Why is it that I never enter Adidas shops even though I know that they have great stuff? Umbro neither. Puma and others don’t even belong in my schema, not even Jordans. Nike, I like. Funny thing is I can’t remember ever seeing a Nike Ad on TV or even ever heard one radio. Just football stars and other sports people wearing/endorsing Nike gear, and yet, even when I wander to other brands, I still feel that it’s the second-best choice. Nikes are well designed and very durable but they’re not alone in that. Nike’s Ad style of strong images with a few words left a lot to the individual’s imagination. The swoosh logo has been appropriated by many people for their own meanings on many tail gates including Keke Napeps (Motor Rickshaws). Nike took endorsement marketing to another level when in 1978 it signed on John McEnroe and opened inroads into Tennis wear. Following, in no particular order, by Tiger Woods, Mike Jordan, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Venus Williams and many more after, and Nike is everywhere, ahead of all others. Some aficionados even claim that Nike is not just a Brand but an attitude: just do it.

So what do we have here? Nike’s selective endorsement marketing, strong images and saying so few words has left such an indelible impression on me that I don’t ever remember consciously making that decision to stick to Nikes only. It’s not that Nikes are cheap either – Prices at the Nike shop at the Termini Station in Rome had me scampering for the door.

It’s a no-brainer but Nike is positive proof that well designed and targeted product and brand messages can form very strong brand loyalty and even consumer advocacy, all of which should lead to business sustainability.

So which do you do, Adidas, Nike or Umbro et al?