Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Nike Shoes and Services

Click the title above to read this interesting note by Elie Ofek in the blog.HBR.org site that we frequent. What was particularly awesome was this passage:

For the current World Cup, Nike launched its Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II. But someone that buys a pair gets more than the enhanced acceleration the new shoes are designed to provide. The shoes come with a unique user code that, once entered online, unlocks a full training program. Its Nike Football+ program was developed in conjunction with the world's leading coaches and players, and offers a myriad of video training sessions, tips, and methods for improving one's play. Programs can also be downloaded through an app to an iPhone or to other mobile web-enabled handsets to take to the field. No longer are athletes being asked to pay upwards of $300 just to have a better physical shoe; they're also getting a service that helps them become better players.

I mean, this is it. We all know the great margins are in services - ask IBM and HP and all those companies that make money on product check ups and the sort.

Now Nike goes and applies this to shoes?? Wow! What a winner of an idea.

OK Adidas, so maybe you can make a shoe of similar style. But how about the fitness program that we have packaged with the shoe?

We only hope Nike is collecting data from its new shoe that allows it to see what kind of training the users are undergoing and then build more specific packages for them.

This is a classic marketing initiative. Well done Nike! We have always advocated that consumer products should build 'services' targeted at their consumers...this is a fabulous example.

By the way, http://www.facebook.com/nikefootball#!/nikefootball?v=wall
is also one heck of an online campaign. We dont enjoy the game, but we thoroughly enjoyed this site and what Nike is trying to do. Connectivity and Empowerment. Consumers want to belong to a network, but be able to express their individuality.....beautifully captured here.
Ritu and Venkat

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