Online Community Around A Running Shoe?

1 08 2007

Ok so I don’t like to run. In fact, a bear would need to be breathing down my neck before I did. But I know what I like when it comes to creating community and collaboration around a product. NikePlus is it. Together with their partner Apple (music to run by) they have served up a singular customer experience.

So what is NikePlus?

Quite simply an amazing array of useful tools designed around those who are passionate about running. Here is what you can do for free.

Customized tools that help you…

Manage Your Runs

  • Track your runs – distance, pace, calories and time
  • Set goals – measures progress
  • Map it – scout out where to run w/ Google maps
  • Widgets – track challenge ranking or goal progress from your desktop

Issue Running Challenges to Your Friends

  • Gallery -track yours and other challenges (individual or teams)
  • Issue them – challenge someone

Socialize or Talk Shop in An Online Community

  • Forums – discussion boards
  • Events – sign up for running events
  • Distance Club – follow stories of those who reach their running goals
  • World runs – real-time leader board of runners

Buy Gear & Music

  • Nike stuff
  • Apple iTunes stuff
  • Music mixes for different workouts

Get Support

  • Tutorials – on a variety of running tips
  • FAQs
  • Contact info

So What?

Well for starters Nike has created a great model that showcases a compelling customer experience for today’s consumers. Beyond the site’s visual appeal there lies other interesting considerations:

  1. The depth of customer awareness shows. Not only did they create the right customizable tools but also designed the right inspirational appeal.
  2. They clearly mapped the entire runner experience from end to end and then developed ways to make the whole thing fun and interesting.
  3. Online tools provide support beyond the physical product and in fact integrates Apple iTunes and iPod products into the whole experience too.
  4. Even though I am not a runner I feel that Nike wants to create a customer experience that transcends the product and makes the whole act of running different than if I chose another running gear brand. Now that’s a way to create evangelists.

But We Use Google Groups Already!

We have a Facebook community of association professionals called Association of Associations (join us it’s free but you need to register) that has been discussing the whole social networking phenomenon and whether an association ought to build one or use one like Facebook.

The NikePlus site is one good example of why associations need to develop the ability to build community from their own sites that better integrate their products or services to create new ways of interacting with the member customer.

Today you have products over here and discussion boards over there. Nothing is integrated. No thought to map out the member experience of say a conference and then offer tools that makes the whole experience better (and different) than other events.

Here’s a video of the Nike-Apple experience.

Now if only I could get Krispy Kreme and Apple together…




2 responses

2 08 2007

I follow you. NikePlus is a really cool model. I like the simplicity of it. Now we need to get from here to there…without spending the fortune that Nike and Apple are spending.

Mmmm. Krispy Kreme…

2 08 2007
Peter Turner

Hi Lindy

Stripped down to its fundamentals, we must develop a clear, deep, emotive picture of the customer audience of the product, service. Then map the customer experience of the product or service to identify the touch points. Using the stakeholder analysis we should be able to identify opportunities to build richer product or service experiences that directly meet the needs stated.

Then it’s a matter of creating tools only not necessarily with the same budget. But I am sure it could be done.

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