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26-04-2005
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nike goddess
this article is a couple years old, but i think it is relevant posting. i was inspired by the Gap Redesign thread, and how it's primary focus is catering specifically toward each gender. Nike Goddess stores took a similar approach. i'd like to hear your thoughts on this trend in retailing.

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The Making of a Movement

In its 30-year history, Nike has become the undisputed leader in sports marketing. If boys wanted to "be like Mike," marketing executives wanted to be like Nike. But lurking beneath the company's success was an aching Achilles' heel. Nike is named after a woman -- the Greek goddess of victory -- but for most of its history, the company has been all about men.

Of course, radical innovation rarely follows a straight line. But there's a feeling that Nike has a chance to reach a crucial objective: double its sales to women by mid-decade. "Nike Goddess is the manifestation of us getting our act together," says Mark Parker, Nike's brand president and one of a handful of executives who report to chairman Phil Knight. "It also helped us realize that the Nike brand could be so much more. We don't want to be the number-one sports brand in the world. We want to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete."
Nike Goddess began as a concept for a women's-only store, and there's a reason why. Niketown, the retail setting for which the company is best known, is also known to be a turnoff to female customers. Consider the San Francisco Niketown. The women's section is on the fourth floor. But getting there isn't a matter of taking a few escalators. At each floor, women looking for workout shoes or a yoga mat have to wade through displays on basketball, golf, and hockey to catch the next escalator up. The feel of the store is dark, loud, and harsh -- in a word, male.

"I got used to hearing people describe us as brutal," says Hoke, the designer behind most Niketowns. "But that's because our initial reaction to selling the Nike brand was to turn up the volume. Goddess is about turning the volume down. I wanted people to come in and take a breath."

Hoke, who was recently named global creative director of footwear design at Nike, headed to California for inspiration. He toured the house of Charles and Ray Eames. The 1950s designers, with their airy, clean aesthetic (known as Palm Springs Modernism), captured everything that Hoke thought a woman would want in a place to shop. "Women weren't comfortable in our stores," he says. "So I figured out where they would be comfortable -- most likely their own homes. The store has more of a residential feel. I wanted it to have furnishings, not fixtures. Above all, I didn't want it to be girlie."

At the first Nike Goddess store, located at the Fashion Island mall, in Newport Beach, California, the mood fits Hoke's plans. It's light blue and white, with dark wood floors. Milky-white mannequins with muscles fill the floor-to-ceiling windows. Shoes are displayed on tables or wooden shelves alongside pieces of Jonathan Adler pottery and white orchids. Overnight, the store can be overhauled to focus on a specific sport or trend -- whatever is fashionable for the times.

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27-04-2005
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i don't like 'activewear' and i like nike the least of all of them...
so i haven't been in a store...even when i needed some stuff for a job...i sent my assistant......

i do like the aesthetic (palm beach modernism)...that the designer is said to be using...but i like it more for my home than for a store...


plus it doesn't seem harmonious with nike's high tech sports gear...

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27-04-2005
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Quote:
i don't like 'activewear' and i like nike the least of all of them...
so i haven't been in a store...even when i needed some stuff for a job...i sent my assistant...
nice...do you need a new assistant?

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27-04-2005
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no...i need a new job......


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27-04-2005
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yeah me too !

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20-05-2005
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How to Talk to Women

Two years ago, Jackie Thomas, Nike's U.S. brand marketing director for women, first heard the phrase "Nike goddess," and it made her cringe. "I don't like talking to women through gender," she says. "Marketers spend too much time reminding women that they're women."

Of course, for much of its history, Nike either treated women like men or didn't think much about them at all. Sometimes, though, Nike got the voice right. Back in 1995, the company ran a campaign titled "If You Let Me Play" that struck a nerve with most women, including Thomas, who had grown up "believing I could do anything boys could do." (Thomas played college basketball and then started her own personal-training gym for women, among them professional basketball players.) The campaign featured female athletes talking about how sports could change women's lives, from reducing teen pregnancy to increasing their chances of getting a college education.

Nike Goddess had to strike a similar chord with women, and it was Thomas's job to make that happen. Nike Goddess had to be more personal than Nike's traditional ads, Thomas decided, so her team created the company's first "magalog" (a cross between a magazine and a catalog) to roll out the name. On the cover, Thomas put a photograph of Marion Jones. But instead of showing Jones competing, she chose a simple shot of Jones's feet against green grass. Inside, articles such as "Ready in a Flash" offered beauty tips for gym rats, and stories such as "Realistic Solutions" aimed to inspire women to get back on track with their commitments.

The approach didn't work. "We had swung the pendulum too far from Nike's core image," Thomas says, "because we thought that power was a weakness when it came to women."

So what did women want? "Women love that Nike is aggressive, that it's competitive," says Thomas. The difference between women and men is that women don't treat athletes like heroes. "No woman thinks that she'll be able to run like Marion Jones because she wears shoes that are named after her," says Janelle Fischer, the women's marketing manager for Nike.

So Thomas had to find a new way to talk to women about athletes. One solution: Don't just dwell on superstars. "We'd always defaulted to the dominant athlete," says Trames. "We needed to listen to women when they said, 'I'm not a runner; I just run.' "

Fast-forward to the sixth issue of the NikeGoddess magalog, which was published this past May. On the cover is a young Asian woman with short, dyed blonde hair. She is sticking out her tongue to show what looks like a piercing. Actually, it's two little Nike shoes. The soft fashion-magazine articles are gone, replaced with "remedies for spring fever" and a small feature on a woman who surfs off the coast of Brooklyn. "This is no longer about 'If You Let Me Play,' " says Thomas. "Women don't need anybody's permission. We are at our best when we are showing women a place where they didn't think they could be."

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