Trump inadvertently elevated Colin Kaepernick to social legend status
This is such a great story on so many levels. It’s also a compelling case study of modern (social) media, brand building, the power of an influencer, social amplification and brand association.
Even if you’re not into NFL, you can’t deny the power of this one!
Two opposing forces. Rich emotion. Deep social value statements. The influence of one individual to elevate awareness and stimulate a tipping point. A global brand to capitalise on the moment. And a statement (visually and verbally) that will live on forever.
When Colin Kaepernick took a knee in front of half the U.S. population, he can’t have expected that Trump would inadvertently use his social media presence to create that tipping point.
Instantly, Kaepernick became a beacon.
Of course, Kaepernick did take a position to start with … he had a focus and built a compelling framework around that. All he needed was someone like Trump with a massive social audience to light the flame.
And just as things seemed to be softening, Nike took an equally brave stand, aligning itself not to the movement but to Kaepernick’s brand and values.
This demonstrated the power of a social position to a brand and how such a statement can be used to galvanise an audience at the same time as driving sales (research from Thomson Reuters and SageStyle quoted that Nike sold out 61% more of its products after the Kaepernick ad appeared and online sales jumped 25%).
Seems like Kaepernicks NFL days are over but his career as a social media giant have only just begun.
They say it takes one person to change your life. Kaepernick can thank Trump for that. His only challenge now is how to maintain momentum around his story and his brand and prove that he’s more than a ‘one trick pony’.
If you missed the ad, you can find it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hIc_epqfI0 By the way, Kaepernick initially thought he would sit rather than kneel but reflected … and subsequently decided to kneel as he believed it would deliver a more humble statement.