I’m a huge fan of Nike. Not just their products but their corporate culture of being innovative which resonates throughout everything they make and do. I’m not being paid [much] by them for this post, but let me tell you why Nike has got another ✓ from me. Nike is the perfect example of how marketing can make your company flourish. They started out selling shoes out of the back of a car that looked something like this:
Now the company’s worth $25 billion with 44,000 employees in 160 countries worldwide, that looks something like this:
How? Integrated Marketing. And of course a whole heap of excellent corporate practices – but dude, integrated marketing…they practically integrated the world into a simultaneous 10km run back in 2008. Is that the definition of integrated or is that the definition of integrated?
What I’m particularly fascinated about by Nike, however, is their ability to perfectly – and I mean perfectly – integrate the digital world with the real world in almost all of their marketing campaigns. And a lot of these campaigns involve the most essential digital ingredient – Nike+
Nike+ is basically to you what Batman’s secret cave is to him. That’s right. It is your digital assistant, your cyber coach, and your key to the most connected society of active human beings on earth. Or that’s what we are sold from Nike. And it works oh so well.
Nike+ is an account you make on the aesthetically pleasing website and it stores all your information surrounding your ‘activity’, measured in NikeFuel, whilst also providing a way to plan and improve your running, walking, football, tennis, boxing, or any other activity you may participate in. That was a long sentence, apologies. But it’s justified, because Nike+ does a lot! And need I mention that of course – like anyone who perfectly integrates digital and reality – it provides you with the ability to digitally share (virally market) all this information to your real friends (potential customers)?
The concept of these accounts and the information that they store is utilized by Nike in many of their running campaigns. They’ll organize a running event or competition in which runners clock their miles and post them to their Nike+ account where it is shared and compared with hundreds of thousands of others. And more recently, they’ve found a way to convert these miles or activity into a currency which can be used to redeem Nike products.
This is a ‘secret vending machine’. Runners can use their [Nike] FuelPoints accumulated in the last 24 hours to redeem [Nike] merchandise. And it moves from place to place to create [Nike] buzz in different parts of New York City. Yet again, Nike smashes it on social media and in the press. They’ve now got customers feeling rewarded for keeping fit.
I mean I would’ve been pretty satisfied knowing I had a few hundred ‘FuelPoints’ under my [gradually tightening] belt – but now a t-shirt and a pair of socks too! Here’s an idea, let me wear this new apparel that screams Nike whilst I run, so I can be a moving ad for this fantastic company that has done so much for me. That way other people will be aware of the brand, purchase its gear, get involved on Nike+, and run around the streets of NYC like me and a million others.
By studying marketing, these almost manipulative strategies and intentions become exposed to our ever-so-observant minds. But that only makes me appreciate the brand more. When it comes to marketing, Nike just does it.
- what excellent marketing have you seen from Nike?
- which other brands implement stuff like Nike+?
- Batman or Superman?