Brutal Product Marketing Mistake! (Nike Targeting Case Study)

In this Nike case study what I’m going To demonstrate is one of the most common Mistakes that people make in product Marketing and that mistake is hyper Focusing on narrow targeting so product Marketers often believe that the primary Goal of their job is to identify some Special little niche group of people to Appeal to to Target and to make them Fall in love with your product in Reality that’s not generally how you Grow the way that you generally grow is By targeting larger clusters of Customers and often what that means is Targeting all people who buy the product Category So in the case of Nike that product Category generally is sports apparel Now let’s take a look at this example so These are two products that I own on the Left we have a shirt a dry fit shirt That keeps you dry when you’re running And you can see that it falls under the Sub brand Nike running Division and you Can see that in the logo here On the right We have a jacket and the jacket falls Under a different sub brand which is Basically the Nike Lifestyle brand Now you’ll notice a big difference Between the logos here on the right we Have the Nike check mark with the Written words Nike now the reason that It is this way is because this lifestyle

Product is designed to have a retro feel So it’s bringing you back to some of the Classic Nike clothing And back then Nike wasn’t as well known And associated with the check mark so Often what you have to do is a a newer Brand or a smaller brand is really Solidify the connection between the icon I.E the check mark in this case and the Brand name so the Nike so that Eventually the check mark itself will be Sufficient to make people think of the Brand name Nike but back then that Solidification hadn’t happened yet However they’re still branding their Lifestyle products with this to give it A retro feel So really what we’re doing here is we’re Targeting different use cases so the use Case for this jacket is lifestyle It’s Fashion it’s casually going out and on The left it’s much more functional it’s About running and the technical Capabilities of the shirt itself to keep You dry to keep you cool Etc whereas on The right it’s not so much about Functionality it’s more about how cool Or how fashionable you are very very Different use cases So the tendency with product marketers And product marketing managers when They’re first getting started is they Would look at this and they would say Well Nike running division products

These Performance Products were going to Target people that uh are Running competitively people that are Only interested in running and then We’re going to have this completely Separate group of people that are only Interested in fashion and really aren’t Into sports in reality those two use Cases overlap and I’m the perfect Demonstration of that I want to wear Nike lifestyle products but I also Because I do a lot of running want to Wear functional products it doesn’t mean That I’m a different group or I’m a Different Target or a different Sub-segment of the Target customer group Nike’s targeting it’s that I am the same Person but with different needs So this is a inversion of how you need To think of targeting when you’re doing Product marketing are you actually Targeting different people or are you Targeting the same people with different Use cases And we see this all the time in the Business world so for example Coca-Cola Sells Diet Coke which has zero calories And they also sell regular Coke which Has a lot of calories And you might think oh there’s a diet Segment there’s people that only drink Diet soda no there are people that drink Diet soda during the week and then on The weekends when they want to treat

They’ll have the full sugar version of Coca-Cola Now it’s very easy to get caught up in This belief because this is the Mainstream thinking in marketing Uh largely based on what’s coming out of Academia this idea of hyper targeting But when we actually look at consumer Behavior we see that in fact the same People will buy different products for Different reasons for different use Cases so it’s not so much a targeting Issue as a use case or value proposition Issue

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