One thing that struck me when I was at Nike was the time and energy they spent in innovating and coming up with completely new, yet always utilitarian, products. As a sports company, they try their best to make sure that the interests of the athlete are served at all times. I’ve been going for quite a few interviews of late and one of the questions I’ve been asked is what I think of Nike as a brand now, versus a decade or two ago. Having been both part of Nike and a regular consumer on the outside, I can say that it definitely has stronger market competition now but its foundations have stayed more or less the same. The athlete is still the centre of it all.Take, for example, Nike’s new riding boots for the Olympics, called the Nike Ippeas. From this article in BusinessWeek:
‘The world will get to see the Ippeas on the feet of U.S. rider Amy Tryon, a bronze medal winner at the 2004 Athens Games, as well as on the 14 members of the Chinese equestrian team. Tryon says the snug fit gives her greater control over her horse than any other boot she has worn. “If nobody tries to push the envelope, nothing changes,” she says.”
Push the envelope. Thought for the day.