Good Nike Fuel Station At Boxpark Mall Essay Example
Analysis & Comparative Study of Nike Store
In a recent survey held by Brand Keys 2014, 32000 consumers from various industries were surveyed for their favorite brands in different categories to study the brand engagement and emotional loyalty. Among the 45 brands in retail, consumer engagement was highly influenced by emotional engagement, shopping experience and value for their money. Competing with the best brands Nike proved to meet the customer expectations by 91% according to the survey results that was much ahead than any other athletic or sports related brand.
Nike has always been considered an innovative brand due to its strategies in product development, retail and marketing. This paper will analyze how Nike has been able to connect with its target market and create an emotionally loyal customer base. The paper will specifically discuss the Nike stores to study the various persuasion techniques the brand has engaged to enhance the retail experience for their customers in comparison to other competitors.
The modern era is considered to be the “customer era” as the consumer is driving all the changes to the business processes and wants everything on the fingertips as shown in the image (figure 1) below:
Figure 1 what customer wants,,
The image points to the fact that the retail brands need to offer more than just the products and competitive prices. The retail brands today need to connect with the customers in the online and offline environments.
Nike being the leader in fulfilling the customer expectations has taken various steps in digitizing the customer experience through apps like Nike+ GPS app, Sportwatch and location based strategy for their retail stores to engage their target market with a very different way to create brand awareness while directing them to the retail stores in a unique way.
The shopping experience provided by the Nike Fuel Station in London is nominated in the 10 best augmented reality experience of the 2012. Nike, with its revolutionary ways of branding and retailing has given a new meaning to shopping. The showcase store at the Boxpark mall off Shoreditch High Street called the Fuel Station that is spread across four containers in a highly digitized retail storefront. The unique customer experience is established as the customer walks in. A camera tracks their movement in an interactive way illustrating it on the digital walls.
Nike has chosen this as a way of involving and engaging the walk-in customer with the brand instantly. The visual tracking of the customer’s movement (as shown in the image 2) invokes an emotional appeal between the brand and the customer instantly. The customer feels a part of the store and the brand as they get the limelight. It’s a psychological fact that customers stay loyal to brands that connect with them at emotional level, making them feel special and celebrated. Customers connect with brands that they feel best reflect their identity and if a brand is successful in engaging the customer through an emotional link the bond can become even stronger.
Furthering the customer experience, once the customer enters the store they are given several ways to play and socialize without even looking at a product. The store lets a customer record and visually track their jumps while enjoying their trip to the store. Each jump is tracked a digital silhouette is illustrated on the front wall, the brand even sends a clip of the entire activity to the customer’s email address that can be shared easily. Once again the store emphasized on the emotional attachment with the customer by facilitating them to have fun and showoff their stamina and endurance, the qualities most associated with the brand itself. Thus in a way the store makes the customer believe that the brand actually reflects their personality.
Since Nike is a sports brand and their products reflect speed and strength, building on the same ground the store emphasizes these attributes in various interactive ways. The LED walls of the store project the customer’s movement and encourages movement and speed. The visual tracking of movement and speed not only automatically connects the experience with sports but it also associates the entire customer journey with the basic parameters of the Nike products. This strategy focuses on the logos as it logically builds a relation between the brand’s personality and the customer’s journey.
The stats have shown that 93% customers who have experienced the Nike Fuel station have bought the Nike products in general and Nike FuelBand in particular. This point out to the fact that emotional connection between the brand and the customer is a strong factor in buying decision.
While the store plays on the pathos the most as Nike has always emphasized on valuing the emotional connection of the customer with the brand that is apparent from almost all products, marketing and advertising campaigns launched by the brand.
The brand has always focused on keeping their taglines and campaign titles about the customer, the way they market their products is by flaunting the attributes that show advantages for the customer.
In addition to the emotional bond, Nike as a brand has also add credibility to its brand by always hiring the most reputed as the brand ambassadors. Continuing the same thought process, the Nike Fuel Station store has interactive mirrors along the digital product racks. As the customer passes by the mirrors show inspirational videos of the various Nike stars endorsing the products.
The store staff is well equipped and well informed about the brand’s products. Even though the store is not over stocked with all products. The staff of the store has IPads that can assist the customer in knowing everything about the products they might like to buy. The sales staff is trained to not merely focus on their sales pitch, instead the staff involves with the customer in various interactive activities that the customers can engage in the store. The non-sales attitude of the sales staff also portray an emotional bond to be developed between the staff members and the customers when they compete with customers in the jumps or running to be illustrated on the LED walls. Connecting at emotional level, gives the customers a satisfaction that they can consult the store staff for making the right decision.
Thought out the store there are various QR codes to show the making of various Nike products and the advantages, the customer can move the staff’s iPad to view the product from different angles adding credibility to the brand’s production and product design departments. Customers always want to know how their favorite products are manufactured and tested, the openness also adds weightage to the product’s quality.
In addition to this the store provides a unique way of trying and testing the actual product. The store try out stations have treadmills and cameras, enabling customers to try and run with live viewing on the sales staff’s tablets to know the best fit for them.
How is Nike Fuel Station Different?
The store is based on the modern concept of “retailtainment”, that focuses on improving the shopping experience for the retail customers while providing them various ways to enjoy and cherish their trip to the store. The Nike customers expect innovation and the brand makes an effort to fulfill that. The Fuel Station store also proves that. Unlike any competitor at that time, the store at any point does not make any sales pitch to the customer. The customer is not shown any new deals or products rather the customer is encouraged to only have fun and interact with their Nike stars in a digitized experience. The customers only run, jump, dance and take their pictures with their favorite stars, to share with everyone in their social circle. The store makes them feel special and enables them to imagine themselves as a star or athlete in various ways.
Similarly, unlike traditional sales staff the staff at Fuel Station is trained not to directly sell a product, in fact they are asked to socialize with the customers to build trust and emotional attachment. The sales staff can understand their customers better through apps that can filter products based on the customer’s purchase history with the brand. The well informed staff is more dependable to make the right decisions for the customer.
This strategy of the store is to build a logical, credible and emotional connection between the customer and the sales staff. The staff is the tangible connection between a retail outlet and the customer. Thus if the staff member knows everything about a customer and understands precisely what they like, there is a greater probability of actual sales.
The business and technology world are colliding and are now driven by the customer needs. The brands that have learned that are now revolutionizing the way they sell and are more probable to stay longer. The example of Nike Store shows that the brand understands the emotional needs of its target market and values this emotional connection to expand its consumer base. As with every campaign the brand has launched, the store makes the customer believe that it’s all about them and not the brand or product. The various ways the brand adds touch of credibility and logic makes it more obvious for the customer to buy the product from Nike without pursuing them to do so.
It is important to understand that engaging a customer for a long term trust worthy relationship is more important than making a sale instantly. The valued considerations to the rules of logos, pathos and ethos that Nike as a brand has implemented throughout has proved to be in its favor greatly as the customer can see how they can be benefitted by the highest quality products made by the brand. The positivity in their message automatically adds sincerity and trust between the brand and the customer.
The above analysis and comparison of the Nike’s store shows that the Nike brand persuades its customers to become active, healthy and strong and offers its various products from shoes to athletic wear, to gadgets and apps to help them achieve the same. Nike has stood amongst other in being the leader in innovation and customer engagements through these strategies.
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Hutchings, Emma. "London’s Interactive NikeFuel Station Breaks Digital Design Boundaries." psfk March 2012. web.
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Miles, Stuart. "Nike Fuel Station: The future of retail?" Pocket-Lint March 2012. web.
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