Many of us are aware of Nike as the famous sports brand. But there is much symbolism that goes into branding, particularly Nike. The Greek Goddess of Victory is the first symbol. The second is their mantra ‘Just do it!’ These two together create many subconscious associations for the consumer and athlete.
Nike in ancient Greek religion, was a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory. Victory in both war, and peaceful competition. Nike was often depicted in ancient Greek vase painting with a variety of attributes including a wreath or sash to crown a victor, and a lyre for the celebration of victory in song. In scenes of the War of the Giants she appears as the charioteer of Zeus. In mosaic art and coins Nike is often shown holding a palm branch as a symbol of victory.
The Nike executives have even said that her presence symbolized victory, and she was said to have presided over some of history’s earliest battles.
Just Do It! When you think of successful people in any field, you think of them working hard, aiming high, being productive, staying focussed. They are often people who act, rather than thinking about or planning an action, only to never get round to performing it. For all of us who know what procrastination feels like, imagine an angry drill sergeant screaming at you to, “Just do!” Whatever it was that you were putting off. Things would get done!!
So these two things together. The mantra and the goddess. It’s plain to see why Nike is such a huge brand. If it’s directors live by their mantra, and have the Goddess of Victory watching over them, is it a surprise to see it sitting atop the sports market?
Then there are its exemplary athletes, the best of those knew how to get it done, when it needed to get done. Here’s a few that come to mind; Micheal Jordon, Tiger Woods, Roger Federa and Serena Williams. Individuals who epitomised the brand.
Jordon was renowned for dominating the game and scoring points at crucial moments. Federas ease and balance at navigating his way round the court and hitting winners. Woods’ ability to hold putts when it was required so comfortably is a clear sign of the confidence he had when he was in his prime. I can almost imagine him in his most confident days, having a dialogue with Nike, goddess of victory in his mind. “This ones important”, Woods would say, “must make for the win”. And Nike would reply nonchalantly “Just do it then”!! And vanish into thin air. Serena Williams looks like she is the Greek Goddess of victory when she steps on the court!
This brings us to an important principle: Comfidence. All of these players in their prime exuded confidence, they knew they would win at certain points in their career, and they did. Nike was looking over them.
How can this be related to our own lives. Well, if we compete at anything, we should start visualising ourselves winning. Visualising what’s necessary to win. Imagine the goddess Nike is on our side and is willing us to win. Give it a try, it has worked for Nike and their athletes, and it can work for you. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude.