IN THE CONTEXT OF CUSTOMER LOYALTY, NEW NIKE-TIGER WOODS COMMERCIAL IS ON POINT
While some may think that the new Nike/Tiger Woods commercial is a bit strange, in the context of customer loyalty, engagement and true "Voice of the Customer" it is actually spot on.
There are only a few lines in the commercial and Tiger (representing the brand) is a penultimate representation of Nike. It is a bold statement of Nike showing its commitment to Tiger, yet understanding the mistakes that may have been made. The power in the commercial is that it is short, concise, and spot on. The brand Nike (Tiger) is stoic, open and tuned in. In essence, it is listening, which is the foundation of any true Loyalty program. You need to actively engage and listen to your market constituencies. Nike is taking a bold stand with this commercial since this may upset and potentially alienate some of their core audience. Yet, like all of us, Tiger is deserving of a second chance. There is a definite lack of a sanguine demeanor in this piece. The brand is vulnerable, yet wants to engage, listen and win back the detractors. The only way to fix a problem is to admit that one exists, and find market driven and insightful consumer based responses to the issue.
For Nike (and companies such as Toyota, GM, Tylenol and others that have had product issues or PR nightmares), the fact they are "prone to be inquisitive" is an important tact, direction and focus that must be taken. When designing effective loyalty/engagement marketing programs for employees, brands and products, you (the brand or the agency) have to be inquisitive and have an insatiable desire to learn, progress, and determine what has worked, what could work and what is not working. The need to consistently be inquisitive separates the strong brands from the weak.
When you promote discussion you realize that you may have been wrong ... that your actions may have been detrimental to your audience, brand or position. Yet if you actively, honestly and in a dedicated fashion commit to promote a discussion you win. Two-way dialogues that are real can contribute significant value to the brand, which drives loyalty (long term) engagement and enhanced customer experience.
All companies should ask themselves constantly: What are (were) you thinking? What were you feeling? Products fail; programs fail and underperform. Yet, if you analyze initial goals vs. interim results, you can quantify success and address in real-time what needs to be done to increase the efficacy of the company, the communication channel, and therefore engagement, loyalty and brand value. A company that is honest, faces the music (camera), and rectifies the situation will become stronger, AS LONG as the issues do not re-occur.
The most important question is: Did you learn anything? Loyalty, engagement, brand equity and experience are all predicated on this. If you go through this exercise and do not learn anything, make the same mistakes and are not true to your customer's ‘voice' your levels of loyalty, engagement and brand equity/value will diminish quite rapidly. Loyalty requires a specific and detailed commitment over an extended period of time using all of the data, insight and market intelligence available to make effective communication decisions. It is not a short term panacea. Yet if you do not listen, do not learn, do not realize the brand is a representative of not only the company, but of a larger list of shareholders and stakeholders, you will cause significant damage to you brand in the short, and more importantly long term that will not be reparable.