Nike Dunks Low – Panda

The Nike Dunks Low – Panda is the in the Nike Dunks Low family, where its other siblings include the likes of the popular Nike Dunk Low 6.0 Abyss Brickhouse, the Nike Dunk Low CL, the Nike Dunk Low Flame GS Edition, to name but a few of this rather extensive family. I have to confess, though, that of all previous Nike Dunk products that I have gotten to use before, it is the Nike Dunks Low – Panda with which I have gotten most enchanted with.

Color-wise, my particular Nike Dunks Low – Panda is in black and white rendition, with absolutely no other color in sight on the shoe; which is a remarkable fact since most Nike Dunks products tend to incorporate at least four colors on their body and sole. In this particular pair of Nike Dunks Low – Panda, Nike uses a pristine white sole, all the way up to the upper region of the sole (which in most other Nike products tend to be rendered in a different color from the lower region). The upper part of the shoe, on the other hand, is mainly black, with the white only coming in on the Nike tick and a small patch of the shoe that runs between the top of the shoe’s ‘tongue’ and the back end of the shoe. Even the shoe laces on the Nike Dunks Low Panda are actually black.

Talking of Shoe laces, what sets apart the Nike Low – Panda from other low Nike products is the fact that it comes with a rather long ‘shoe-lace configuration’ (I recall its about a 18-hole affair), a clear departure from the trend on other Nike Dunk Low products where the threading mechanism tends to much shorter, with some coming with as few as 3 pairs of holes (6 holes in total). Of course, there is still the option of leaving some holes unthreaded if that’s what you fancy.

Another feature that sets apart the Nike Low – Panda from most other Nike Dunk Low products (and indeed from most Nike Dunk products) is that it’s lack of gradient, this being more or less of a flat shoe from the front to the back. This relative flatness, then, makes the Nike Dunk Low Panda a good product when you are looking to acquire that ‘casual smart’ look (like for the ‘dress-down’ days at the office), which most other products of its ilk tend to lack, qualifying for the ‘casual’ part of the equation but failing the ‘smart’ part of it.

As with most Nike products of modern times, the Nike tick on the Nike Dunk Low – Panda is an extended affair, start from somewhere towards the center of the shoe (as would be expected), and going all the way to the back of the shoe, and round the back to terminate at the other end of it


LeBron 8 Sprite Edition

LeBron James has been with Nike since he jumped from high school to the NBA in 2003. Nike introduced a signature shoe line for him even before he showed his worth. LeBron didn’t fail Nike as he rose from a high school star to a NBA superstar. He captured the Rookie of the Year, a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, and two NBA MVP awards. Year after year, his signature line was high on the market because of the designs and unbelievable performances of all models. For the 2010-2011 season, Nike introduced the Air Max LeBron 8. Different versions and colors were released during the span of the previous NBA season.

After the successful releases of the three versions namely, LeBron 8 Version 1, LeBron 8 Version 2, and LeBron 8 PS (Post Season), there is a latest model for all LeBron fans out there. Introducing the LeBron 8 low, it is virtually the same as LeBron 8 V2 but it is a low-cut version of the V2. It comes in a lightweight flywire technology on the upper part to add more flexibility. The lower part of the shoe has an air max 360-degree air sole unit for better comfort. Two colorways have been out in the market since June, the “Blackout” with Black/Black Anthracite and “Solar Red” with Solar Red/Black combinations. These are available in some selected outlets and several online stores which retails at $150.

Just in time for summer, another anticipated color released recently is the LeBron 8 Sprite Edition with a Treasure Blue/White-Volt combination. As given in the name, it is a soda inspired edition for the LeBron line. It will be a must have pair for all shoe enthusiasts because of its unique appearance. The LeBron 8 Sprite Edition was out since July andis still available on some online sellers. A lot of LeBron 8 variations have been released during the year but this is definitely be a must cop pair. It is very much lighter than the previous models because it’s in a low-cut or ¾ version and as mentioned earlier, it will add flexibility not only to your game but even for everyday use. The main reason for getting LeBron 8 Sprite Edition is of course the color. For those looking for a cool combination and a limited pair, then this is what you’re waiting for. Don’t sleep on this one because this edition sells fast.

