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Running, Analytics, Gamification, Mobility and Brand Loyalty

I had interesting thought when I was training for a half marathon.  With all the hype surrounding mobility and the iPhone launch, I wanted to look at what applications I use and how they impact as a consumer.  I realized there was a great example of mobility/marketing sitting under my nose.

One of my most used application is Nike+ or known also as Nike+Running for the iPhone.  It was a paid application that you download to your iPhone and you can track your runs in realtime with GPS.   It’s a good mobile experience when it works and doesn’t crash(it can be buggy).  As part of the application you can also share your runs socially and track other attributes about that particular run including shoes used.  Your data then can be synced to the “cloud” and viewed via the website.  Part of the fun part is as you run more or make personal records you get badges for your effort.  In addition there is a universal points measurement of your activity that goes across all sports.  You can earn badges for your runs which is quite cool.

I was thinking however the app cost very little and the website is free, so is Nike going to make any off of my regular use?  The answer is an indirect yes.  First off the app features the Nike brand name, so each time I use it I see the Nike logo.  Next the nikeplus website is where the magic happens.  The site is more than just a simple listing of what I have done.  Instead when you login you see upsell/cross sell offers for Nike products related to your sport.  In addition there is a convenient link to the Nike store to buy that related gear.  So even if I don’t buy from the the site when the offer appears, I might think about it later and decide to buy.  Also the site has some nice stickiness attributes.  Since I want to analyze my running in detail, I tend to visit after each run.  This means if I’m running a couple times a week I will login.  Once again I will see offers/suggestions based on what sport I participate in and yes I get offers on running gear.   It’s almost like a marketer’s dream as your target audience has an extreme probability of seeing what you are offering.  I can even say as fall approached the gear promoted has shifted short-sleeved apparel to long-sleeved apparel. 

If that doesn’t sound awesome enough the site actually has a customer support service line and e-mail service.  I had a problem with my stats appearing correctly on the site and I was able to talk to a very nice real person about the issue.  After a few followup contacts via e-mailthe issue was fixed. This type of issue followup is amazing and hard to find at many companies when you are paying for the goods and/or service.  Once again my customer experience was awesome and continues to lead in a positive brand image of Nike.  I must admit I’m still in the price/value consicous category when comes to my purchases but this experience will definitely keep Nike as my choice over other brands if price is more and within my budget(still trying to justify spending $80 on that warm dry-fit wool running longsleeves shirt that is an awesome concept).

All these elements of the entire nike+ customer experience show how you can use mobilitiy, cloud, analytics and gamifications to enhance brand loyalty.  For disclosure I do not work or have been paid by Nike to be endorser.  I just happen to be a recreational runner who uses the Nike+ iphone app for all of my outdoor run tracking.  Although I use Nike running aparrel, my current running shoes are Brooks GTS Adrenaline 12 which was based on fit/feel/running style vs cost.

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