Never before in the history of corporate branding decisions has a multi-billion dollar company had such a massive and swift drop of brand image as Nike. The results from Morning Consult Intelligence, a firm that specializes in monitoring and measuring the brand image and reputation for thousands of major companies, reflects a massive drop in brand image across every single demographic.
We suspected there would be a diminishment of brand image, but nothing like the scale discovered within the polled data:
The report features over 8,000 interviews conducted among American adults, including 1,694 interviews pre-campaign launch (8/26/18 – 9/3/18) and 5,481 interviews post-campaign launch (9/4/18 – 9/5/18). Additionally, Morning Consult conducted a study among 1,168 adults in the U.S. about Nike’s ad and the decision to choose Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.
- Nike’s Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers, it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.
- No Boost Among Key Demos: Among younger generations, Nike users, African Americans, and other key demographics, Nike’s favorability declined rather than improved.
- Purchasing Consideration Also Down: Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products. That figure is down to 39 percent now.
From a pure economic/financial perspective this Nike branding campaign doesn’t make sense. On its face, it just seems absurd. Why would any major corporation intentionally stake out a branding position that is adverse to their financial interests?