How the Springboks became a great brand

Why Rassie and Jacques' greatest strategic move has very little to do with the game of rugby.

Great brands create something that ordinary ones can't - extreme value.

To create extreme value in the minds of customers and non-customers a brand needs to communicate far more than just product attributes, quality or superior customer service; it needs to embed a brand story in minds of people...and most importantly...from the customer's perspective.

Nike is a great brand because they're not just selling nice shoes. The brand is a symbol of the idea that anybody is capable of achieving their dreams of greatness. This idea is a powerful creator of value because it's about the core values that Nike represents in our minds and want to be a part of this phenomena.

Image is courtesy of Nike

Similarly the Springbok rugby team - as a brand - has transcended the functional component of just being a team that plays rugby well. As a nation of people and fans of the team, South Africans see the best of ourselves (a side which is often difficult to see in the miserable daily news flow that we endure) reflected back at us by this team.

We can personally identify with the core values that they demonstrate on the field; tenacity, grit, strength and togetherness.

These are the exact values that we all dream were far more pervasive in our society (rather than the obvious greed, corruption and nihilism that we are regularly challenged with), which is exactly why we yearn for a sprinkling of Springbok-magic.

We all know that Rassie and Jacques are crafty strategists on the field, but perhaps the greatest strategy they have pulled off, in the last couple of years, is to evaluate the Springbok Rugby brand to the point that it enjoys now.

They have masterfully build extreme value around the brand, which should be a masterclass for us all to learn from.