Give the people what they want

DSC00546Some of you may remember a blog I wrote back in March about an iPhone app adidas originals were releasing, however most of you will not, so you can check that out here.

adidas made a very clear statement when in 1996 they segmented their brand into 3. adidas performance (sportswear) adidas style (expensive trendy clothing) and adidas originals (streetwear for the cool kids.)

adidas originals has really taken off in the past 2 years, due in part to a huge global marketing campaign of which the iPhone app was a part. adidas have since turned what was once a low volume shifting niche brand, into a global force which the original audience still see as a “their” brand despite it’s size and reach.

It now seems that Nike are looking to cash in on the action, by releasing an eerily similar app, which you can read about on New Media Age here, to celebrate the re-issue of one of their most iconic trainers. The application focuses on building an online community with user generated content aimed specifically at the hip hop/street wear/b-boy consumer.

Nike have always had certain lines of trainers that were aimed at a more street audience, however they have never made the move into rigidly segmenting their street-wear products under an over arching brand by renaming it like adidas did with originals.

This made me wonder how segmented branded communities online need to be. Will the fact that the community is labeled just “Nike” mean that the application (which is a guide to local clubs, clothes shops and graffiti) attracts people interested in running or golf out of confusion? The answer is probably not.

Branded communities, the ones that work at least, tend to seek out their audiences with the content they provide. The best communities will offer their audience content, which is of genuine interest to them, and hopefully over time this will filter out everyone but your target audience. This isn’t ideal if you are targeting 20 – 60 year old males who shave, but if you are trying to reach 15 – 30 year olds who are into street wear, urban culture and graffiti it is great.

Nike very much get the fact that branded communities should be about a concept, and don’t need to focus around a brand, as they have demonstrated with Nike+. Instead of trying to hard sell all the time, try building a community around something your audience has an interest in and finds genuinly useful. You’ll probably find that you gain a much more captive audience who are more willing to get involved in conversations with you.

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One Response to “Give the people what they want”

  1. Exactly my thoughts. Really good read. All you have to do is take one look at the Jordan brand and it’s a totally removed entity to it’s father Nike brand, yet they are insperable.

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