3 Takeaways from the Nike Air Yeezy II Launch You Can Apply to Your Business
On Saturday, June 9, 2012, Nike and Kanye West released their second sneaker collaboration, the Nike Air Yeezy II. As leaders of their respective markets (in which they share many of the same consumers), the partnership is once again proving to be extremely valuable for both parties.
The Air Yeezy II is one of the most highly anticipated sneakers of the year (if not the past decade) and is receiving tremendous word-of-mouth buzz, both online and off. The sneakers are so limited and sought after that “sneakerheads” have been camping outside stores for close to a week. The hype is being felt around the world.
Below we take a look at three key takeaways from the Nike Air Yeezy II launch that you can apply to your business.
1. Brand loyalty is key
First and foremost, both Nike and Kanye West have extremely dedicated fans. As a result, fans of both are doing whatever they can to get their hands on a pair of the Nike Air Yeezy II’s. For some, this means camping outside sneaker stores––rain or shine, hot or cold. Others will be buying the Air Yeezy II on the secondary market for prices shockingly higher (allegedly being listed at upwards of $90k) than the $245 retail price.
When consumers are truly loyal to your brand, they will go to extremes to support and promote you.
2. The right partnerships and personality can go a long way
Nike is a leader in athletic apparel, accessories, sneakers and more. Kanye West is a leader in entertainment and has been able to differentiate himself from other artists in the music industry. While staying true to Nike’s roots, the Air Yeezy II incorporates Kanye’s unique and often edgy style. For example, the Air Yeezy II includes a glow-in-the dark sole, inspired by Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” concert tour, lending more personalization. Being able to capture and portray both brands’ distinct personalities leads to a prime collaboration that benefits all.
The right partnerships and a touch of personalization can open up your product or service to a new audience, as well as helping to invigorate your current audience.
3. Don’t discount the power of word of mouth
If you think Nike heavily promoted the sneakers, you’d be wrong. Despite numerous sneaker blogs sparking rumors for over a year, posting “leaked” pictures, and predicting a June 9th release, Nike had not made any official comments on the Air Yeezy II until just 10 days prior to the scheduled release. The lack of official news only served to strengthen the perception of the brand (a similar parallel can be drawn to Apple) and light a fire under consumers.
An endorsement from a friend is invaluable. Find your passionate consumer base and ignite them, allowing them to spread the word. This can help create brand ambassadors and a potential landslide of positive sentiment.
Nike and Kanye West are known for giving their fans what they want time after time, and that certainly applies here with the launch of the Nike Air Yeezy II. With all the hype surrounding the launch, it was imperative for this duo to live up to the seemingly impossible expectations. The three key factors listed above have helped propel a global furor for the sneaker, making it one of the hottest items in retail. By applying the same principles to your business, you can reap similar benefits.
- Evan Walker, Marketing & Consumer Analyst