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Branding your run.

Nike and Apple have teamed up to be your ultimate running buddy. A variety of new Nike running shoes are available in stores (or lately to be in stores) that come with a small cavity in the foot bed in which to place a transmitter. The transmitter, made exclusively for your iPod nano, is available in Apple stores, online or brick-&-mortar. The transmitter relays the distance traveled and “talks” to the iPod so that when you’re gasping for air and about to run into that Krispy Kreme for a little respite and reprieve you are gently reminded that you have only 1.2 miles to go. This is where the ability to kick it up a notch by playing your “power song” will propel you to steer clear of the donuts and stay on track until the finish. Further garnering the power of stick-to-itiveness is the tracking capabilities you can monitor on your iMac before and after your run.

The innovative part of this new product/service, aside from the actual cool-factor the iPod and Nike brands bring to the table, is the user interface Nike runs on nike.com to complement the product/service. The extension of the experience with the brands may be the key factor to making this product stick with customers. The key differentiation for this UI is the attention to design. It’s intuitive and easy to understand and interpret. Both the aesthetic and functionality make you want to get up off the couch, pull on those Nike shoes, strap on your iPod nano and run like the wind, just to see it working!

The real innovation here is the continuation of the Nike brand and iPod brand using a synergistic approach to building a brand experience. The value derived from the experience for the runner is enabled to be an emotional one; thus, a bond is created. And then to further develop that bond (or nurture that customer relationship) Nike built an engaging community encouraging ongoing interaction, input, creativity, and, ultimately, (and here’s the key, branding folk) a relationship.

We’ll have to wait and see if it success ensues. From a brand angle it sure seems like it will be off and running in no time flat.

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