Within the female running community, you must have heard of Adidas, Nike, Puma, Asics Reebok and many more (though these are the only ones that come to mind). Surprisingly, Nike® was not seen as a serious choice for runners within the female running community. Although Nike® had designed shoes explicitly to the specifications of women’s feet; they had not yet tapped in to the exclusive world of women as Asics® was seen as the most recommended brand for women. Nike® decided to find a way to connect with female runners and get them more involved with the brand.
SO WHAT DID THEY DO?
Nike® collaborated with the agency Razor to inquire more about the running trends among young women who were passionate about running and made a discovery. Women regarded running as an individual activity that was dominated by men. Nike® and Razor discovered that women often tend to run alone and are left to achieve their goals and overcome their fears on their own.
IDEA- STRONGER TOGETHER
An idea was then born: to create a strong female community united by a passion for running. The thought behind this was that as a female runner, one is more powerful in a group than one could be as an individual. This would provide a forum for the women to communicate their dreams and goals and conquer their fears- not alone, but together! The relevance of this campaign was to introduce women to Nike® footwear.
STRATEGY FOR “SHE RUNS THE NIGHT”
The strategy for the campaign entailed the use of female runners who would consequently become the channel for growth and promotion of Nike within the female sector- which was a fine departure from dominated manly athlete feel of the brand one must say!
Digital communities – Nike’s aim was of starting the conversation with the help of social media for a cry for change in the way women perceive running. Chats around the barriers that women are facing were encouraged.
It was then realized that the biggest obstacle of all was –Running alone at night! Thus, the Nike® “She runs the night” campaign was launched which aimed to redefine the sport of running in the eyes of women and empowering them to change the way they train forever. It has been suggested by Schultz & Schultz (2003) that an effective integrated marketing campaign should result in long term brand awareness and sales. Results and stats show that Nike was able to fulfill these goals by launching a successful IMC campaign.
The channels utilized by Nike to effectively integrate all promotional efforts were:
- Online recruitment of inspiring female runners who were comfortable running in the dark. Their stories inspired an online short film.
- Advertising– print ads were placed in female worlds predominantly.
Nike® then announced a 13 km night race exclusively for women.
The online film acted as a registration device that could be personalized to every runner which then could be passed on to their family and friends, celebrating all of these inspiring runners by online means, in- store, print and outdoor which inspired other women to take notice of this campaign and join the fantastic movement. This app was downloaded by 87% of young female runners.
Within a month, more than 14000 people were talking about the night run and the Facebook page garnered more than 16,000 likes.
- Nike® decided to release an app with content generated the runners in collaboration with Nike to inspire and motivate more women.
Five young women were chosen as ambassadors and their untold stories were placed on posters with QR codes on running routes, gyms and other channels. These ambassadors networked within their own university campus, clubs and societies.
NIKE OPTING TO GO FOR COLLABORATIONS?
Nike® collaborated with Cosmopolitan ® to further enhance their promotions in the form of
- A workshop on running
- Print ads in the form of editorial features exclusively on night running
- Website integration with cosmopolitan so that users can go to the race registration site on Facebook.
On race night, the community of young motivated female runners got together to run. All journeys of the runners were published via Nike’s® media and other media partners.
Nike’s® “She Runs the Night” campaign was one of the most successful IMC campaigns of the year with the following stats-
98% of the digital community of women showed brand recall and awareness and positively engaged with Nike®.
A huge community of more than 60,000 young female runners was created.
More than 90% of the digital community intends to run the race this year again
Over 3,200 women on the starting line for the race
44% of female runners bought a pair of shoes upon registration
Key styles of shoes were sold out before the race – exceeding sale targets.
SO DID NIKE USE THE IMC MARKETING TECHNIQUES EFFECTIVELY?
We know that social media has become the most popular way to express consumer feedback and research products through social network sites and brand websites (Iacobucci 2013). This fantastic direct marketing approach enabled the marketing team at Nike® to interact instantly with their audience. This also helped the team to gain more ideas for the run and get marketing feedback which played a significant role in inspiring the team at Nike® to organize a run in the night.
A combination of the IMC approaches sparked a movement which inspired a powerful community to run and be more empowered. Nike® ensured that race night became a celebration for women transforming how consumers connect with brands and unleashed a powerful flourishing community.
SHOULD RUNNING BE EMPOWERING? Yes, undoubtedly it should.
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Posted by- Aditi Sharma