NAPA, CA: Nike, the sporting goods group, is using digital innovation to continue transforming its iconic "Just Do It" tagline into a slate of tools and services that can help consumers achieve this goal in practice.

Stefan Olander, president/GM of Nike+, discussed this subject at the CMO Summit – an event held by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council – in Napa, California.

"It used to be a formula that built the brand: have an amazing athlete, design an amazing piece of footwear for them and then just do a kickass ad," he said in describing the brand's prior strategy. (For more, including insights into the brand's changing model, read Warc's exclusive report: How Nike leverages connectivity to build relationships beyond shoes.)

"It became an incredibly inspiring rallying cry for people to just do it. People felt it."

But as consumers increasingly embrace a diverse range of digital offerings – and related data streams – Nike is seeking to provide them with an appropriate suite of new-media solutions.

"Now people say, 'I'm going to do it, but your job, Nike, is not to just say "Just Do It", but enable me to do just do it,'" Olander said.

And with the advent of businesses such as Uber and Airbnb, consumers also expect to receive tailored, top-tier service from the tools developed by brands.

"Our expectations everyday are elevated," said Olander. "If I open up my Nike app it better learn that I like to run fast on Saturdays and slow on Mondays.

"At the end of the day, that connection – the ability to be in the palm of someone's hand and leveraging the power of that connectivity to establish a direct connection to every athlete in the world – is the single most powerful marketing tool and brand tool that's out there."

By adopting the mentality of a service provider, the shoe manufacturer can positively activate its mission to "bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world," Olander reported.

"Throughout our existence, we have been focused and maniacal about being the best product company we can be and we are going to continue being that," he added.

"But it gets really interesting when we think of ourselves as a service company that just happens to make these amazing products to help people get better at what they do."

Data sourced from Warc