Nike – More than just a smart running shoe

On August, 31 2008 for the first time thousands of  people in 25 cities put on their running shoes and ran together about 5.113.860 kilometers. They started in Taipei and finished in LA. They were all part oft he human race 10K and ran for one goal and finally for one official destination: Nikeplus.com, writes Wolverine.

Nike+ is not just running with a smart shoe and an iPod as I mentioned in my last blog, BUT Nike+ is about inspiring and connecting runners’ worldwide. “They are offering runners new ways to compete and race. It’s an unprecedented way to bring an entirely new running experience to consumers around the globe”, states Trevor Edwards, Nike Vice President for Brand and Category Management on the blog coyle media.

The power of social networks

Pat Coyle explains if you would join the running community -starting competitions by sharing your running data and experiences with the community- this community provides a valuable experience for you. Every costumer who joins the community is adding value to each member and the brand itself. This is called network effect and means that the Nike community is depended on the number of costumers using it. Because of this valuable experience you unlikely switch brands, means you probably stay with Nike. To switch brands would mean leaving your friends behind. The more people join, the more likely a bandwagon effect is created, since more value is added to the community and finally to you.

The community developed into an asset not just for the costumers, but also for the company itself. Thus, Nike has gained valuable Market shares since the last years, as Amy Calistri suggests, because of a stronger brand loyalty towards Nike.

Challenges in the Asian Market

The author of the blog New Views argues that difficulties arise when entering a new market. In Asia for example running is not very common. The target consumers never see it as something they enjoy doing. It’s something very rigorous and painful for them.

Running doesn’t come with spectators

Many people in China living in huge cities crowed by cars, bikes, and rickshaws and on the other hand running cannot provide spectators like basketball and football. Therefore Nike has to find a way to give people in China social currency, that people are worshiped by their friends and in my point of view the Nike+ campaign could help a lot there.

Create a momentum and carry it forward

As the author points out with a quotation of Ms. Huang (Nike’s communications director for Greater China) the company is very confident with the future prospects concerning the chinese market, because there is a positive perception about running right now in China. Nike is certainly aware of the fact that running just will remain a niche sport in China, but hopefully a lot of people become interested and just give it a try.

And maybe there comes the time, were all these people are participants of the –now- annual Human Race by Nike.

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7 Comments

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  2. tennisanika

     /  2011/12/16

    So true and so smart. I wonder what Nike’s competitors will do in order to catch up with them and if they will find a better way to enter the chinese market.

    Have you heard of any charity project? Something like running as many kilometers as you can and for every kilometer completed Nike will pay $1USD to a particular charity organization? ( I remember Nike Mag this year. Those shoes were auctioned and the money was given to Michael J. Fox’ Parkinson research program)

    Reply
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  1. Who runs the world? « spogging

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