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Nike Plus – A Brilliant Case Study in Interactive Marketing

Although this is expected from a Mega brand like Nike, I am still so impressed with the “Nike Plus” campaign that I had to Blog about it.  We are always speaking to people about thinking outside the box and understanding their users first before jumping on the latest and greatest technologies to win new consumers, or to build brands.  The “Nike Plus” campaign focuses around runners.  (talk about segmentation – just athletes who are competitive and recreational runners).
 

Athletes can go to the running section on the www.nike.com website.  Runners purchase a Nike Plus running band which tracks a runners distance, time, calories etc, or they can get an iPod enabled device (called the iPod sports kit) that will do the same thing. (that other mega brand Apple “ran” right at this opportunity!)
 

The Nike Plus device talks to the Nike Shoe – they call it the “Nike plus ready shoe” which is built to have a tracking device that syncs with the iPod or band.  Each time the athlete runs using the band, they can load the information from the Nike Plus Sport Band into the Nike runners website.  The device measures time, distance, pace, calories etc.
 

The website www.nike.com  then tracks each run, illustrating pace and distance for you and comparing it to your other runs, and other runners!  It tracks changes in pace and helps the athlete to train by trending their performance over time.
 
Nike has created a true community of runners – all centred around the Nike brand.  They also offer a community forum to connect with other runners around the world, and compete against runners.  There is a race blog, uploaded photos of racers – and even a 10 K race planned for all users called “The Human Race 10 K” where runners will be ranked and countries will compete – all virtually using the data entered into the Nike Plus runners website.
 

Without the Nike Plus ready shoes, runners need to be creative with attaching the chip to the shoe.  The Nike brand is associated with all points along the way from the purchase of the band, to the shoes and the clothing, to the website facilitating the conversation and tracking personal performance.  Brilliant integrated marketing as it allows Nike to market directly and indirectly to consumers through the community website portal, the Race itself, and all of the products required to participate in the Nike Plus running community.
 

At the end of the day, we all don’t have the resources that Nike does to market their products – but we can take away the following best practices that Nike applied to this initiative.
 

1.       Segmentation – it is not all about traditional demographics, dig deeper into your users or customers
2.       Use Social Media to your advantage – allow your customers to have a “conversation” with you and with each other about your brand
3.       Embrace new technology and make your website more than just a brochure or a cash register – it can be so much more!

[tags]nike plus, integrated marketing, social media marketing, building community websites, online marketing, web marketing [/tags]

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