5 Crucial Lessons Nike’s Former Digital Brand Director Learned About Making Your Brand A Success Online

1. Obsess Over The Consumer Journey

‘Meticulous attention to detail is the key. It’s about planning: where and how to engage with the consumer and navigate them through content, digital channels, experiences and platforms which lead to an end goal. Reviewing the consumer journey is more important than the creative itself. With so many digital touch-points available, obsessing over the journey will define success that helps to keep focus on maximum engagement and conversion for the brand. It helps to go old school and visualise the journey on a wall to review everything. This shouldn’t be just about content. It’s obsessing over the paid, earned and owned media plans, the performance marketing strategy, and mapping everything out to make sure everything compliments and works together.’

‘A good story will create a reaction, but a great story will provoke a reaction’

2. Master The Art of Storytelling

A strong creative narrative is crucial to having success as a brand online. Sometimes that could be a creative thread that underpins all work across a given time period, but there is a fine art in how to tell a captivating story which will be remembered. A good story will create a reaction, but a great story will provoke a reaction. By thinking about that creative message and how it comes to life online, you’ll ensure the brand has a purpose, which is crucial when we’re so time-poor and we have such high expectations when it comes to access, service and experiences.’

3. Adapt Your Content To Win In Different Platforms

‘Too often you’ll see the same creative that’s plastered across all digital platforms. Good brands will have a ‘digital by design’ approach, which means that each output is treated with a sense of purpose. That requires more budget, planning and editing, but results in a premium visual experience no matter on which platform or device the creative is seen. Hire people who understand this as a discipline. Using a platform like Snapchat (for example) requires creative thinking around filters, lenses, stories and discovery content. That’s multiple executions for just one channel, so make sure you design everything with purpose, not just for mass distribution. That’s lazy and devalues the platform you’re trying to use.’

‘Having the bottle to kill work is about having unprecedented standards’

4. Recognise When Good Isn’t Good Enough

Having the bottle to kill work, even if months of work have been put into it, is about having unprecedented standards. This is about having a leadership mentality which filters through an entire marketing team. Asking the question: “How can we make this better?” will challenge everyone involved in the creative process. Maintaining a brand online will (and should) actually start a long time before anything is even seen online. Sometimes it’s easy to repeat what has been done previously if it’s worked, but in order to sustain your status, you need to innovate, take risks and define new ways to bring the brand to life. Everything needs to have a purpose, and if you can’t easily explain the reason for doing something, it shouldn’t be done.’

5. Don’t Try To Be A Lone Wolf

Use and extract value from brand partners, affiliates and influencers to ensure the voice of the brand is well represented from all perspectives. Sometimes this means the voice of the brand shouldn’t be the lead on delivering content or a key message. That shouldn’t be seen as a negative. We’re in a digital world where having synergy amongst the full breadth of the brand can only be a good thing. The voice of a brand partner (e.g. an athlete) can not only reach new audiences, but bring a different dimension that helps tell a story and compliment the other elements of the consumer journey.’

WHAT NEXT? Unlike when Nike was founded in 1964, the world in 2017 is a place where the barriers to launching your own brand exist only in the mind of a timid man, not a RISING one. With the right idea and appropriate drive, everything you need is at your literal finger-tips: within 24 hours, you can get your logo designed on FIVERR, buy your domain on GoDaddy, launch your ecommerce site on Shopify, manage your customer service on Zendesk, market your product on Facebook, manage your accounts in QuickBooks, and potentially answer to no-one, ever again...