Reported on Ad Age today (see below)
What I like is the consumer oritentation, marketing is built around consumers not the media or products...and that The Brand Website is Management driven and not given to junior people...Marketers listen up, marketing is consumer driven, and consumers "touch" the brand and want to engage on the websites!
"We do not start with the medium," Mr. Edwards says. "We always start with the consumer and then look for the best ways to connect with them."
But in an environment designed to top itself, Nike built on the relationship between music and its use in workout routines. Nike linked up with the equally hip Apple and the iPod, immensely popular with runners, walkers and bicyclists.
Serving as a virtual training coach, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit lets athletes of any stripe use Nike Air Zoom Plus sneakers and the iPod Nano to track workout data, which can then be compiled on a website for later analysis. Further tying into consumers' digital lives, Apple's iTunes hosts a Nike Sport Music store full of recommendations by professional trainers and professional athletes such as Steve Nash and Lance Armstrong.
A yearlong project
"We approached Apple with the idea over a year ago," Mr. Edwards says. "With well over 1 million miles -- equivalent to circling the world more than 40 times -- logged by Nike Plus runners in just 10 weeks, it's fair to say that Nike and Apple have changed running forever."
And all this innovation has taken place amid a broad reorganization aimed at fortifying the company's brand. This summer, Gary DeStefano was named president of global operations from president of U.S. operations. Mr. Edwards was promoted from VP-global brand management. And at the beginning of the year Mark Parker replaced William Perez as chief executive, because Mr. Perez reportedly didn't see eye to eye with Nike founder and Chairman Philip Knight.
Following the changes, Mr. Knight called for more involvement in brand building online and overseas. Senior executives, from Nike's CEO to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Mr. Edwards, are "involved with what's going on with the site," says R/GA's CEO Robert Greenberg. "That really sets them apart. It's amazing how a lot of companies have managed [interactive work] with very junior people."
Mr. Edwards and his team are adjusting to the changing media landscape. "How we end up on YouTube, a place where people express themselves, have some fun and share their creativity, is an example of that," he says.