On Thursday, March 27th, along with a few colleagues I attended the opening for " The Store For Tomorrow," at Wolf Olin's very cool office. I wasn't sure what to expect other than what I read on their site:
"Held in London and New York, the show highlights ten platform brands that invite people to take part, to give as well as get. And the more people who join in, the better it becomes for everybody."
It wasn't actually a store but 10 stands being tended to by Wolff Olins employees for different brands. Nike's store was aptly called," Fitter City," where you pledged to give a certain amount of miles per week to selected destinations and in return you received a Nike+ kit. Every store was dully mobbed, but Fitter City was one of the first to sell out their quota of pledges.
Exposing people experientially to their ideology of how brands need to act in the future was a genius way for Wolf Olin's to brand itself. And what they proposed is that if brands want to have more of an impact they need to became a platform to helping people enhance their lifestyle. Brands notoriously tout "Buy our product and it will help you do what you really want to do."
The sort of thinking that Wolf Olins is preaching is what JetBlue and Nike are practicing. Purchasing Nikes sneakers, may help people run better but along with a program like Fitter City where they encourage people to share their training, competing and goal setting data online to help motivate people helps really fulfill that promise. By going above and beyond to understand their consumer, the message Nike is now sending to their consumers is that they authentically care about helping them do what they want.
Its this kind of pertinent engagement with the consumer that creates an emotional connection. Both Nike and Jetblue's initiatives clearly demonstrate that a fool proof way for consumer generated content to succeed is to simply base it around what the consumer actually needs.