STEP UP YOUR GAME
Sometimes when you’re in the middle of doing something, you’ll find inspiration for something completely different. Some would call this serendipity, others ADD. Either way, these happy accidents should be well embraced, as they can result in groundbreaking innovations, like penicillin or cornflakes for instance. Including consumer input into the design process of a new product or service, is one way of stimulating this, because there are a lot of insights to be gained by putting consumers in the driver’s seat.
During Milan Design Week 2019, Nike hosted a pre-launch event for their brand-new design-your-own-shoe website, led by visionary designer Heron Preston. A lucky few, winners from a competition, were invited to attend and design their own perfect kicks. The factory like event room was surrounded by laces, materials, patterns, colours, and every you other attribute needed to create a Nike shoe.
The visitors got a small amount of time to look around and design a mood board using the materials and colours that were present at the workshop. Heron showed the visitors the time and effort that goes into making a shoe, as each material is carefully chosen and every detail well thought out. Each visitor then got an iPad with the customization software from Nike, allowing them to translate their mood board into a digital version of a shoe. The design was then uploaded online, after which it took 4 weeks to be manufactured.
By enabling consumers to design their own shoes, Nike gains even more insight in what theses stay-at-home designers want and look for when envisioning a sneaker. In its turn, this may give them ideas and inspiration during the design process of their next sneaker. A win-win for both parties. And who knows, if a bunch of design fails do come out of this, they would probably be hilarious if used as part of a cheeky campaign strategy. Because, as stated previously, we should all hail the fail!
"I’m excited to see what kids create, to see their process, them sharing that process just as much as them sharing the final product, really bringing that magic to life.” Heron Preston said to Designboom
Aside from Serendipity Seeking, the Nike workshop kind of ticks all the trend boxes when you think of it.
The workshop was an Inline experience, as the entire process flows from online to offline and back again.
Nike managed to facilitate Brand Bandits, which basically stands for consumers that want full creative freedom in how they interact and use and abuse certain products and services.
It also helps to further establish Nike as a Curator of Cool, as the workshop contained highly curated an visual imagery alongside some kick-ass storytelling by designer Heron Preston.
Too bad only a few people got to experience the sneaker making process. Luckily, for the rest of us we can go to the Nike site and customize our own sneaker. Did you start designing yet?