There are debates online as to whether the “Sprite” is better than the upcoming “Miami Nights” colorway. This should not be, as both colors are nice and very limited. Collectors will not think twice on getting both. All LeBron 8 models are perfect for everyone’s use whether it be for playing, walking, running, or whatever way they will be used. If you still don’t have a LeBron 8 pair, act now as this will be your last chance because LeBron 9 is just around the corner. You would not want to miss out on the LeBron 8.


Nike’s Foray Into Skateboarding Shoes With Nike SB

Nike has been one of the premiere names in the world of sports clothing and footwear. Nike Dunks has been very popular in the world of basketball to cater to the sporty and comfort needs of the gamers. As its popularity increased, shoe collectors and sneakers lovers were highly attracted to it. The peak of its popularity was reached when it was associated with the basketball icon Michael Jordan in late 1980s. In the beginning, Nike Dunks were made with canvas and solid rubber sole. However, with changing fashion trends, new leather forms were used. The focus of the gamers also shifted more towards skate boarding than basketball and Nike rose to the needs of the gamers by introducing the Nike dunks SB shoes which were designed specifically for skate boarding. Significant changes were made to adapt the Nike Dunks to skate boarding needs.

Special Features of Nike SB

Both basketball and skate boarding require quick moves and a lot of strain and as a result the feet and toes of the gamers are subjected to constant strain and tussle. As such, the shoes for these games should be durable and strong. Nike SB was, therefore, designed to be double stitched with action leather and low outlined sole so that the gamers can get a grip on the board and bounce with ease. In order to make it more comfortable and to give it a classy look, some additional features were added to the Nike SB shoes design which included the zoom air sole, pseudo toe caps and puffy tongue.

The double stitched edges and high quality leather enable the gamers to make sudden movements with ease and without falling down. The design of Nike SB is such that there is long lasting ankle support and relatively more comfort. The inflated tongues and zoom air sole help to reduce the pressure of feet and provide greater comfort. Moreover, since Nike SB shoes have soles with sticky grip, the board to foot interaction is increased. Fashion and style elements have not been ignored along with all these features and the sporty look includes multi-colored designs and a sleek contour. Nike SB shoes are now available in suede, black plait, and cracked leather to enhance their fashion statement.

How To Buy Nike SB Shoes

Nike SB shoes combine strength, style, comfort, and fashion. The best places to buy these shoes are the online outlets that provide a wide range of these shoes on their websites. These shoes are very reasonably priced, being under a hundred dollars. However, in view of their popularity, some look-alikes have also flooded the market and as such it is important to deal only with reliable online outlets. However, in order to be sure that you are getting the original shoes you should take care of the following aspects among others: a clear reseal able bag should be attached to the shoes when you take them out of the box; there should be spare laces in this bag and the color of these laces should be different to the color of the laces on the shoes; the laces should be flat and wide; the Nike SB tongue should be a V-shaped or U-shaped thick, curved tongue; and the letters of the Nike logo and the Swoosh emblems should be nice and fat, neither too thick nor too thin.


What Makes Your Business So Special?

The one question every business, branding, and marketing consultant asks is “what makes you special; what makes you different?” If you want to grow your business and get to the next level, defining what makes you special is a good place to start.

Most businesses are copycat companies, selling the same thing, in the same way as most of their competitors, making for a real challenge in providing an adequate answer to the “what makes you so special?” question. But fear not, it is easier than you think.

