Over the last decade NIKEiD has led the footwear industry charge in offering premium crafted sneakers built to your customized specifications. In the last couple years, NIKEiD.com has opened up a fresh window into that process by furnishing top-level signature shoes into the product mix like the new LeBron X, Zoom KD V, and coming Kobe VIII.
We take a highly detailed and expansive look into the business of Nike’s fast growing direct-to-consumer personalization division and scope out what new offerings and innovations are to come in the years ahead (Flyknit, anyone?) with a top level NIKEiD representative in this interview…
CounterKicks: What Nike shoe has been the most customized since NIKEiD started?
NIKEiD: It’s hard to pinpoint just one. I think that there’s some really great examples. LeBron happens to be in my opinion one of the best yet that we’ve done. I think a couple other examples like what we’ve done with the FREE, the FREE Run 2, the FREE Run 3, you know being able to interchange the midsoles and things like that was really a groundbreaker for us in terms of performance customization. For the LeBron X, it really comes down to this incredible mix of both performance customization — you know being able to choose between levels of Nike+, are you going to enable it with Nike+, are you going to get the full Sport Pack version, or are you going to get the LeBron X without it. And then all of the other attributes that come along with that and the customization experiences for this product is one of the best yet.
CK: How far in the development process of a brand new shoe model does NIKEiD come into play? On the LeBron X for example, Nike Basketball is building this product on their own in-line timetable. Does NIKEiD come in from the start of that process saying “these are things we can branch off for NIKEiD”? Or is it after they’re done building the product and developing their own in-line retail colorways does NIKEiD start to say “this is what we can do on our side”?
NIKEiD: Great question. We’re working hand in hand with the in-line team throughout the entire process. There’s times when their product will be briefed in with some NIKEiD elements, like “how do we utilize NIKEiD to take this product over the top?” Then there’s some where we come in and really optimize the product for customization. It varies from product to product but in general we’re in lockstep and it’s a full product creation process with both sides working together.
CK: Is there a top three colors that customers seem to gravitate towards in the NIKEiD system?
NIKEiD: You know what, it varies product by product. You were on the iD site recently — the Atomic Teal was a huge hit out of the gates for the LeBron X. So we were out of stock of that particular color until we were able to offer it back up. That one was just a very popular color. We always try to make each shoe the best experience that it possibly can be and the most authentic to the inspiration. This one was grounded in LeBron, Kevin Durant’s NIKEiD colors will be grounded in things that are relevant to KD, and Kobe’s will be grounded in things that are relevant to Kobe as well. It does vary, but I think the main thing about NIKEiD is just giving that consumer the ability to do what they want. Take the inspiration like — I love the “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” thing that you put up on CounterKicks, that was really cool. A lot of people are taking inspiration from LeBron himself, or from Miami, or just their own thing. Our role is trying to give those options in the best way possible. Like, how do we fulfill whatever dreams that people may have for inspirations on their shoes.