A Crazy Idea That Became A Billion-Dollar Company.
In a bid to inspire you, I bring stories and lessons from how the “Just Do It” company scaled all hurdles to become the world’s largest athletic apparel company. I hope that it reminds you to keep building despite the challenges.
A little bit of history: How Phil Knight Built NIKE
Phil Knight co-founded Nike alongside his university track coach, Bill Bowerman. The company was founded in 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon. They imported Japanese running shoes and sold them in America. When the first set of shoes arrived from Japan, Knight started by selling them out of the trunk of his car at track events in his home state of Oregon. Blue Ribbon made $8,000 in its first year. Nike evolved into making athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. Today, Nike has a market cap of $202.83 billion making it the 6th most valuable company by market cap. We love Nike’s story because it is a story of grit and determination. It is one borne out of passion and relentless efforts.
Nike’s business strategies are noteworthy. There are business lessons to pick from the company that asks you to Just Do It.
Innovation: Innovation helps a business stay on top of its game and this is apparent with Nike. Knowing that all feet are not created equal, Nike sent bunches of ideas and modifications of the kind of products they wanted to their manufacturer, the Japanese company. This resulted in them creating shoes that suited the American runner body type. Fundamentally, innovation means introducing something new into your business, it could be adding value to existing products, and services, a new market strategy, a new method, and so on. Interested in learning about the core of innovation for business growth? check here.
Teamwork: Nike gave a good shot at teamwork. The team members were allowed to bring their unique contributions to the company. In fact, one of the employees, Jeff Johnson suggested the brand name, Nike. The moral lesson here is “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with results.”
It is all about culture: Nike had and still has its culture. It portrays fearlessness. Outcasts who won’t stop until they achieve their goals. They are vocal about what they stand for and it is clearly communicated to their target audience. It isn’t just about shoes, It’s about the community of runners. You can do the same for your business. With some effort, you can evangelize a tribe around your shared purpose and experiences, creating brand ambassadors, starting with employees and extending to the world. Remember, one step at a time.