Nike: “Play New” and “Toughest Athletes”

Most of the time marketers target a specific group of consumers for their products and services. Marketers can target a consumer group using a number of factors including geography, demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, and behaviors. The key is to understand the consumer group for which the products are intended. The products have to show value and benefits; the company’s advertising has to show that the company understands the needs and desires of the consumer group.

Athletics is a very large consumer group. It can have professionals, amateurs, youth, mature, various sports, and more. Nike recently launched a new campaign to appeal to people who want to try new sports but fail at them, encouraging new athletes to not give up after a few fails. For this market, there are many existing products to sell, but the mindset is different. The “Play New” campaign showcases elite athletes and professionals trying a new sport that they don’t excel at – and shows them failing at it! The campaign will be paired with a full-body Snapchat augmented reality lens customized for yoga, dancing, surfing, and boxing. All are encouraging consumers to attempt something new and uncomfortable initially.

In addition to “Play New,” Nike also launched a new campaign (along with full athletic wear apparel) geared to pregnant women and new moms. New moms are of course cast as the “Toughest Athletes” and the commercial shows international moms-to-be and moms who are flexing their athletic and maternal abilities. Additionally, the campaign will contain four guided, motherhood workouts that will be part of the Nike Run Club app.

Nike seems to identify new markets and approaches at a high rate. What other approaches could it take?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are the target markets for Nike? (Did anyone mention pregnant women and new moms?)
  2. Show the Nike video for pregnant women: https://youtu.be/_-5MGkUwe6w
  3. Show the website for Nike Maternity wear: https://www.nike.com/maternity
  4. Video for “Play new” campaign: https://youtu.be/BUvEEVq4woU
  5. Why these two target markets?
  6. What else can Nike do to encourage buying from these consumers?
  7. What other new target markets could Nike sell to?

Source: Ad Week; other news sources

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No More Cash or Credit Cards. Instead: “Do you take palms?”

When you shop, how do you pay? Do you use cash, credit/debit card, check, or mobile? And, when you enter campus buildings or work, do you use an access card or code? Ever wish there was an easier way to do these things so you don’t have to worry about carrying a wallet or cards?

Well, if Amazon One gets adopted in the marketplace, then you can pay for items and access buildings using just your palm. Yep, that’s right. Put your hand right there and access is granted.

Amazon is now using its palm-scanning payment system in a Seattle (Wash.) Whole Foods store. This expand the testing of Amazon One beyond Amazon Go and Amazon Book stores, and the company says thousands of customers have signed up to use the new service.

How does it work? The palm-scanning device analyzes “the minute characteristics of your palm – both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns” to identify customers and use palms to pay. But first, customers must register their palms at a kiosk in the Whole Foods store and link a credit/debit card to the payment. Easy. Since palm prints are unique, and your hands are attached to your body, only you can unlock the payments. And, in the times of contagious diseases such as Covid-19, the payment is truly contactless – you don’t touch a thing at checkout.

Amazon is also exploring selling the technology to other companies, so perhaps you will see this at a store (or office) near you next year. However, there are concerns about security and privacy as the data is stored on a cloud.

Raise your hand if you’re willing to use palm recognition systems.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How do they pay for most of their shopping? Cash, check, credit/debit card?
  2. How would they feel about using palm prints as payment/recognition systems?
  3. Show the Amazon One website and video: https://one.amazon.com/
  4. Show news video: https://youtu.be/rf7por-57yI
  5. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for launching new products.
  6. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid for Amazon One Palm Payment service.
  8. When debriefing the exercise, make sure to emphasize to students the difference between what a company wants to tell the market, and what a customer wants to hear about the product.

Source: Reuters; The Verge; other news sources

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Wing Drones Can Now Deliver Girl Scout Cookies

When you get a cookie craving do you go to the store? Poor you. If you lived in a Christiansburg, Virginia, a community that tests commercial delivery drones, you could get Girl Scout cookies delivered directly to your front lawn!

Christiansburg has been testing Wing drones since 2019. Wing is the drone subsidiary of Alphabet (Google’s parent company). The main delivered products are rather mundane, such as pastries, tacos, and coffee. But now – Wing will be delivering those tasty Thin Mints (my personal favorite) and more. Wing worked with the local Girl Scout troops who said they have had a harder time selling cookies during the pandemic. And, let’s face it, delivering cookies is an excellent way to garner public support for commercial drone services.

Wing’s drones can carry items up to 3.3 pounds that fit into a special aerodynamic package. The drones don’t actually land in your yard; drones hover over a designated delivery area and lower the package to the ground using a string. Customers then retrieve the package from the delivery area. The drones fly lower than 400 feet and cannot be near airports. Items range from foods, flowers, medicine, and more. In addition to the U.S. location, Wing is also delivering via drone in select locations in Australia and Finland.

Now, how many boxes of cookies do you want?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Have them think of all the products that could be delivered by drones.
  2. In order to be successful, companies must be able to physically get a product into the hands of the customers. Discuss how a distribution channel works.
  3. For Girl Scout cookies, what distribution channels are used now?
  4. How can the channel be expanded? What approach could be used?
  5. Show videos of Girl Scout cookie delivery: https://youtu.be/DFfsepDkTkA
  6. What can a drone deliver? https://youtu.be/HVDZgTJ8JLA
  7. View Wing’s Website for additional information and videos: https://wing.com/
  8. How does drone delivery change the experience? Positive or negative?
  9. Finally, what types of companies will benefit from the use of drone deliveries?

Source: Associated Press; USA Today; other news sources

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