How Nike Just Do It With its Nike+ Community
Nike+ is a membership site that has played a strong role in Nike’s branding strategy as it provides members with a variety of apps and resources to encourage motivation, fitness and commitment to a healthy and fit lifestyle. Nike has always been extremely effective in its branding tactics, from its distinctive logo to its iconic slogan “Just Do It.” With Nike+, the company has found a way to bring its customers into a growing community where people can track their progress, motivate each other and engage in friendly competition.
Nike Online Strategy to Reach its Audience
Nike+ provides users with apps that allow them to track statistics for their exercise and fitness activities. There are apps for many different specific activities:
- Nike+Running -This is the best known and most popular app. It lets you track distance, calories burned and speed. You can compete with friends who use the app and see who covers the most distance or has the best time. Rather than simply giving you a readout of numbers, the app also provides heat maps, visual displays that indicate your speed by different colors. This can tell you, at a glance, your speed at different points on your run.
- Nike+Training Club -Lets users choose among over 100 workouts, designed by professional trainers. This helps you find the workout that is most consistent with your goals and personal preferences. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts for people of all fitness levels.
- Nike Soccer App -This app allows soccer players to find or start a game, letting everyone know where and when the game will take place.
- Nike SB App -This is an app that connects skaters from around the world, sharing the latest news, trends and events related to skateboarding.
- Nike Golf 360 App -An app for golfers, that lets you track every aspect of your game, track your progress and compete against other players.
Each of these apps appeals to a different demographic. Nike has been very successful at reaching an extremely diverse audience. Runners can be any age. Skateboarding, however, generally appeals to younger people while golfers tend to be older. Nike+ has, in a few short years, developed multiple overlapping communities, with the common thread being an interest in fitness and sports.
Whenever you log into Nike+, you are encouraged to shop for Nike products. Yet the apps and community also promote the company’s footwear and many other products indirectly, simply by discussing what type of gear is useful and comfortable for workouts.
How Nike+ Tracks Activity
Once you join Nike+, you are first directed to download the main application. You can then choose which particular apps you want to access. These apps can be installed on any type of device. There are several ways that the apps can track activity. The simplest way is for the user to carry around a smartphone on which the app has been downloaded. For example, if a runner has the running app installed on his or her smartphone, distance and pace will automatically be tracked. Nike+, however, also has options for people who find it inconvenient to carry a smartphone when running or engaging in their favorite sport.
Nike+ comes pre-installed in certain iPod models. This still requires users to carry a device, though in this case a smaller one. Another option is the SportWatch GPS, which tracks movements on the watch.
Nike+ is also actively promoting another tracking option called FuelBand. This is a wristband that you can wear while engaging in any activity so your stats are measured. This information is then uploaded to the Nike+ platform, for your benefit and to share with other members of the community.
The variety of ways users can access Nike+ features is another powerful branding strategy, as it gives people many choices. Runners, for example, may use their smartphone, iPod, sports watch or FuelBand to track their stats.
Nike+ apps also help to motivate users through music. Apps are integrated with Spotify and iTunes, so users can choose the type of music that helps them the most with their workouts. Users identify PowerSongs that can help them improve their performance if they start lagging or slowing down. This is also an effective partnership strategy on the part of Nike. Members who listen to music when working out indirectly promote songs, recording artists and companies such as Apple and Spotify.
Connected vs. Disconnected Modes
You can use Nike+ apps to track your metrics at any time, as long as you are using a device that has the app you want to use. You don’t have to specifically sign in to Nike+ to get all of the information you want about your running, workout, skateboarding or whatever the activity might be.
While you don’t need to be signed in to Nike+ to use the apps, you do have to sign in to share your stats with other users and otherwise interact with the community. This is the powerful social aspect of Nike+, where you can discuss, share, motivate and compete with other users.
Nike has succeeded in creating an engaged community of users who are motivated to share their goals, struggles and results. You can share with either friends or strangers. The apps can provide you with reminders so that you don’t miss a workout or lose track of a goal. Nike+ even recognizes achievements by rewarding you for accomplishments. You can share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to show people what you’re doing and to help motivate them.
The social aspects of Nike+ start with the profile. You can fill out facts such as your name, location, age, height, weight and distance you’ve covered. As with any social network, you can have friends. The app can be integrated with Facebook, so you can invite Facebook friends to become your Nike+ friends.
Nike+ also has a support area, where help is offered for each of the apps. There is a database of articles you can search to find answers to common questions. This includes installing and setting up apps, how to use various features and troubleshooting. If you need to contact Nike, you can get support in several ways, including on Twitter and Facebook. Nike+ staff monitors these sites regularly and promptly answer questions that members post.
Nike+ Branding Strategy
Nike+ is a sophisticated platform that integrates many products and features. While Nike encourages members to shop for Nike products and use the apps, the actual content is created by the members through sharing and interacting on social media.
Active Nike+ members can be considered brand ambassadors, whether they consciously embrace this role or not. Simply by using the apps and sharing their information, they are spreading the word about Nike and its products. Nike+ is a lifestyle community that motivates members to be more active and to communicate with one another. As they do this, they are also contributing to the strength of the Nike brand.