[S3 E2] Nike, Kaepernick and the Use of Brand Archetypes

When Nike published its latest advertisement featuring racial injustice campaigner Colin Kaepernick, it sparked a torrent of abuse for the brand from those who disagree with Kaepernick’s stance. It also prompted an outpouring of admiration from supportive consumers and marketers alike. To say it is controversial is an understatement.

In this episode of the Digital Download podcast I discuss Nike’s approach with Stephen Houraghan, who runs Australian branding agency Iconic Fox. We talk about how Nike uses brand archetypes modelling to understand its consumers, and about how archetypes can be used to differentiate brands from competitors. We also dig into what brand archetypes are and discuss authenticity, brand personality and why taking a stand on topical issues is so powerful.

Here’s what is discussed in this episode:

  • The value of relevant, professional influencer outreach
  • The power of brand authenticity
  • What brand archetypes are & how they translate into marketing
  • Why associating a brand with human characteristics is so powerful
  • What the 12 archetypes are & what a brand archetype encompasses
  • Why Harley Davidson is one of the most refined brand archetypes
  • How the Nike advertisement is so aligned with its archetype
  • Why Nike clearly understands its audience, their believes & how the brand environment has changed
  • Why taking a stance is something that the millennial audience respects & wants from brands
  • Whether brand purpose is a marketing fad or the future of branding
  • How to use brand archetypes to define social media tone of voice or entire brand personalities
  • Why a misaligned brand purpose can threaten brand reputation


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