Just Do It

Just Do It

Just Do It


When I say “just do it,” you probably think of Nike. 

In 1988, the company Weiden + Kennedy who had been working with Nike for six years at that point created the Just Do It campaign. It endures to this day. Why?

Three words: JUST DO IT

Those three words center you at the heart of a story and that story is one where triumph awaits, should you weather the inevitable storm, overcome certain obstacles, and remain focused on the goal. All of that is implied from those three words.  

It elicits emotion and makes us confront our own resistance. It inspires us to think differently, aim high, work hard, and get results.  

The secondary character is Nike itself. Their product will assist us in our journey towards something great. They are there to help lift us up. You could even argue that they believe in us and want us simply to believe in ourselves. 

That might seem like I am reading too much into a slogan that is so ubiquitous we all know it. Yet, I think it is how most of us identify with the most valuable sports brand in the world. It’s a great example of brand storytelling. 

Brands like Nike can become part of our identity. Research shows we react to brands much like we do to family and friends. If we have an emotional connection to a brand we are more likely to purchase and become loyal. That loyalty can extend to a lifetime. That’s why brands spend so many resources on making sure you hear their story. 

Choosing a brand can be like choosing an identity. If you are a creative person, you might buy Apple products because they’ve told the story for so long that they are the brand for people like you — innovators, outside-the-box thinkers, artists, and dreamers. This is not an accident. 

One of the ways your brain is wired to process stories is by asking questions. Stories are designed to get you to do just that: process the story and your relationship to it. When it comes to brands, on some level you may not even be aware of you are asking things like “What kind of person am I, and how does this brand support or contradict the story I am telling?”. 

Our story is the center of it all. We —the consumer, the prospect, the client— are the protagonist and the brand is the thing that we may decide to integrate into the story we are already telling. Brands that know this shift their focus away from themselves onto us, letting us think it was our idea —not theirs— to choose them. 

Story matters more than you think. 

To learn more about storytelling and how it shapes your brand, hire us to teach our workshop entitled “How To Build Your Brand’s Story.” This is a half-day workshop which delves into the different parts of a story, setting up the background, and the elements that guide clients through their journey. Contact us through the contact form here.