This case aims to demonstrate how leading firms are learning how to sustain competitive advantage by co‐creating experiences of value with customers.
The shoe company Nike provides a glimpse of the next “best practices” of value co‐creation with customers. By engaging with informed, connected, and networked customers around the globe, Nike has found their shared experiences to be a new source of value.
The paper finds that customers are now informed, connected, networked, and empowered on a scale as never before, thanks to search engines, engagement platforms, the growth of internet‐based interest groups, and widespread high‐bandwidth communication and social interaction technologies. Customers have learned how to use these new tools to make their opinions and ideas heard.
A few leading companies like Nike are involving customers in the value creation process by offering Internet sites where they can share their interactions and experiences. These range from customers’ ideas about how to improve or customize products to their feelings when they use products.). For Nike, the learning from these interactions creates new strategic capital. The company can now learn directly from customers’ direct input on their preferences. Nike can build relationships and trust with the Nike+ community and experiment with new offerings, all the while enhancing its brand.
The strategic opportunity for Nike is to build and promote the use of Internet engagement platforms through which the firm can build customer relationships on a scale and scope as never before. Effectively managing these new initiatives initially posed a new challenge for Nike, a traditionally product‐centric organization. Now their viewpoint is reversed. “In the past the product was the end point of the consumer experience. Now it is the starting point.”