Written by: Cassie Lavo
When I think Nike shoes, the first two shoes that come to mind are the iconic Air Force 1’s and the timeless Air Jordan 1. Since the 1980’s when both these shoes were first released there have been in-numerous versions created and yet still they remain a staple for shoe lovers everywhere. Now it’s 2018 and Nike decided it was time to reimagine both these styles through a female lens and who better to do it than a group of 14 creative females!
Nike’s goal was to take diverse talents and bring to life new versions of the Air Force 1’s and Air Jordan 1’s. After 4 days of collaboration, the final output was a total of 10 new original redesigned sneakers made specifically for female sneaker heads everywhere.
All Photography By Gabriela Della Corna.
Personally, I love everything from the message Nike is trying to share to the shoes that came to life through this collaboration. When I first heard Nike was doing this campaign the word “inclusivity” kept ringing in my ears. Why? Because while you may see many rad chicks wearing sick Nike’s around, you might not be aware of the lack of inclusivity there is for women in sneaker culture. I’m not talking about appreciating women who wear cool sneakers, but I am talking about making more cool sneakers available in female sizes. Sitting at a shoe store trying on little boy shoes isn’t ideal, but is often a work around for many females trying to cop the latest sneaker drop. I believe Nike putting such a large emphasis on the ‘1 Reimagined’ campaign is showing that Nike is not only listening, but also reacting to this growing market of women in sneaker culture.
The In Store Experience
Not only was Nike’s purpose for the ‘1 Reimagined’ campaign strong, but they also elevated the campaign with their true in store experience. Here is how the Nike store in Soho killed it during the release of the 10 redesigned sneakers:
Incredible Sneaker Layout:
Whoever said brick and mortar is dead, is wrong. I have walked into the Nike store located in Soho many times, but the launch of the ‘1 reimagined’ is now my favorite experience in a retail store. Upon entering the store the shoes were all placed on acrylic iridescent boxes coupled by information on that specific shoe. You couldn’t walk past the in store exhibit without wanting to engage and touch the beautifully placed sneakers.
This is how you create intrigue and curiosity right at the front of your store.
In connection to the ‘1 Reimagined’ launch, Nike had a variety of mannequins lining the floor with extremely unique Nike clothing. So unique you couldn’t get it anywhere else, because the designers were on the scene at the store creating it right there. Talk about personalization. Not only did they provide customers with ideas for the custom clothing, but the cost to customize the clothing was free as long as you bought the pieces you needed for your own creation.
The icing on the cake was that the designers customizing the clothing were literally on the first floor working behind a glass wall and when asked a question about the clothing they would come right out and talk to you.
This is how you cultivate a sense of community.
Exceptional Customer Service:
I’ll admit there are stores you walk into and you would rather not be bothered by the staff asking if you need help, but that is not the case at Nike, Soho. The staff is extremely attentive and if you do need help they will assist you no problem, but that’s not what is special about them. It is how they can organically strike up an authentic conversation about like minded things, such as talking about the current shoes you are wearing or your shared love for Tinker Hatfield.
Ultimately by the end of your time in the store you will have felt like you were just shopping with a large group of your friends and find yourself saying goodbye to each of them as you exit the store.
This is how employees help elevate your brand in store.
Lastly, a collaboration. A really great collaboration. After purchasing my two pairs of sneakers from the ‘1 Reimagined’ collection – we were invited back to an event the following day at the store in which Olivia, from Bodega Rose would be hosting a “Basketball Plant” workshop. This workshop was off the chain. Olivia walked us through her process of placing plants in basketballs and then we in turn were able to take home our creations.
This was extremely cool and brought the whole ‘1 Reimagined’ experience to another level. Allowing us the opportunity to have direct access to someone who is currently collaborating with Nike felt very special.
This is how you get people to come back.
Nike was able to create a campaign with various touch points that felt very authentic and natural to the audience they were marketing it to. The ‘1 Reimagined’ campaign is a great example of knowing your audience and creating a tailored purchase experience for them. Most importantly this campaign is really only the beginning of brands focusing more on women in sneaker culture.
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Also published on Medium.