5 things your company can learn from Olympic spirit

Olympic fever is still on and it has not been lost on the Coretium office – some have joined a gym, some have started running in the morning and other’s have promised to be more focused on their goals. I, on the other hand, after reading plenty of articles about the Olympics, Olympic marketing, sponsors etc just can’t ignore the resemblance of Olympic spirit to a perfect marketing strategy.

I would like to share my top 5 Olympic characteristics that might be applied to business and actually life in general.

1. Don’t give up after the first challenge. It is completely normal for humans to make mistakes, but I have never seen anyone apart from athletes to recover that fast. Personally I admire the moral strength of sportsmen even more than physical one. Apart from immediate recovery on the field, they are then asked to look back at mistakes in order to prevent them in the future – isn’t it what we do in marketing? John Hegarthy in his book “Turning intelligence into magic” stated that nowadays companies have to follow “do and learn” model instead of previous “learn and do” approach (even though most of them will not like that at all). This basically means being more creative, more ambitious and in some sense reckless.

2. Understand what you are judged upon. If you decide to implement this “do and learn” strategy, don’t forget how important it is to understand what and how to do. During the first week of the Olympics while watching gymnastics I was surprised that commentators noticed even the slightest mistakes in the moves of athletes. The only way to avoid this is to think about details – sportsmen spend months and even years on perfecting their moves, postures and tactics. This also has to be the case in your company – don’t fail just because you didn’t pay enough attention and didn’t act upon weaknesses.

 3. Know your competitors. In order to be better than someone, you have to know as much as you can about them. Even though we are all talking about team work and spirit, above all Olympics are competition. This is evident in every action, but I was especially amazed how Usain Bolt was balancing his run in the semi-final, where he knew exactly how fast he needs to run to be first. Furthermore, on that speed he even managed to look over the shoulder to see if he was in control. You can’t win the competition if you don’t know what they are doing and how well they are doing it compared to you.

4. Set goals. Athletes don’t want to be just good, they want to be the best and this implies setting goals whether it is the best time, longest jump, fastest swim or anything else. The marketer similarly will set goals to reach higher return on investment, increase share of voice or dominate the niche. In order to achieve something, you have to know what the destination is.

 5. Say “Thank you”. It is obvious how important fans, trainers and families are for each individual athlete and it is great to see that they realise this by showing their gratitude. Applying this to the business world it is clear that there is no company that would exist without customers, media and even competitors. Company needs support and motivation to move forward and to learn from sporting heroes.

This blog article was written by Diana Lauska at Coretium


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