Maybe It’ll Grow On Me

Let me tell you a quick story about an entrepreneur who was working to supplement his income in 1971 by teaching an accounting class at Portland State University. One night, he came across a graphic design student in the hallway who was working on a drawing assignment and offered to pay her $2/hour if she could help him with a couple of projects. (You read that right – $2 per hour.)

That entrepreneur was Phil Knight, the co-founder of Blue Ribbon Sports, which eventually became known as Nike. The graphic design student, Carolyn Davidson, was tasked with creating a logo for his new athletic shoe line, and she presented a handful of designs – none of which initially caught Phil’s eye. However, he had a tight deadline and chose the swoosh design above the others. “Well, I don’t love it, but maybe it’ll grow on me,” were his exact words.

This blog isn’t just about Nike, but it is a story that helps to set the scene. What does it have to do with branding and marketing? Everything.

You see, Nike’s success story teaches us that it’s not the logo that does all the work, but rather all the work that makes the logo.

That design student didn’t create a global brand with her sketch of a stylized checkmark / wing. It was Knight committing to the logo and using resources to show it off that built the Nike mythos (plus good quality shoes). It also didn’t happen overnight, nor did it happen in a vacuum. A lot of great decisions (great slogan, partnership with Michael Jordan) added up to something amazing.

Few companies have the resources that Nike has, but every company has a brand story to tell. Don’t get so caught up in the minutiae that you lose sight of the big picture. No logo or slogan or advertisement or website can build your brand on its own. They all need to work together and even then, they’re only as powerful as the commitment you have to telling the world about products or services.

Take a cue from Phil Knight and Nike. Instead of devoting so much of your energy to picking a logo, put those resources to work using the logo. In the end, your brand will be stronger for it.

Want to learn more about branding? Contact the team at Anchor Marketing today.