As time passes the world significantly changes, especially in terms of technological advances and social issues. If businesses want to survive they need to incorporate some of these changes into their strategy. Using these technological advancements, businesses are able to maintain their foothold within a competitive marketplace. As I read about the ways businesses can do this, I wondered who has done this well and what additional information we can glean from their example.
According to Fast Company magazine, Nike was the #1 Most Innovative Company in 2013. Mark Parker, Nike’s CEO, incorporated cutting edge technology into his products. Some of these products included the 2012 “FuelBand”, a comfortable bracelet that monitored a person’s movement throughout the day. In a time where obesity is actually a social epidemic and the health industry is significantly growing, Nike reacted by implementing technology in a new way. Mr. Parker also did this in 2013 with Nike trainers; specialized shoes containing sensors which collect data about movement. Since the sensors are wirelessly connected with the user’s iPhone, he/she can monitor their exercise using their own statistics.
After analysis, it seems like the following four rules are what govern Nike and lead them to such success:
Rule #1: TO DISRUPT, YOU MUST GO ALL-IN.
(Interpretation: Set the bar high, claim ownership. In Nike’s case, they didn’t just make new products; they invented new styles of technology, and are incorporating a new style of advertising by involving consumers in an online community.)
Rule #2: ANTICIPATE A PRODUCT'S EVOLUTION
(Interpretation: Plan for how the product needs to change. Parker said he is obsessed with his products; he is constantly thinking about them, and anticipating how to make them better.)
Rule #3: DIRECT YOUR PARTNERS
(Interpretation: Coach your partners to the end-goal. When developing new products, Nike goes outside its bubble and includes dozens of partners to help them collaborate ideas and information. During this process, Nike is clear about expectations and direction.)
Rule #4: FEED COMPANY CULTURE
(Interpretation: Make people proud to work there. Send this image to the public.)
These four rules simplify a large part of Nike’s business strategy in how they anticipate new changes and needs in the world. They actively incorporate new technology into their products, and introduce them to the public in services that can genuinely help these needs. There is a lot we can learn from Nike, and its example.