Monday, September 10, 2018

The best protest against Nike and their support of Colin Kaepernick is competition

During the 1980's, one of the largest rivalries in business was that of Microsoft vs. Apple.  And when the dust had cleared, Microsoft would reign supreme for the next two decades primarily on the fact that their platform allowed for open development by software creators rather than to be restricted by the proprietary demands of Steve Jobs.

Fast forward to 2018.

Today the landscape of companies in a given industry has shrunk to the point where perhaps five major companies control 90% of that market, and where their advertising budgets are often larger than the annual revenues of the other 10% combined.  But even with this being said, the internet has helped level the playing field, and small businesses can emerge to become giants if the right product hits at the right time is able to go viral.

Ironically, a business can also actually become too large.  And because of their massive public exposure, and perhaps also because of arrogance or hubris, they can exert great harm to themselves when they choose a direction that is opposite to the will and passions of consumers.

See ESPN, NFL, and Target.

Since most consumers are driven by emotion rather than reason (simply see how advertisements are produced), all it takes is for a business or company to trigger the wrong feelings and that becomes enough for them to see a decline in their sales by a significant amount.  But often the Western consumer is fickle in that today's protest almost invariably becomes tomorrow's 'Golden Child'.

So this brings us to the question of Nike, and their decision to begin an ad campaign based upon the controversies of a fringe NFL quarterback.  Now it is true that in the first couple of weeks of this campaign the public has reacted quite negatively to these ads, and their stock has fallen more than 3% in the past week.  However as we have often seen in protests like with Target over their decision not to say Merry Christmas a few years ago during the holiday shopping season, within about six month negative sentiment against the company is completely forgotten, and shoppers went back to the retail chain as if nothing had ever happened.

Thus protests themselves are not the long term solution for consumers who have viable concerns with a company.  No the answer for this is in competition, and creating something that will not only counter Nike's anti-American campaign, but will also in the end establish itself as a rival in which those of like minded tastes can have an option of their liking to switch to permanently.

A military veteran who sells clothing has come out with his latest product. Nine Line Apparel has introduced its “Just Stand” clothing line, directly countering Nike’s “Just Do It.” 
Apparel CEO and co-founder Tyler Merritt, an ex-military helicopter pilot with plentiful combat experience, has long been a critic of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during pregame renditions of the national anthem to protest police officers killing unarmed black men. – Epoch Times
In the end consumers who feel jilted by a business don't simply want an outlet in which they can vent their frustrations, but they also want an option in which they can speak with their wallets on a more permanent and ongoing basis.  And for businesses going back centuries or even thousands of years, one man's folly has always created opportunity for anyone willing to seize the day.

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