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#1 08-12-2013 06:06:12

durenchc
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Date d'inscription: 08-12-2013
Messages: 1

Responding to Trends: How Nike Maximized the “Minimalist Movement” in

Nike Shoes UK Online  found starting around 2010, there was a rapid rise in the number of runners doing something odd:  running barefoot (even in winter!) or in glove-like shoes with separated toes and no cushioning.  Trend or fad?  If you were a leading manufacturer of traditional running shoes, how would you respond?

Nike Shoes UK Sale   craze was further boosted in 2009 by the book Born to Run, which describes a native Mexican tribe of great distance runners and their barefoot running style.  Other barefoot-style running shoes – some with separate toes, some without – quickly started appearing on the market.  Some came from well-known athletic shoe makers like the New Balance Minimus and Fila Skele-toes, other from other upstarts like Vivo Barefoot and Skora.In 2006, an unusual running shoe was introduced and started to grow in popularity.  The Vibram FiveFingers shoe with separated toes was touted as a “minimalist” shoe that would enable a more “true to nature” running style.  It claimed that humans were meant to run barefoot – with a forefoot strike rather than heels first – and that this natural gait would prevent the stress injuries that plague most runners.

Nike Huarache  in just 5 years, grew from near zero to a 4% share of the total running shoe market.  But is this a long-term trend or a fad?  Market watchers say the minimalist segment has begun to decline in 2013.  New studies contest the claim that barefoot is best.  Toed shoes are criticized as being difficult to fit due to variations in toe length.  It’s also worth noting that making the transition to running (nearly) barefoot requires strengthening of the foot and calf muscles, which like any habit change takes time and commitment.

If you’re Nike, the number one seller of running shoes in the U.S., what do you do?  Do you jump into the toed-shoe market, come up with your own unique “as good as barefoot” design, or stay focused on your traditional shoe designs with elevated heels, structured stability, and high-tech cushioning?

So far, Nike U.S. has eschewed both “separated toes” and “no support” shoe designs.  After observing some Nike-sponsored athletes training barefoot, Nike introduced the Nike Free shoe with a segmented, highly flexible sole in three different levels of support (3, 4, and 5) that fall in-between barefoot (1) and the most supportive shoes (10).  The Free brand is positioned by Nike as a “barefoot-like ride,” but the relatively thick sole separates it from true “feel the ground” barefoot shoes and has actually helped make the brand very popular among non-runners; thus, the brand is generally excluded when measuring sales of the minimalist running shoe segment.

Nike has also introduced another lightweight running shoe, the Flyknit brand.  This is not being marketed as a barefoot product but rather is positioned as “the perfect fit,” responding to a long-standing consumer desire for shoes that are as light and unnoticeable as socks.  Flyknit shoes are half the weight of Nike’s most popular running shoe and made of a stretchy material with the comfort of a sock.  The game-changer is the production process:  a machine which knits the entire upper part of the shoe with a synthetic yarn, resulting in just 2 sewn pieces versus the typical 37.  The new process cuts sewing-labor costs and reduces material waste so much that manufacturing in the U.S. may become feasible, which would significantly trim factory-to-consumer lag time.  The process also makes product personalization easier.  With Nike’s online design tool, you can customize the color of every part of the shoe for just $40 more than the $160 cost of their standard Flyknit designs.

Do you think Nike took the right strategic path?  Our opinion is that, as the market leader, they made the right risk-reward trade-off.  On the risk side, consumer acceptance of split-toe footgear is unlikely to reach a mass-market level, and there’s a high risk of complaints and even injury among mass-market consumers who might jump into barefoot designs without understanding the ramifications.  On the reward side, Nike already had a hit with the mass-market-friendly Free design, and the Flyknit technology offered huge potential for profit growth coupled with the ability to meet rising consumer demand for personalization.

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#2 02-01-2014 10:06:10

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Re: Responding to Trends: How Nike Maximized the “Minimalist Movement” in

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#3 11-02-2020 08:50:16

watchfish
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Date d'inscription: 11-02-2020
Messages: 2165

Re: Responding to Trends: How Nike Maximized the “Minimalist Movement” in

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#4 11-02-2020 09:17:57

watchfish
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Date d'inscription: 11-02-2020
Messages: 2165

Re: Responding to Trends: How Nike Maximized the “Minimalist Movement” in

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