I’ve chosen to focus on Nike for my marketing research final project.  Nike was founded in 1964 by track-and-field coach Bill Bowerman and runner Phil Knight as Blue Ribbon Sports; it later became Nike Inc. in 1971.  In 1988, its iconic “Just Do It” campaign was launched with an ad depicting 80-year-old runner Walt Stack making his way across the Golden Gate Bridge (O’Reilly, 2014).

For the purposes of my project, Nike will be developing a new shoe that functions as a Bluetooth-enabled wearable.  This shoe combines Bluetooth technology with Nike’s legendary comfort and style to provide new solutions for runners, walkers, and the technology-obsessed.

How will it work?

The new product will connect via Bluetooth to send data to a companion smartphone application.  The shoe will collect data on steps taken by the wearer, distance traveled, and calories burned and then send the data to the app to be presented to the user in an easy-to-navigate format.  The shoe will also have a built-in feature that allows for haptic feedback.  The app can be used to connect the shoe to other apps; for instance, connecting to Google Maps would allow the wearer to receive feedback on the left or right foot, indicating which way he should turn while walking, running, or bicycling, leaving his ears free to listen to music, audio books, or podcasts.

Is this the product the market has been waiting for?

To determine whether the market will support this new product, I will have to conduct some research.  At this point, the primary research objective is to determine whether a technology-enabled shoe wearable is a product that consumers need and/or want.  Exploratory research used to identify this objective could include looking at secondary (historical) data from when watch wearables were first introduced and experience surveys offered to consumers who use currently-available wearables (Babin, 2016).

The research design will consist mostly of surveys, but will also include components of observation and trend analysis on wearables in general.  The surveys will be offered via direct mail as well as email, social media, and telephone marketing.

Is the market ready for a shoe wearable?

I think it is.  Health-consciousness continues to trend, and more and more people are looking for ways to integrate technology with their healthy habits.  Nike already has a strong audience in people who are concerned with their health; beyond that, gadget lovers are likely to be attracted to the additional features and capabilities of the product.

References

Babin, B. J. (2016). Essentials of Marketing Research, 6th Edition. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305688094/

O’Reilly, L. (2014, November 4). 11 Things Hardly Anyone Knows About Nike. Retrieved January 8, 2017 from http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-nike-facts-about-its-50th-anniversary-2014-11

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