MAKING: Nike’s green app (or the art of applying science to brand marketing)

As I read about Nike’s MSI and the launch of its Making app, I can’t help make the connection with Havas Media’s MBI, which I wrote about recently.

Simply put, the MBI (Meaningful Brand Index) measures consumers’ perception of a brand’s influence on society, environment, economy, health and emotional wellbeing. And as the latest research shows, the more positive impact a company is seen having on consumers’ lives, the more fans they will garner nowadays.

That’s where Nike comes in as it seeks to apply science to the art of supporting a cause dear to our (consumers’) hearts: protection of the environment.

The MSI (Materials Sustainability Index), Nike tell us, is the result of 7 years of effort spent by the corporation on cataloging ‘the best publicly disclosed information related to the environmental impacts of materials’.

As Nike opens up its MSI through its Making app to all apparel designers and creators out there, open-source style, it simply seeks to reinforce its long-term commitment to protecting our environment. That’s got to help the brand perception too…

Don’t get me wrong – Nike’s eco-friendly initiatives are commendable (and have delivered results e.g. their 2010 World Cup soccer jerseys recycled from plastic water bottles). However, the cynic in me can’t help wonder what the take up of this app will really be, and how meaningful and long-term an impact it will have on our environment.

The lack of immediate tangible results or visibility on how involved Nike will be long term in supporting designers who take on the green challenge, is I guess what makes me question how effective the app is going to be. Here is to hoping this is not just a marketing ploy.

For now, I will let you form your own opinion on what Nike’s long term goal may be as you watch the sexy video they released just over a year ago, and the somewhat more down-to-earth video on the making of the app released earlier this month.

Can you really take the marketer out of the do gooder?

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