Running on Innovation
Nike received Fast Company magazines top honors recently as the No.1 most innovative company of 2013 and one that has a corporate culture of innovation.
In 2012, Nike introduced two new products that stretched the definition of running apparel to new lengths. One was the Nike+ FuelBand, a simple, elegant band like a wristwatch that allows the wearer to track their daily footsteps and workouts.
The other is the Flyknit Racer, which are feather-light shoes that feel like socks on top of soles and are created to be environmentally friendly and eventually more cost-effective to produce. In the future,
Flyknit will allow customers to digitally personalize their shoes to match the exact shape of their feet. In 2012, Nike’s annual revenue hit $24 billion and profits were up 57 percent. Nikes consistent focus on creative, innovative solutions for their customers clearly delivered strong results.
A New Solution for City Dwellers
The 10th most innovative company on Fast Companys list for 2013 is Target, which was recognized for developing a new store concept that changes its big box image.
Recognizing that they wanted to attract customers living in urban areas, they focused their attention on testing a new store concept called CityTarget in Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. This store will offer smaller packages that focus on value versus quantity and a speedier shopping experience complete with WiFi access, QR codes offering extra product information and a special CityLove section with localized products.
The stores have been located in refurbished historical settings to extend their customer appeal.
There are mixed reviews posted on yelp.com for Los Angeles, but you have to give Target credit for thinking outside the box and trying to attract new customers in a new demographic. Targets earnings report for 2012 showed 5.1 percent sales growth, and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said that CityTarget locations in the U.S. are intended to improve their customers’ multichannel experience.
Focus on Customers
Companies that show healthy profits in the face of many financial challenges today are truly commendable.
They are also addressing the needs of todays lifestyles, and their focus on understanding customers is at the root of their success. They demonstrate that they care about the people who choose them. How do you inform, create and deliver so that customers keep choosing your business?