• E.R.B.

A Relevant Strategy to Change the Rules of the Game

In 1988, Nike changed the rules of the game.


They took a leap, pivoting from a product strategy based on athletic shoes and apparel—a strategy that had already made them the leading brand in the industry—and decided to aim much higher. This profound change forced a complete reassessment of the organization’s Mission—its reason for being.


Rather than sell shoes and sweatsuits, Nike decided to “sell” athletic aspiration. The story behind this decision is the stuff of case studies and business legend. It involved a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and decision-making, serious reflection on the nature of commodity markets, and, paradoxically, the words of a convicted killer. (A topic for another time!)


Just Do it!


Here’s Nike’s first commercial following their transformation from product to purpose. Today, Nike’s mission remains to bring inspiration and innovation to everyone in the world, but Nike cannot do it alone!


In this pandemic era and an emerging post-pandemic reality, our communities and local economies need new sources of inspiration and innovation. The world has changed, and your consumer and business clients are counting on you to solve new problems before they become catastrophic.


Is your organization, like Nike in 1987, still working from the rules of the past, fixated on products and services? Is your Mission—and the wise strategies needed to bring it to life—up to today’s challenges and opportunities? It is time to think like Nike and take a leap!

Since the pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that data is the life-force of business relevance. Transactions aren’t just the movement of money, they are increasingly also the passing of data about the transaction. And soon, even money itself will be data. If we’re not amassing and analyzing data, we’re failing at a basic level to understand our consumers and their needs.


Community financial institutions need to rescope, treating data as their most critical asset. In practice, this requires stepping off the products and service carousel, and retooling the organization for amassing the data needed to innovate and inspire local economic health. We know how to do that! We are ready to talk in detail about building local economic relevance for your organization and the communities you serve.

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