Did Colin Kaepernick just take our business ideas for internationalisation?

Posted on: Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Well no, and yes. He did, and he didn’t.

Nike have been telling us since the 80’s that we should just do it. That was something of a clarion call to wake the world up from a collective, defeatist slumber and it’s such a great line that its stood the test of time campaign after campaign.

So, no, there’s not a chance that we’re claiming any high ground on that slogan and positioning statement that belongs to another. Colin can relax. He has enough detractors to deal with and we’re certainly not digging him out.

But what spokesman Colin and the giant sponsor don’t own is an exclusivity on the emotional context of making a that leap of faith; be it in sports or in our case, business. And on that point, as their campaign is about inclusion and a universal right to dream and achieve it’s only right that through the collective spirit of their message we can identify that ‘just doing it’ is of our own business identity.

Nine years ago my colleague asked me a big question that had a simple answer.

“We’ve got an amazing solution here and we should really take this to bigger markets overseas. How?”

Answer: Start. Start doing it. Start with what you know and just do it.

Just doing it shaped ESDL.

Of course we had detractors. We still do and probably always will.

We met big corporations with big bosses who derived their daily pleasure from winding themselves up high on a chair so they could look down on us.

But that didn’t matter because although their door slammed on us we were still out there and doing it. Trying to do it was energising. And then soon a corporation listened closely and told us that they wanted us to just do it for them. And then we did it another time, and another time again.

Just doing it was working.

Colin also talks about sacrifice.

Doing it all the time takes it out of you. You get tired. Sometimes you also get lazy. Not all routes to the end goal make you look like a hero; when more often than not you’re just being normal. Then, there is a lot to be said for honest endeavour in uncertain times. We’re not giving rock-star performances every single day.

So getting back to the title of this blog, Colin didn’t ruin our next marketing campaign or take our ideas but yes, he is speaking directly about ESDL when he gets anyone onboard to start something positive and see it through to the highest level.

He’s talking to millions and yet he is speaking uniquely about our identity. That’s clever. Respect.

We are ESDL and we do it.

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