Nike Stores, Digital Screens and the Nike+ Application: An Opportunity In Waiting For In-Store Social Media and Influencer Building?
Before one even sees a single shoe or pair of running sweats at the Temple of Nike in downtown San Francisco, one takes a ride up the escalator and passes by a series of programmed digital screens that are also peppered throughout the store. Images of bodies in motion artfully shot along with select Web screens and animations of the Nike+ application speak to the brand story of aspiration and achievement. One literally travels from the outside world to the athletic world enabled by Nike.
On Wednesday nights the store is full of runners, members of the Nike Running Club. They are “the faithful,” armed with iPods sequestered in arm bands and Nike+ sensors tucked into shoes. Before heading out on a weekly group training run, they browse new merchandise and promos specially selected and staged for the evening. (Last week’s merchandise was Livestrong shirts to coincide with Lance Armstrong’s participation in the Tour of California race.)
It’s all a great idea – bring the influencers together who use and wear the brand frequently in public, give them a group activity (that syncs with the core brand story) to do in significant numbers, and highlight new products they might like.
So what’s missing?
Web meets (live) World is being overlooked. There’s a unique opportunity to engage these people even further with each other and the brand – powered by the technology they are already “wearing” and the screens and backend networks (video distribution and retail computer systems) already in the store environment surrounding them.
Consider This : An opt-in real-time public social media system with retail benefits and bragging rights
A whole host of new opportunities for engagement are made possible if 2-way connections can be established between:
- The cell phones* of the runners with an intelligent network serving the video to the screens (as opposed to video coming from a DVD)
- The cell phones* of the runners with the retail transactions network (cash registers)
- The network serving the screen video to the network that handles the retail transactions at the cash register
- Video screens in multiple (a least 2) Nike Store locations holding running events at the same time
(* assuming iPhone type devices and or docked/synced iPod minis)
If the above technology is in place, and we enable individuals to opt-in as public/in-store social media participants, some programming/engagement opportunities might be:
There are many other “public and personalized social media” experiences, as well as “professionally produced” programming concepts that are possible when we can connect the customer devices and networks in the Nike Store. I am not advocating that this be done just because it can or is trendy because we are using the word “social media.” I believe the experiences in this environment must give “the participant” at least one of the following, as did the three previously outlined examples.
- Help me – have a better day/run, live a better/healthier life, be more effective, make better decisions
- Surprise me – by gifting me, recognizing my achievement, or showing me something I didn’t know that will contribute to my cocktail conversation factor
- Amuse me – by giving me something to do while I am waiting in line or for the run – trivia, puzzles, games – and if I like it a lot, let me quickly download or bookmark it on my portable device
- Inform me –about a product or service, my community, the world – of which I have particular interest; provide quick information with the ability to mobile bookmark and learn more later without having to search for a piece of paper to write down a url
- Connect me – to people, events, causes that I can participate in; locally and also globally; one time or on a continual basis
With these premises in mind, the appropriate 2-way technology in place, and the brand story clear – great Web meets (live) World personal experiences can be delivered on a meaningful and continual basis at the same time that: a brand is being built, promos are being offered, sales are uplifted, environments enhanced, ad dollars earned and impressions made, customers amused while they stand in line. Seems like a win to me.