Ypulse Interview: Daryl Butler, Marketing Director, Retail Brand, Nike
- April 21st, 2009
- 1 Comments
Today’s Ypulse Interview is with Daryl Butler, director of retail brand marketing for Nike, who gives a sneak peek into his philosophy towards youth marketing. The secret according to Daryl? Keeping it simple. For more insight on how to practice what he preaches, be sure to catch Daryl when he speaks at the Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup Event in June. Register today!
Ypulse: Could you describe Nike’s historic relationship with young consumers? What’s been the key to maintaining this relationship?
Daryl Butler: Youthful irreverence has long been a part of Nike’s DNA. We’ve maintained the opinion that youth is more about emotion than chronology. As such, we’ve always struck a chord with our consumer. I think you maintain a conversation with your consumer by staying relevant and authentic in areas that are of interest to them. If your brand and your products haven’t earned credibility – by being of the environment – over time, it’s likely your conversation with this savvy consumer has ended.
YP: What are some of the most radical changes you’ve seen over the past few years in the youth sports space? How has Nike adapted to these changes?
DB: The biggest recognition has to do with the exponential growth of young girls playing competitive sports. Statistics show that by 2010 there will be more females playing competitive sports at the high school level than males. This creates an incredible opportunity for the brand who best deciphers her language and tracks her retail journey. The other radical change is obviously the proliferation of digital information. Young people have unparalleled access to information from which to draw conclusions and make buying decisions. Nike has begun to shift it’s messaging mechanics from television and radio exclusively to a balance portfolio of traditional and non-traditional mediums. We’ve also taken an old school approach to marketing by simply talking to our consumers where they are.
YP: Can you describe a recent successful youth-targeted initiative from Nike? What made this work?
DB: I would be selling the brand short if I focused on an initiative. That assumes that our work is done….and that’s far from the case. All that said, I’m most proud of our continued work with the rapidly growing action sports industry. We had a few stops and starts several years ago. However, over the past few years we’re really made a commitment to the athletes, their sports, the industry and the community. The consumer is responding positively to Nike 6.0, Nike SB & Nike Snowboarding. We’re credible and relevant because we have chosen to apply the same rigor of inspiration and innovation to the category as we have with running and basketball.
YP: What will attendees take away from your presentation at the Mashup event?
DB: Marketing doesn’t have to be complex. Listen to the customer. They will tell you what they want. Just ask.
Commit to the core. Your credibility and ultimate commercial success depend on it. Kids can recognize posers easily and quickly.
Invert the scarcity model. Every kid wants to be unique, just like their friends. Think about that one. If your product is too hard to find, is aspirational yet unattainable then you will lose the customer. Be accessible.
Create real opportunities to foster a relationship with your customer. Be present at surf and skate events. Have your product available to trial at a basketball court Saturday morning. Be available.
More on Daryl
In his current role with Nike, Daryl Butler leads the development and execution of regional marketing programs that foster consumer adoption and drive revenue at retail. Previously, Daryl spent 13 years with Nextel and Boost Mobile, where he was instrumental in the creation and implementation of programs that supported the growth of these brands. A notable achievement during this time was the development of Boost Mobile RockCorps, a nationwide initiative designed to inspire youth to make a difference in their communities. Prior to joining Nextel in 1994, Daryl was with The Disney Stores.