Nike: smart marketing and customer engagement

A few weeks ago, I went to a running store to buy new running shoes. After a couple of tests I knew my perfect running shoes. It turned out to be the Nike Pegasus.

Unfortunately though, the store had only one pair left. And that pair had a color scheme that didn’t really match my taste (to put it mildly).

So I drove home, opened my laptop and fired up the Nike website.

Personalization to the extreme

There I learned that I could buy the Nike Pegasus shoes in various color schemes… and that I could customize my own pair of shoes:

Nike Air Pegasus NIKEiD - Click to start

With NIKEiD, I could customize almost everything from the width of the shoe, the cushioning, the type of sole, the top material, the color of the lining, the laces, the iconic swoosh all the way up to… the labels on the shoe tongues.

After a few minutes, I came up with the following result: a bold mixture of black and fluorescent yellow and… my first name on the shoe tongues. Personalization to the extreme!

I ordered ‘my’ shoes straight away.

Nike Air Pegasus NIKEiD

Good communication is priceless

Ordering went smoothly, and in the following days Nike updated me regularly about the creation and the whereabouts of my new shoes:

Nike Air Pegasus - Started Making Nike Air Pegasus - Almost Done
Nike Air Pegasus - Order on the way Nike Air Pegasus - Order has arrived

Within 2 weeks I received my personalized shoes by mail. When I opened the box the shoes looked even better than on my computer screen. I couldn’t wait to try them out.

Nike goes the extra mile

So I did, but not before posting the following tweet:

 

Before leaving home for my test run, I received a reply from Nike wishing me the best of luck. And not just an automated reply… This was a reply from someone who had identified my new shoes as Nike Pegasus’ straight away!

 

This little personalized tweet gave me an extra boost to run faster than usual. And so I ended up sending this tweet later that evening:

 

Nice! Before hitting the shower I received a new tweet from @NIKEiD:

 

Again a very personal tweet. This personal engagement felt great. Just great! I am one happy customer!

Nike rocks at customer engagement!

Nike may spend a fortune on marketing, but they truly rock at customer engagement. From the follow-up mails after the purchase to the tweets before and after my first run, Nike delivered an outstanding performance!

It seems that they use the emotional state of their customers (excitement about a new shoe or a great run) to build a relation on the personal level. That’s powerful stuff! Oh, and in case you’d wonder, they respond to negative tweets as well. Quickly and correctly. That’s great marketing too!

The moral of this story

Nike shows that marketing is more than a department. They delivered a great customer experience from start to end. They allowed me to personalize my shoe, they updated me on the whereabouts of my new shoes, they replied to my tweets… They combined great marketing with customer engagement.

And that’s smart, really smart. Because if you combine marketing with customer engagement you can convert customers into fans. And fans help you spread your message. Like I do right now. This is powerful stuff, and it is not that hard to accomplish.

Just do it!

And keep doing it. You will probably reap the benefits soon.

How do you make sure your customers spread your message?

I look forward to reading your answers and/or questions through the contact form below.

Christophe Van Bael
Christophe Van Bael
Hi there! I'm Christophe, Founder and Managing Director of Lincelot. I have a background in linguistics, customer contact optimization and internet marketing. Please feel free to contact me for advice, help and speaking gigs on web design, content creation and inbound marketing.
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