Nike, a sports manufacturer, has been at the forefront digital transformation. The brand’s strategy has been based on artificial intelligence (AI), ecommerce, and in-store experience technology for many years. It has also taken advantage of the buzz surrounding new concepts like the metaverse, NFTs and web3. Here are some examples of how Nike uses these technologies to stay relevant and at the forefront of culture.
Nike, and the Metaverse
Nikeland, Nike’s metaverse space, uses Roblox to enable its fans to socialize, participate in promotions, and engage with a variety of brand experiences.
Metaverse is a term that describes the new breed platform-based virtual worlds. Users explore and interact with them as avatars. There have been virtual worlds where people can chat, socialize and play, as well as work. The metaverse environment is different because we can do all these things and more within one persistent environment with a set of rules.
Nike claims that Nikeland has been visited by 7 million people since its launch in November 2021. They have had the opportunity to see sports stars like LeBron James and to purchase exclusive digital products for their avatars. These items aren’t limited to Nikeworld. They can also be worn by avatars as they travel to other Roblox environments, essentially making them digital brand ambassadors. You can test your strategy and reactions with a variety of games. There are also chances to win more products and prizes.
Every visitor to Nikeland becomes a custodian for their “yard”, a private space within Nikeworld where they can display their collectibles or decorate it to reflect their personalities.
Nike is leading the charge in proving that “sell the lifestyle” can be as effective in the digital realm as in the real world. It has been able to successfully transfer its ability to cultivate a high-level of aspirational mindset to the virtual realm, through both desirable, fashionable products users can buy and competitions, challenges and the opportunity to display achievements and high scores. It is a wonderful example of a brand who has successfully merged digital transformation with its existing identity.
Web3 & NFTs
NFTs were a hot trend that Nike also jumped on. These tokens can be used to create digital assets that have a unique, one-of-a kind nature and are stored on a blockchain. While most digital items, such as a JPG image or an MP3 song, can be replicated infinitely, an NFT is a piece of digital data that can attach to any digital item. This theoretically confers the item’s uniqueness.
RTFKT Studios was a manufacturer of NFT collectibles. In December 2013, Nike showed how keen it is on NFTs. The studio’s appeal to sportswear manufacturers is clear when it sold 600 pairs NFT sneakers in six minutes. This was for $3.1 million.
CryotoKicks Dunk Genesis is Nike’s first NFT collection. Once they have them, they can be customized with “skin vials”. Different designers can create these vials, which add special effects and patterns on the base sneakers.
This shows that Nike understands the importance of personalization for consumers today, especially younger millennials and Generation Z who value personalized items over mass-produced, standardized goods.
Nike’s digital transformation efforts are not limited to the digital and virtual worlds. The brand’s bricks and mortar stores in the real world are becoming showcases of how it uses new technology.
The idea behind the flagship New York store is to encourage customers to interact with the brand via sport and technology. The in-store baseball court has cameras and video screens that allow users to shoot hoops and replay highlights. They can also run on the treadmill, which simulates running outdoors. They can make their shoes look exactly how they want before purchasing them. There are also coaches and trainers who can help.
Experience is the key word here. Nike hopes that technology will help create memorable shopping and leisure experiences, which will strengthen the relationship between the brand and customers in a world where consumers value having positive experiences with brands more than price. They will be more inclined to search for the iconic swoosh logo when they shop for sporting goods, real or virtual.
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