Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Nike’.
Society increasingly expects brands to give back at least as much as they take, and as a result, CSR is moving higher up the executive agenda.
However, many companies still think of CSR in terms of corporate philanthropy.
Although this thinking is more constructive than the mere guilt avoidance that characterised too much CSR in the 1980s, it misses a much bigger opportunity.
Brands that get CSR right don’t think of it in terms of obligation; they see it as a real opportunity to build mutual value for their brands and their communities.
Many of the world’s best-loved brands started out with a civic agenda at their heart.
One of the best examples is Cadbury, who went beyond offering world-leading working conditions to build an entire community around its Bourneville factory:
In 1893, George Cadbury bought 120 acres of land close to [the Bourneville factory] and planned, at his own expense, a model village which would ‘alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions’. By 1900, the estate included 314 cottages and houses set on 330 acres of land. [source]
Modern-day civic-minded brands have extended this sense of community beyond their own workers, and brands like TOMS are defining compelling new standards of ethical business with their ‘One for One’ business model:
Read more about TOMS’s ‘One for One’ approach here
By putting CSR at the heart of the brand’s proposition, TOMS has created a truly ‘remarkable’ brand, inspiring so much admiration and interest that people feel compelled to share its story themselves:
— shannonrose (@ShannonBraddon) June 28, 2013
— Jessie Steinwand (@jessiestein99) June 27, 2013
Brands in the finance sector have also been more proactive in their CSR efforts in recent years, with brands like The Cooperative Bank offering what they term an ‘ethical’ approach to banking.
Brands are also increasingly using CSR as a cornerstone of their marketing.
American Express’s Small Business Saturday initiative has redefined the ambitions of marketers everywhere, driving billions of dollars in sales for small business, and delivering a huge boost to AmEx’s revenues in the process:
Indeed, Small Business Saturday has done so much to help communities across the USA that it earns the kind of endorsement that traditional marketing dollars could never buy:
My family & I started our holiday shopping at a local bookstore on #SmallBizSat. I hope you’ll join & shop small this holiday season. -bo
— The White House (@whitehouse) November 24, 2012
Effective CSR doesn’t have to be large-scale to add community value though; brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Oreo have incorporated civic-minded messaging in their marketing too, taking a public stance on issues that they believe in:
Most people still recognise that these activities as marketing, but when the alternative is interruptive advertising selling things people neither want nor need, it’s easy to understand why community-minded marketing gets more positive feedback across different audiences.
Giving vs Growing
Brands can also use community activities as part of market development.
A great example is Nike’s ‘Reuse-a-Shoe’ programme, where the brand recycles old sneakers to create surfaces for inner-city sports grounds:
Communities benefit through access to state-of-the-art sports facilities where they can exercise and train for free, while Nike benefits by getting people more actively involved in sports, thereby increasing potential sales and offering the chance to identify star athletes of the future.
CSR Should Be Win-Win
This ‘mutual benefit’ approach is the key to sustainable CSR success, and offers the greatest potential rewards too.
The obvious goodwill benefits that these activities generate mean civic-minded brands are more likely to be welcomed into people’s daily lives.
Beyond straightforward preference drivers, CSR can be a powerful part of a brand’s social media activities too.
At the most basic level, CSR initiatives offer brands a meaningful way to engage their audiences in conversation.
More importantly, though, audiences are far more likely to share their own stories about brands that make a real difference to people’s lives, and this sharing can result in powerful, organic conversations across social media and beyond.
So, instead of an approach that requires brands to reach into their coffers to relieve the corporate conscience, brands need to start thinking of CSR in terms of opportunities to add tangible value to a variety of stakeholders:
The brands that will win tomorrow won’t just give back to communities; they’ll actively nurture and build communities too.
When people buy brands, they’re usually paying for something more than a core product or service.
For example, they don’t really pay for the liquid inside a shampoo bottle; they pay for beautiful hair, and for the confidence which that brings.
Ultimately, people pay for benefits; products and services are simply a means to an end.
The most successful brands understand that broader, benefit-led marketing allows them to extend their impact beyond core products and services to deliver ‘augmented’ offerings that create far greater value to both them and their audiences.
