Continuing from our last article which emphasized on the quote by David Ogilvy, “Your Customer is not a Moron. She’s Your Wife” and also highlighting how Coca Cola is the best example for understanding its customers. We now head on to another example of Nike, which has been quite active in understanding customer needs and catering to them effectively.
Nike is a brand that speaks for itself and is recognizable for its innovative products that the swoosh logo says it all. Nike was originally named after the Greek goddess who was symbolized for victory. Since then, the brand has overwhelmingly taken the sporting goods industry by storm and is leading from the front. Similar to Coca-Cola, the key element in the success for Nike is being customer-centric.
A little overview of the brand is that associates itself with athletes and sportsmen that not only have a tremendous fan following but hold prestige as well. Examples include Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer and many more. What Nike promises its customers is much more than just athletic merchandise, they offer the same esteem of wearing the gear that is used by their favorite sportsman and this serves as the key attribute towards building a strong association between the brand and its customers.
Let’s go back to the mid 1970’s when Bill Bowerman, one of the co-founders of Nike, made a jogging shoe out of a waffle-maker. He invented a waffle-treaded running shoe, after an experiment that destroyed the waffle-maker but made a shoe that was one-of-its-kind. The shoe not only came with an innovative design but provided people a great grip while jogging. What’s more interesting is that Nike promoted the practice of running instead of the shoe itself which technically led to a boom in sales.
Bowerman issued a 3 page pamphlet highlighting the key benefits of the shoes and how well you can run in them. Furthermore, what really caught the public’s eye was the idea of running that he promoted, as to how beneficial and healthy a habit it is. Yes, you just connected the dots! The main reason why the waffle-treaded shoes were a hit is that it was targeted towards the customers. Bowerman understood that the customers care more about themselves than the product or even the brand. Highlighting the benefits of the product than its features is the key to build trust. That being said, if you are able to reach the touch points of your customers, your product is going to sell itself.
Coming back to today’s digital era, Nike has once again proven to be pro-active in their marketing strategy and is present on the channels where their audience is present. What we have seen with the dawn of digital media is that there are a few brands that have been washed away with its advent, while some have taken it as the opportunity to come even closer to their customers.
Look below for some of the most creative and engaging campaigns conducted by Nike:
Are you wondering what would happen to a brand if it did not follow the philosophy of understanding customers just like a wife? Read: “How Nokia gets punished by its own customers” and find out the crude realities a brand faces for keeping its product ahead of its customers.