Why Nike Always Crushes It And So Can You

The other day I was watching television and this commercial came on. It starts off by saying “Know what. Here’s to going for it and being terrible.” It then shows a bunch of athletes doing things they suck at. Like World Champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith horribly swinging a golf club. Or WNBA star Sabrina Yonescu Ionescu giving it a go at tennis. Or eight-time Paralympic international medalist Blake Leeper stepping up to the plate only to swing and miss a baseball. Or Award-winning artist Rosalía giving the best Katness Everdeen impersonation as she takes aim in archery. The premise of the commercial was that Whatever it is you want to do, go for it. Sure, it might not be pretty but do it anyway. The commercial ends by saying “trying something you’ve never done before doesn’t suck at all. Not even a little.” and then a slogan comes one that says “Play New ” with a very tiny Nike logo. It was brilliant. Nike’s new marketing campaign promotes that if you have a body, you’re an athlete. I love this so much so I ended up booking a horse back riding trip up north just to try something new! 

Then I thought, you know what makes Nike such a great company and why they continue to crush it. They continue to get us to just do it. Or if you were a kid who loved basketball like me, attempt to do the Air Jordan dunk because of the Nike Air Jordan commercials. As a professional salesperson, author and public speaker, I want to crush it as well. I had to know. So what makes Nike such a great company is that they know how to tell a great story. It’s never about a shoe. It’s always much bigger than that. They tell a story and guess what, they put you as the hero of that story. Why is this important today more than ever. Because if you want to crush it like Nike and succeed, you need to master the art of storytelling. If you want to make more money, become more influential, expand your network and build a personal brand, you must master this. You don’t need to have the best product or the best features and benefits. That’s old school. The person who can tell the best story will influence and convince the listener to do what they say. This is true influence and this ultimately leads to success. Why does this happen? When you tell a story a few things happen. You create dopamine in your audience and two you create oxytocin. Oxytocin is this sense of warmness, calmness, excitement and happiness. It’s actually what mothers get with their babies when they connect with them. This is the cool thing. You can create oxytocin through storytelling which creates this warm bond with the audience. If you can master this, you can connect with anyone you meet. It allows them to experience the world through your perspective and vice versa. It creates empathy and connection. This is what the great speakers such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Barack Obama and Nike are able to do. But there is a difference between a great storyteller and telling a great story. A great storyteller inspires someone to do things differently. This is what Nike does. They inspire us to Just Do it and buy their products without ever talking about their shoes. They connect the Nike brand with you achieving greatness. And who wouldn’t want to achieve greatness. So that is your goal. Learn to tell stories that inspire, connect and move your audience through creating dopamine and oxytocin. If you do this, just like Nike, you too can crush it.