by Lawrence Gimeno
Make it count
My first recommendation is directed at Nike's push into digital sports. In my opinion the new accelerometer based Nike+ technology is the birth of a whole new generation of Nike products and an amazing innovation to motivate people to include sports into their everyday life. Nike has attained a leading role in almost every one of the upcoming world wide sporting events, such as the 2012 Olympics, the 2012 Soccer Euro Cup, the NFL Superbowl, the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Therefore the time is now for Nike to embed their customers and the fans of these major sporting events in the experience through their new technology. The Nike+ technology in Nike's footwear products, that tracks information about an athletes or customers Nike fuel, speed, vertical jump, calories burned and repetitions made is in my concern an amazing opportunity for Nike to bring it's customers closer to their top athletes. I recommend to equip Nike's top endorsement athletes with their Nike+ technology from Fuelband to shoes and track their every movement, to give the customer an opportunity to compare him/ herself to their sporting idols, thus gaining motivation to be active and to own Nike+ products. In order to effectively execute this recommendation Nike has to reach out to it's customers daily through social media and encourage them to connect with their Idols with the Nike+ smartphone application. I suggest to enhance to application to let the customer choose his/ her favorite athletes and follow them on a Twitter alike system, where they are constantly informed about the athletes Nike Fuel, workouts and game time statistics. That would make the customer feel closely connected with their sporting idol or favorite sport, without having to consume any of the athlete's time. Another positive side effect with this strategy is that it would establish an in-brand community (Nike+ community) that is desirable to be part of, but requires the purchase of several Nike+ products and a compatible smartphone (preferably an Apple product).
I think by staying true to their marketing slogans “Just do it”, “Make It Count” and “If you have a body, you are an athlete” Nike should encourage people the to think of life as a sport and encourage a development of a Nike+ community, that takes on a life of it's own through the internet and has friends challenging each other to competitions, people setting goals for themselves to achieve and future athletes trying to get on the level of their idols. Effectively executing this strategy could be the key to a new generation of sports in general.
Stay the Innovation Leader
Nike is currently the most powerful brand in sports. The company's core competencies are innovation and marketing. With research and development expenses close to $3 billion annually and aggressive marketing Nike is successfully taking the lead in the athletic industry. Nevertheless Nike cannot rest at the top of the industry and let up and coming companies like Under Armour sneak in and steal market share. In my opinion Nike should focus on totally new innovative products and present about one revolutionary innovation each year coinciding with an international sporting event for additional exposure. In addition to that I would suggest to move away from provoking saturation of the market, especially in the footwear industry. Over the last years Nike has released about twenty five different pairs of running shoes per year, and each pair in at least two distinct colorways. However about 75 percent of these running products seem to be uninspired copies of previous models, whereas the retail price rose about 5 percent per year. These circumstances encourage the customer to either buy Nike's flagship product for a high retail price or look for suitable alternatives from companies like Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour or Puma. Thus I...