Ten years ago, Internet Entrepreneur Carmine Collettion got a tattoo. It was a simple shape, easily identifiable by many of us – the Nike swoosh.
Why did he do it?
“ I wake up every morning, jump in the shower, look down at the symbol, and it pumps me up for the day. It’s to remind me every day what I have to do, which is, “Just Do It!” (Quoted in Naomi Klein, No Logo)
Nike could be said to be who he is. Since Nike has been a forerunner in brand development, it is unsurprising that it has also led the way in branding people. However, even their most prominent celebrity endorsers, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Arsenal, and Manchester United have not gone this far.
Brands can give us an image which indicates our social standing, class, and culture. So, if we want to change our image, we can simply buy stuff to project the identity we want. By buying branded products we subconsciously appropriate the values associated with the brand, whether the “Just Do It!” athletic aspirations of Nike, the “I’m Worth It” glamourous self-confidence of L’Oreal, or the cool, easy-going emphasis of Apple computers.
Ten years on, I wonder if he is still glad he got that tattoo?
What image do we want to project? And whose values do we want to take on?