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The Olympics: A Brand Every Four Years
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Technically it’s every two years, but if you focus on only summer or winter it is every four. It’s the only brand that is consistently successful every four years. In between, it falls to a quiet place to work on its comeback. It’s different and unexpected each time it appears, yet consistent in some ways in order to accomplish success. How does the Olympics brand do it? How can it continuously be that lasting brand? What are the best practices that should be copied?

A Little Old, A Little New. The Olympics' core product includes each and every one of the events that happens over the competition period. As a brand, the Olympics (and the media, of course) is great at consistently focusing on those events that have become popular, but also adding light to other events to keep a large population interested. It’s not about completely shifting gears or frustrating the customer but giving them what they want and expanding their interests with something that can begin to grow every four years.

Timing is Everything. Understanding when to launch and where to be is important for any brand. The Olympics pays special attention to those “highlight” events and places them at a time when the majority of people are available to watch. So although events are happening all day long, the brand is using the media to play them during a time when it can gain additional viewers while appealing to its long-time customer base. It’s a strategic brand move.

Content, Content, Content. The Olympics is synonymous with event coverage. That’s what most customers wait for and expect from the brand. However, the Olympics has a brand that shares more than just sports and gives the customer an inside look into the workings of the brand. It creates new stories, new content, and new avenues to grab the attention of a larger audience. The Olympics doesn’t forget about its core competency (the events), but it is a smart brand for understanding that it has to stay new, fresh, and relevant in order to continue its brand success.

The Olympics has a brand all its own, but this doesn’t mean it’s without strategic direction. With a brand that has to ebb and flow with being in the spotlight and quickly “disappearing” for years, the Olympics uses some brand basics for continued success. It’s simple, it makes sense, and it starts tonight.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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