This approach applies to brands across almost all categories:
- Nike sees large-scale participative events like its We Run races as core revenue streams in their own right, not just activities designed to increase sales of the brand’s apparel.
- Apple’s App Stores and iTunes Store move the brand from a manufacturer to a lifestyle brand whose impact extends well beyond the technology sector.
- Madonna purportedly earns more money from concert ticket and merchandise sales than she does from album sales.
- Red Bull has gone so far as to reposition itself as a ‘media and experiences company’, using its ‘extreme stimulation’ proposition to extend the brand’s offering well beyond its heritage of energy drinks.
- American Express doesn’t just offer payment services to its merchants; it uses activities like its OPEN forum and Small Business Saturday initiatives to become an overall ‘partner in success’.
It’s clear to see why this approach works: augmented experiences offer people something more than a mere means to an end, and as a result, they succeed in delivering a differentiated value proposition that people are willing to pay more for.
Moreover, these experiences are inherently more ‘social’ than simple products and services too – it’s easier for people to share an experience than it is for them to share most products.
Critically, there are also more compelling reasons for people to talk about great experiences than there are for them to recommend specific products.
As a result, augmented experiences can inspire a social media impact that extends well beyond the reach of customer reviews or the brand’s own social media posts.
So, when it comes to your brand’s social media, don’t just think about how you’ll drive greater engagement with your own social media posts; use augmented experiences to inspire organic audience conversations, and become a brand that’s always worth talking about.
Read more in the Social Brands series by clicking here.
So, here’s the big one, does spending on social media really pay back? A fresh MBA graduate from MIT, Niki Gomez, passing through London and We Are Social on her way to Mumbai, gives her views.
At last, a study quantifies what many of us felt must be true, that social media does translate into increased sales. As Violette mentioned last week, a study by Wetpaint and Charlene Li’s Altimeter Group shows an extremely strong correlation between engaging in different social media and earning higher revenues. The study looks at the engagement of top 100 brands from the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands report and ranks them from 1 to 127, based on how they use social media channels. It finds that the top brands with their rankings in brackets are:
- Starbucks (127)
- Dell (123)
- eBay (115)
- Google (105)
- Microsoft (103)
- Thomson Reuters (101)
- Nike (100)
- Amazon (88)
- SAP (86)
- Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)
The most engaged brands experienced revenue growth in 2008 of 18% whilst the least engaged brands experienced losses of negative 6% over the same period.
Also interesting is that only arguably half of these are internet companies. The study categorizes the brands, a la Malcolm Gladwell, into mavens, those heavily engaging in 7 or more channels, such as Starbucks and Dell; butterflies, such as American Express and Hyundai who engage with seven channels but with less engagement; selectives who engage in six or less but do some on a deep level such as H&M and Philips; wallflowers like BP and McDonalds who engage with six or less but with a light touch. My question was whether social media pays off because of lower marketing spend, as there is a shift from spending on more traditional channels. However it seems, revenues, actual sales are up on previous years, even boom times!
Their findings conclude that it is not how many social media channels you use, but how deep that engagement is: so being social pays, but it’s the quality rather than quantity of these conversations that seems to triumph yet again. So, please think before you tweet… a good piece of advice for brands and individuals alike.
It’s always good to start the year off as you mean to go on, and that is exactly what we’re doing today. This morning We Are Social is bigger and better than when we downed tools for the Christmas break – we’re very happy to announce that Chris Applegate has joined the team.
Chris studied Computer Science at Cambridge and then went on to get a Master’s from Edinburgh. He joins us from Outside Line, where he was their Community Marketing Manager, working on social media campaigns for LG, Nike, Eurostar and Vodafone, as well as the famous Berocca Blogger Relief campaign.
You also may know him from some of his extracurricular activities – his personal blog qwghlm.co.uk is ranked 16th in Wikio’s list of the UK’s top Technology blogs, he captured November’s zeitgeist in the UK with LOL Griffin and this satirical YouTube mash-up, has dispensed well received new business advice and, with his jaunty fedora, is a well known member of London’s social media scene.
We’re really pleased to have Chris on board, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming him to the team.