Para leer este artículo en Español haz click aquí.
The word fashion comes from old french façon with origin in latin factio, it is defined as a way or manner to do something. This probably does not tell us much, that’s why I add to this definition that real powerful fashion is not only a way something it’s done but to generate habits.
My favorite sport and the only one I practice is running, and I’ve observed that in the recent years runners communities have considerably increased, I am certainly not criticizing this by any mean, on the opposite I’m glad that people seek to have a healthier life and practice sports, even happier that governments and brands promote these good practices that generate family and social harmony.
Someone who has promoted the running habit is Nike through its product lines, its branding campaigns and sponsoring elite events such as marathons and their own 10-kilometer races series along the globe 10K Nike Run, more than imposing fashion Nike imposed a habit. Voilá! Here an example to define fashion.
Like its famous slogan says Just Do It, as simple as putting on your training shoes to go out and run, you don’t need anything else, and once you start (if you become addict and continue doing it) you’ll discover the benefits of this habit. Through time you stop being an amateur and become a pro, the first signs appear when you replace your old fleece pants and sweatshirt souvenir from your high school graduation with running tights and a neon shirt, then you need to track your performance and you get a GPS watch and download on your cellphone an app to register your trainings, and so you become an addict consumer of the items the market offers you.
Though do you know why when you go out shopping to buy your training items you feel so attracted to Nike? It’s not only because of its arduous work and millionaire investments on branding campaigns that have positioned the message Just Do It, or because its product lines have a very appealing design; beyond all that it’s because Nike knows the little details that truly matter while training and make the difference on the buying decision.
Here some examples, I’ll start with the interior pocket in the tights or shorts. When you out to train you need to carry your car or home keys, who can look after these on your behalf while you are running? Nobody! You need to carry them with you and keep them somewhere, and that’s why you need the pocket for, also it is very useful too on competitions to carry other items. Without it you’d have to carry the keys in your hand, I can list several brands that have pretty cool shorts but don’t have a pocket, to me it makes a big difference, personally I don’t like to run with any type of object in my hands and probably many of you what I’m talking about, that makes me prefer Nike.
Another example is the technology of the fabrics. If my research does not fail, Nike was one of the first brands to launch a fast dry technology, these are garments made of a hybrid microfiber/polyester fabric, engineered to quickly wick (or absorb) sweat away from the body, the sweat then travels to the surface of the garment and evaporates, helping to keep the skin dry: Nike’s Dri-FIT. It is one of the reasons why runners prefer a shirt that keeps them lees sweaty and lighter while training. The truth is this technology generated a need and that’s why many brands followed and runners look for it; if you are a runner or practice any sport I dare you to count all your training shirts and tell me how many of them or Dri Fit or similar.
Additionally, Nike made smart alliances with third parties and tech developers to offer complementary products such as applications that are compatible with their GPS watches offering a variety of options for users to track their trainings; as well as programs for music players that help you controlling your pace while training.
A very important factor for Nike to transcend with their consumers is the shopping experience, in any of its boutiques we can perceive a meticulous merchandising strategy which goal is to impact you, it’s reflected on every detail like the architecture, the interior design, the mannequins physiognomy, the decorative photography, the music and we have to include the great service that make you feel like buying anything, actually, you fell like you want to get all the clothes and pair of shoes and go out at least for a walk, haven’t you ever felt that way?
Let’s admit it, Nike has such great success because knows the needs of its consumers, focusing on developing intelligent value added products that exceed your basic expectations, its effective branding actions has positioned the brand in the market for offering more than sports shoes, it went out on the streets to be wore by the urban young segment and now we recognize Nike as one of the leaders of the running sportswear. The brand knows how to give to its products an incomparable design and tell you its message inspiring you and motivating you to wake up in the morning and go out to run… that’s imposing fashion and habits.