondonOlympics Brand Activation Index (OBAI). The OBAI is a measure of brands whosebroadcast ad presence during the first week of the Olympiad generated extended andpositive engagement online. “Medalists” included Nike, Visa, and P&G. Sadly absentfrom our podium–but no less talked about in the press and blogosphere–was Apple.Like German diver and new Internet sensation Stephan Feck in the 3-meter springboard,Apple’s trio of “Genius” ads hit the water with an embarrassing smack. The two bigproblems–as throngs of consumers and Apple enthusiasts alike have protested–are thatthe spots make Apple products seem hard to use, and they make everyday consumerslook like total tools.Although the spots are still featured prominently on the Apple Web site, the campaignhas been pulled from the air. It’s unclear whether the campaign was intended as a shortrun or Apple yanked the spots due to the consumer backlash.To be fair, many people do like the spots. And Apple has set the bar so high for itself thatits impossible not to slip a little from time to time. Ask any Olympian: It’s hard to getthere and harder still to stay there.More interestingly, though, all of this raises an important point about Brand Activation.Namely, that Brand Activation yields incredible Brand Expectation. 1
  • 2. Many marketers look to Apple as the paragon of branding. How many times have youheard someone say they want something to be “like Apple” or “Apple-esque?” Apple’sOlympic misstep reminds us that as Brand Activation increases, so do brand expectations.The brand can’t be a slave to what customers expect. That certainly isn’t the Apple way.Steve Jobs famously said, “You cant just ask customers what they want and then try togive that to them.” That said, when you clearly know and understand what’s expected ofyour brand, you can be that much more effective in nourishing and growing relationshipswith customers and prospects.As your brand becomes more and more activated, remember to consider the growingexpectations of your audiences. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but vigilantly hold trueto the ideals at the foundation of your relationships. Know and use your brandexpectations to satisfy, surprise, and delight your customers and prospects.Take Nike, another great, activated brand–and clearly one that knows and uses its brandexpectations to powerful effect. Check out its “Find Your Greatness” spot, one of the adsthat helped Nike take “Gold” in our OBAI. Consumers expect Nike to be all about self-empowerment and success, but they may not expect it in the form of an awesome 12-year-old boy who’s just doing it.Read more: http://www.cmo.com/branding/apple-nike-olympics-brand-activation-brand-expectation#ixzz27b0S6rwG 2