Positioning a Brand: How Nike Built a Brand with Universal Appeal

Nike has managed to build a brand that appeals to every demographic around the world. When creating a marketing plan for a new product or positioning a brand, Nike is the king. In this presentation, emotional marketing expert, Graeme Newell explains how Nike was able to become so universal. He showcases some of Nike’s best advertising campaigns and clarifies how current trends in marketing have brought Nike to where it is today.

Graeme use some of Nike’s best television ads to show what they have done to become one of the most well-known brands worldwide. These advertisements help to show that no matter the location, Nike has a brand for everyone. This could include soccer shorts for children in Belgium to a pair of cleats for a baseball player in the United States. Nikes has moved their brand into something that is truly ubiquitous. They have successfully shifted their product focus into an attitude. Current marketing trends show that this is what most large international companies have to do these days when it comes to positioning a brand. Larger brands must also adapt to this practice if they wish to be globally known. When a product has become a lifestyle or an attitude worldwide, that is when a brand starts to become recognized by everyone.


  1. Right on Graeme! Even though I would not be a marathoner without Asics… it’s still much cooler to be seen in the Swoosh. On my clothing, hat and socks. It goes all the way back to Bill Bowerman scheduling team meetings at 7:28 in stead of 7:30 at Oregon and making the first pairs on his wife’s waffle iron. Even his single handed surrender of a whole Nazi army division. Since then, they just get it!

  2. So, the real question is, how do we translate this to something as ubiquitous as local television news?

    • Just follow the exact same procedure that Nike did. Don’t just promote the features of your product, find out the emotional drivers behind that love of the product. Then showcase those emotions. Sure, your viewers might like breaking news, but why? Most stations have no idea. Is it about adventure? Excitement? Voyeurism? Sell the features of your breaking news, but do it with the customer’s primary emotional drivers as the foundation of your ad. This avoids the chest pounding arrogant ads that are so common in broadcast marketing.

      So many stations think that TV marketing is “special” and requires a different set of marketing rules. Nothing could be further from the truth. TV marketing is just like any other marketing and that means finding out the primary motivations behind the a purchase. By following the basic rules of advertising, we can create great advertising that eliminates the arrogance and firmly puts our customers in the forefront of the entire marketing effort.

  3. very good

  4. Nike has clearly mastered the inspiration of aspiration! Well done video, really enjoyed it!

  5. I LIKE IT

  6. Hey Graeme,

    How can i use the emotional marketing for any type of brand. pls advise!

    • Emotional marketing primarily uses archetype emotions and these are emotions EVERYONE wants to feel about themselves – smart, attractive, caring, determined. You can lay these emotions on any product and it will supercharge your features.

  7. Oh C’mon Graeme!!! You seem to be a smart enough guy. You should know better. Don’t just talk about product based brands and attitude based brands.

    Could you explain how businesses can build strong brand equity that appeal to customer motives, whilst still achieving customer orientation with all the different tagret consumer through the diffeent product lines.

    In other words, how do you maintain a uniform brand image that generates value for ALL consumers, while still marketing different products with different product positioning in the market.

    • What you’re describing are archetype brands. Those are the powerhouse brands that cross geographic boundaries, demographic groups and can encompass all customer groups. Here is another video that I did on archetype stories: http://bit.ly/RM5nNw

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