Video – Brand Inspiration from the Olympic Games

February 8, 2018 12:00 pm

In a new Brand Matters video, we detail how to draw Brand Inspiration from the 2018 Winter Olympics that will help distinguish your brand and grow your business.

Watch the video here:

Here’s the Video Transcript for a more detailed look at the content:

Hi, I’m Ed Delia, president of Delia Associates. Today I’m talking about Brand Inspiration from the Olympic Games.

The Winter Olympics are almost here, and I’m excited because I have always loved the Olympics. I remember watching the 1980 US Hockey team beat Russia as a child. And who can forget the drama around Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding in the 94 games; or seeing Dan Jansen finally win gold that same year, in a touching tribute to his sister who died of cancer.

The storylines and faces are ever changing. We’ll watch with anticipation to see if Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn can reclaim gold status. Or if newcomers Chloe Kim and Nathan Chen will make exciting Olympic debuts. There will be many other storylines. The upsets, the heartbreaks, the occasional scandal, all of which make the Olympics such a rich experience.

One thing does remain constant: The simple, powerful Olympic symbol – five interlocking rings against a stark white background, representing the five continents. The rings interlock, reminding representative athletes from all nations that we are all connected. We are united as one in the spirit of the great Olympic Games.

What I also love about the Olympics is that there are so many great brand lessons that we can learn and benefit from. Three top my list . . .

1. When You Narrow Your Focus, You Broaden Your Appeal.

You probably won’t see Shaun White in figure skates, or grabbing a rifle for the biathlon. Why? Because he’s a snowboarder. That’s his area of excellence. That’s what he’s focused on and this year he’s on a mission. His absolute focus drives him to push harder, to think creatively, and funnel all of his energy into one sport, with one purpose. Companies can take a lesson from this, especially ones that get easily distracted with side ventures or pet projects. Stay focused. Live in your respective halfpipe and be master of that domain. Pour your desire to innovate and create in that channel to go farther and faster than you’ve ever dreamed.

2. The Back Story is the Bigger Story.

While it’s always exciting to watch athletes compete, it’s equally if not more compelling to learn about their respective journeys; the steps they took, the sacrifices they’ve made, and who they are as people. This comes to light through rich storytelling that is interwoven throughout the games. We’ll hear about Chloe Kim, regarded by many as the Future of Women’s Snowboarding, who started riding at the age of four. Or Lindsay Vonn, and all of the physical and emotional bumps and bruises she has endured as she readies to take the hill one more time. It’s the rich and vibrant storytelling that brings the Olympics to life. The same is true for brands. It’s not what you do, but why, where you came from, and where you are going. Standing on the podium and receiving a medal takes minutes. It’s the journey that makes those moments truly special, and the storytelling that reaches our hearts.

3. Technology Creates Relevance and Competitive Advantage.

I’m sure if I grabbed a set of beat up rental skis and threw them to Gus Kenworthy, he could do some amazing things on them. But that’s not what he competes with. He skis on Atomic Punx, a high-performance ski designed for professional freestylers. The technology is always evolving, and best-in-class athletes are highly tuned in to the latest equipment, trends and training regimens. They realize that trying and adopting the newest tools of their sport may give them an even slightest competitive edge. The same is true for brands. Technology does not make the brand. It makes the brand experience better.

So take a few of these lessons from the Olympics:

Keep It Focused, Make It Personal, and Tech It Up as you go for gold in your arena of business.

Thank You and Enjoy the Games!

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