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THE VALUE OF BRANDS

Before there was a Swoosh, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman used one of his wife's kitchen appliances to create the company's first innovation—the famous waffle sole running shoe. In collaboration with Phil Knight, Bowerman used his sole as the foundation for what is now a globally recognized corporate brand. But even as a steady stream of product innovations marked the difference between Nike and its competitors, the Swoosh arose to symbolically rally employees and customers around Nike's cause. The Nike name, as you may recall, was chosen to invoke associations with the Greek goddess of victory (the Swoosh is one of her wings). The emphasis on victory gains additional symbolism from the company via ads and slogans such as ...

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