Nike is carrying on the innovative work begun by Apple in attempting to revolutionise the way we shop. To be more exact, it is revolutionising the way shops engage with their customers, and ultimately the way customers respond.
The Nike Fuel station aims to make the consumer feel a part of the shop’s personality – the moment you walk in, your movement is tracked by an interactive wall which illuminates and changes colour as you progress along the corridor.
The fascination with technology doesn’t stop there – you can even throw some shapes or do a bit of ball juggling in front of a screen, which mimics your actions and takes a recording.
The station, powered by Microsoft Kinect, will then produce a pixelated image of you and send a 30-second video clip of the Matrix style you in motion that can be shared across social media or kept for pure entertainment value.
Engagement is key
It all sounds a bit pointless, but from the perspective of a tech PR it’s an example of a brand doing all it can to engage its customers – something Nike has never been bad at.
It’s not all just for show. Nike’s overriding theme of ‘self-actualisation’, previously epitomised by campaigns such as ‘Just Do It’, is really on show for all to see here. Thanks to some albeit clever, but by no means ground breaking technology, its possible to turn a shop into something of an arcade.
As previously mentioned, Nike has clearly studied the Apple retail model – the number of stock items on show will be greatly reduced, and replaced by iPad stations that customers can use to browse user-friendly catalogues.
Is there ROI to be had?
There are potential concerns with this evolution. Namely that people will be too busy fooling around with pixelated mirrors and disco-lit walls that they will never get round to buying anything. But that’s just the point – every customer will leave with something, something they will probably share with their friends of Facebook; that can’t be a bad thing.
Us tech-heads may point towards the issue of collaborating the numerous devices on show to a unified network and the complications of keeping any private data secure. However, they’re not bad problems to have.
All brands, especially technology ones, like to think that they are reinventing the wheel – oh the irony, that a sports brand may have ‘just done it’.