Nike’s Rebranding Itself, One Jog at a Time

Since this beginning of this year, Nike has been taking steps to personalize its products and offer customers innovative exercise tools. At the Cannes Lions festival on Wednesday the company, along with R/GA, took the stage to talk about its recent marketing strategies.

Nike’s Fuelband, released last January, is leading the way for the new branding initiative at the company. The interactive band “tracks your activity and energy expenditures and translates them into ‘Nike Fuel,'” according to AdWeek’s Tim Nudd. The results of a run, for example, can then be synched up to Facebook, where people can show off their exercise routines to friends.

Nike backs up the initiative with a full content marketing campaign on its website. Anyone, regardless of whether they have purchased the Fuelband, can use the Nike+ campaign to motivate them and offer fitness tips. On the Nike+ website, visitors can see a variety of fitness content, including real time stats of calories burned around the world, the amount of miles run, and how many achievements were earned. The site also sends out a newsletter full of the same type of helpful information about exercise.

Nike’s Vice President of Digital Sport Stefan Olander told AdWeek that FuelBand satisfies the human desire to work towards self improvement, as well as compare oneself to friends on social networks, thus validating the accomplishments.

FuelBand and the Nike+ campaign have been huge for the company. Olander said.

“When I buy this product and take it home and sign up [for the services], I’ve created a link so much stronger than anything you could ever say in a communication,” he said. “It’s an emotional connection to myself, and my achievement, and my friends. We’ve now created an entire ecosystem of services that complement the product.

With its new emphasis on digital marketing, Nike has been spending 40 percent less on TV and print advertisements, and doesn’t rely on celebrities to promote its products anymore, according to digital advertising and marketing blog Fluffy Links..

“After perfecting the art of big branding, it’s moving on to a world in which its consumers want to be told less and just do more,” the blog reports.

The trend to offer consumers services and content they can use, and not just sell them products, has become widespread due to the popularity of inbound marketing and social media. Nike has figured out an excellent way to jump on the bandwagon while reinventing itself.

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