THE V SERIES: ORIGINAL STORY. WRONG CHARACTERS
CATEGORY FOOTWEAR LEADER: NIKE SPORTSWEAR – OCTOBER 08 - JUNE 11
The V Series was conceived as a way to persuade consumers to think about sneaker collections differently. From conception to execution it was hailed internally. Unfortunately nobody stopped to ask if the characters meant anything to consumers.
My role as Category Footwear Sports Inspired was to vision, line plan and empower a team to execute collections such as V Series.
In 2010 the team noticed Diesel Denim. Taking one model, Diesel gave consumers choice through color. However their wash innovation generated real consumer excitement. The wash choices were modern/new, classic or aged/worn. They were presented as a collective at retail. The denim oozed disruption and clearly differentiated Diesel.
WHAT IF WE TOOK THE SAME APPROACH TO SNEAKERS? WHAT IF WE TOOK ICONIC MODELS AND RE-MASTERED EVERY PRODUCT THROUGH THE LENS OF MODERN, CLASSIC AND HERITAGE?
The V Series. A “storied” collection of running products originally released in 1984. Incredibly innovative at the time, competitively priced, the collection defined how running shoes solved for different running needs. Vector was stable. Vengeance was cushioned and light. Vortex offered a little of both.
What if we took this collection and re-mastered through Modern, Classic and Heritage?
The idea sailed through every checkpoint. Teams were dispatched to Asia to ensure product excellence. Photo shoots and retail brand presentation was lined up. So caught up were we in our own bubble that not once did any of us ask:
“Does the consumer know and/or care about the V Series?”
“Do we have the ability to present the collection together to tell the story powerfully?”
THE V-SERIES REDUX
The answers to those questions was quick and painful. Luke-warm sell in. A fractured product line as buyers cherry picked the most commercial products. Even Nike Retail took a “Top 5 store” approach teaching us that the stories were more fabled inside than outside Nike.
The loudest voice in creation and go-to-market process is the consumer. Also an “end-in-mind” vision is just as important as a creative one. The V Series was a two season wonder. Thankfully taking a modern craft approach to Iconic products did survive and today we see this on Air Max One and Air Max 90.