How to become a digital first brand

How to Become a Digital-First Brand

Breaking-down Nike’s transformation

All secrets inside: how Nike reached it’s 30% digital sales mix three years ahead of schedule. Breaking down Nike’s approach will help you understand the key pillars of digital transformation. It’s these pillars that you can add to, subtract from, or otherwise adapt to digitally transform your organization.

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“The accelerated consumer shift toward digital is here to stay. We know that digital is the new normal. The consumer today is digitally grounded and simply will not revert back.”

John Donahoe, CEO, Nike

Table of Contents

  • Winning Three Years Early 3
  • Just Getting Started 4
  • Why Sell Direct and Digital 5
  • The Blueprint: Breaking Down Nike’s Digital Transformation 6
    • Pillar #1: Start Smart: Mindset and Structure Matter 6-8
    • Pillar #2: Establish Narrow DTC Objectives and Targets 9-10
    • Pillar #3: Build an Ecosystem to Build Community 11-13
    • Pillar #4: Personalize, Retain, and Scale 14-16
    • Pillar #5: Become a Learning Machine17
  • Your Digital Future18

Winning Three Years Early

The goal was ambitious. It was a magnet for doubters, critics, and naysayers. But when Nike announced digital sales would account for 30% of total sales by 2023, the company was showing the world its strategic hand. The future of commerce would be direct-to-consumer (DTC) and digital. Nike’s bet paid off faster than imagined. Even though COVID-19 forced consumers online as brick-and-mortar stores closed, Nike’s digital sales accelerated after lockdown restrictions eased and retail stores reopened. It’s evidence, according to Nike, that the channel shift already underway prior to the pandemic has staying power. Nike reached it’s 30% digital sales mix three years ahead of schedule. It now expects the sales mix to tilt even heavier toward digital as the global trend accelerates in a post-COVID-19 world.

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