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Digitization Keeps a Leading Shoe Brand Still in the Game

Nike remains an iconic brand even in the new normal


Aastha Khanna

During the new normal, Nike has been improving its connection with customers through membership opportunities, stronger digital marketing and powerful data analytics to reinvent its brand and supply chain. 

Nike is responding to the pandemic by leveraging its digital resources to connect athletes with customers, strengthening its digital ecosystem and boosting online sales. 

Instead of selling through other vendors, Nike has started selling directly to customers and partnered with Amazon for an updated e-commerce strategy. An end-to-end focus on consumer data better allows Nike to connect with customers and recommend the right products. It has also opened concept stores and improved its online and app experience. 

Benefits of faster product development 

The improved digital focus has given Nike a faster product development cycle, which has allowed it to get new products to market quickly, respond to and set trends and control how many items are produced. A large part of Nike’s brand is the scarcity of some of its shoes and the coolness factor that it creates.  

At the beginning of 2017, its stock price was $52; it’s now up to nearly $88. In that same time, revenue has increased from $33.5 billion to $39.1 billion. 

Just do it, at home! 

The company’s main slogan “Just do it”, created back in 1987, calls for movement, action, empowerment and initiative. So, what about now, when everybody is stuck at home? Without gyms, without social gathering, no jogging and no social interactions, where would you would have the opportunity to flaunt your new Nike air? How to send its message and keep customers engaged while they pretty much stay at home? 

Nike’s response 

In response to the pandemic, Nike created different digital spaces for customers to interact with the brand’s big influencers: the high-performance athletes. 

With slogans like: “Play inside”, “Play for the World”, and “You can’t stop us”, featuring athletes and regular people playing in their living rooms or backyards, Nike has been reducing the distance between these athletes and their customers and keeping customers engaged even during the lockdown. 

The company also deployed many digital contents and platforms for free: 

  1. Nike’s digital ecosystem: A library of digital workouts and resources for free, including Nike App, Nike Training Club App, Nike Running Club App, social channels,, and its podcast TRAINED. 
  2. Livestream workouts: Live workouts are streamed every Saturday by Nike Master Trainers for free on the Nike YouTube channel. 
  3. Digital fitness challenges: A flagship initiative during the lockdown has been The Living Room Cup–a digital workout series where athletes set challenges for users to take part in at home. Global Athletes like Lebron James or Cristiano Ronaldo stream themselves doing a workout and challenge users to compete against them. Players can share their results on their Instagram profiles using the hashtags #playinside and #thelivingroomcup. 

Just like its slogan says, Nike campaigns are not only informative, they are actually pushing customers to do something! 

Not surprisingly, Nike stocks recently soared 11% in the latest earnings announcements, reflecting an increase in online-order and passing Wall Street estimates. 

It is clear that Nike is taking the opportunity of these testing times to leverage digital transformation and thereby, engage even more with customers to expedite its online sales. 

We, at Hashbrown Systems, have experienced, while working with businesses at the nascent stage of digital transformation, that the fundamentals of business haven’t changed.  

Nike is still selling shoes as it was fifty years ago. Brands advertise on billboards just as they did before the Great War and hotels still provide accommodation, meals and related services to tourists and travellers.  

What has changed is how businesses interact with customers. Customer journey is different, purchasing decisions are different, negotiating process is different – the way a brand must operate to grow or even retain has transformed.  

The customer acquisition process is totally different, though the basic economics haven’t changed.  

At Hashbrown Systems, we understand this disconnect and have worked over the years with new entrants as well as established brands to build new channels for direct growth in business. With our cloud-first, data centric approach, we have demonstrated direct savings, waste reduction and a direct increase in sales.  

Contact us to learn more about our software, solutions and services, and how we could be of better service and greater value to your organization. 

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