What Happened A Nike store in Paris has started using augmented reality to show customers what their personalized running shoes would look like. Working with SmartPixels, a French AR company, Nike is letting customers configure the colors of a running shoe on a store tablet and use a hologram projector to overlay the colors onto an actual white shoe. This way, Nike hopes to give customers a better look at how their customization would look in physical form as opposed to a flat digital rendering.
What Brands Need To Do Pokémon Go introduced U.S. consumers to mobile AR technology last summer, but brands are only starting to explore the possibilities that AR marketing brings. At this year’s CES, we saw brands like BMW and Gap showcased AR apps made for product demos. And this AR initiative from Nike points to a new way that retail and fashion brands can experiment with AR technologies and deliver a captivating customer experience.
If you’d like to get some help to figure out how augmented reality can enhance your customer experience and drive new opportunities for your brand, or simply to try out the HoloLens demo we have to experience the transformative power of AR, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.
What Happened Nike’s new flagship retail store opened its door in the Soho neighborhood in New York City last week. The Lab team recently paid the store a visit to check out the unique in-store experience that Nike has crafted for this retail location. Below are some pictures that we took to help illustrate the installments that Nike created in this five-story store to draw in shoppers.
What Retailers Should Do By taking an experience-focused approach and constructed dedicated areas for different activities, Nike effectively created a retail destination for sports and fitness fans, encouraging them to to try out their products in an optimized environment or simply to hang out with fellow sports fans and sneakerheads. The addition of touchscreens adds a digital touchpoint to the brick-and-mortar experience, bridging the gap between physical and online retail while doubling as self-serve information stations.
Increasingly, we are seeing brick-and-mortar retailers prioritizing this kind of experience-driven approach in designing their retail stores. For example, Bandier, an upscale activewear boutique, left some space in its flagship store for hosting yoga classes and other events for its customers to attend, turning its store into a destination for like-minded fitness lovers. For retailers, these examples of experiential retail should serve as inspirations to figure out how to craft an engaging in-store experience that attracts shoppers.
How We Can Help The Lab has extensive experience working with retail, beauty, and CPG clients to create and implement digitally-enhanced experiences for their stores. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in crafting a digitally enhanced, innovative retail experience. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop an updated retail strategy and implement digital-driven retail solutions to transform your in-store experience, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.
In a brilliant move that combines health incentive, branded value exchange, and wearable tech all together, Nike has been secretly setting up temporary vending machines, aptly named FuelBox, that trade Nike FuelBand points in exchange for branded Nike products. It comes off as a novel guerilla experiment for Nike to market its brand value while generating buzz for its wearable device. Such an integrated plan, if proven successful, would most likely be exerted more frequently.
In somewhat surprising news, Nike has announced that it fired the majority of its FuelBand team, and is pivoting its business away from wearable hardware and into exclusively software. That means that all FuelBands will likely not be produced in the relatively near future, and the slimmer model planned for this fall will not make it to production. For now, though, the present generation of FuelBand will continue to be sold. It seems as though this move isn’t necessarily because the wearable market is faltering; indeed, wearables and fitness tracking more broadly continue to boom. This has more to do with the fact that Nike’s digital app ecosystem continues to out-perform its physical hardware like, and as Apple and Google stand poised to join the battle for consumers’ wrists, Nike likely simply decided now was the time to re-focus the business plan.
Nike has unveiled its latest wearable-fitness piece, the Fuelband SE. Though it looks very similar to its predecessors, it comes with different accent colors. The devil is always in the details, and the SE is no different. According to Nike, there’s some new “fine-tuning” baked into the device, which fundamentally alters how your Fuel is tracked. It can identify actual movement better, it can give you hourly reminders about when to work out, it features improved weather sealing and double-tap features, as well as Bluetooth 4.0. The iOS app has an overhaul too, to help users make the most out of every day. The Fuel Curve shows hourly movements, and gets as granular as five minute intervals with dynamic info. Nike has also restarted its Accelerator program in San Francisco, and is aiming to bring more third party apps and products to the Fuel ecosystem. The band will be available on November 6th, for $149.
Facebook isn’t putting any advertising into Instagram, so brands and advertisers have been making their own. Marketers, from Pepsi to Nike, are creating sponsored posts on the platform, but Facebook isn’t earning any revenue from the practice. Following the infamous Terms of Service debacle, Instagram had to make it clear that it wouldn’t take users’ photos and use them for advertising without permission. Instead, brands are experimenting with the platform with celebrity and sponsored posts; for instance, Nicole Richie this week posted a photo while using a hair product made by Unilever’s Suave. She also included a link to a microsite by Suave introducing users to their products. LeBron James similarly posted a picture of his Nike’s, and Beyonce posted a pop-art collage with Pepsi. Whether these posts actually translate into revenue is to be determined, but this is a trend that will need to be addressed by Instagram and Facebook – and marketers as well – before it becomes much bigger.
Following in the footsteps of Microsoft Kinect, Nike just announced its first Nike plus accelerator program which kicks off in March. With a variety of products in the plus portfolio like fuelband and Nike’s fitness tracking app, participants should have a quanitified self field day. We can’t wait to see the results.
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