A Rose Is A Rose, Until It’s Axl Rose

Coke or Pepsi? Which one do you prefer? Here are two products that are next to indistinguishable, that serve the same purpose, and are sold in substantially the same way. Now I can hear the Coke and Pepsi lovers screaming into their monitors that their favorite is better, but are they really all that different? Perhaps the taste of one is slightly sweeter, but in the grand scheme of things they are substantially the same. So why are people so loyal to their brand, so adamant that it’s their brand or nothing?

It’s branding, the end-product of a marketing communication effort that delivers an emotional value-add that distinguishes one product or service from another; and once that brand identity is established, it is hard to break. No matter how many times these soft drink behemoths are convinced by their ad agencies to change their slogans, to me, and my generation, Coke will always be “The Real Thing” while Pepsi represents “The Pepsi Generation.” What makes these companies special is not what they sell or how they sell it, it’s how they communicate the emotional value their products bring to the table.

What we are talking about is brand communication: the process of identifying, developing, and communicating the emotional value your company, product, or service provides. It is the one thing that can make any company different, no matter how many me-too competitors it has.

What About Conventional Wisdom?

If it’s so simple why doesn’t everybody do it? The answer is fear, fear of making a mistake, fear of going against conventional wisdom. What people forget is the phrase ‘conventional wisdom,’ coined by economist John Kenneth Galbraith, was a derogatory term used to describe the way politicians and pundits reduced complex issues down to digestible sound-bites based on what people wanted to hear, rather than explaining the complexities and implications related to an issue. Does the phrase “read my lips, no new taxes” ring a bell; no matter how discredited a concept, politicians still promote the idea that government can do its job without people paying their fair share – it’s what people want to hear, what they want to believe, even though it makes for counterproductive public policy.

Today’s mad dash to join the Twitter craze is another example of conventional wisdom gone wild. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it an effective marketing communication tactic. Everything you ever wanted to know about everything in 140 characters; it’s anti-marketing, and the height of non-communication. The “Cluetrain Manifesto” concept of a global Internet conversation has been corrupted beyond recognition. True communication implies meaningful dialogue, not instant messenger pseudo-speak and Twitter twaddle.

Just as a matter of interest, the Web-video on Twitter’s home page used to explain the concept, and promote the service, is two minutes and twenty-four seconds long. Too bad they couldn’t have done it in less than 140 characters of text. You think maybe they know something their users don’t.

What About Slogans and Taglines?

Sure slogans and taglines are pithy little statements that like logos, convey a brand personality in an instant, but these short-form symbols and catchphrases are merely reminders of the emotional benefit of the product, service or communication they are attached to, and are the result of ongoing, consistent marketing campaigns that portray the brand in an emotional context. The meaning and value of phrases like “Tastes Great, Less Filling” and “Where’s The Beef?” are the byproduct of long-term consistent campaigns that connect on a human level.

So What’s The Problem?

The Web has created a whole new class of business executives that never ran a business that didn’t have the Internet available. Technical know-how and engineering expertise has replaced human understanding, while market research, surveys, focus groups, metrics, and statistical modeling have replaced good old-fashioned business savvy and experience. It’s a wonder anybody sells anything any more.

Conventional wisdom states that to sell someone your product or service you need to align your sales pitch to your prospect’s thinking. In other words, tell people what they want to hear, but what if what they want to hear is wrong, counterproductive, and not what they need, or more importantly what they really want?

The average Web-based business entrepreneur tries to think and act like his mega corporation counterpart but without the financial resources to shape and mould public opinion. When a business website fails, it’s because it does not deliver what its audience really wants, it delivers what the company thinks that audience wants.

Gerald Zaltman, professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School is a founding partner of Olson Zaltman Associates, and author of “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market.”

Zaltman states, “Most of what influences what we say and do occurs below the level of awareness. …The goal of advertising should be to engage people with a message that has an emotional impact. And that requires actually grappling with the means by which they have experiences and react with emotion, sentiment, and feeling….”

In order to take advantage of this insight, the Web-based business must change how it thinks about websites and how it presents meaningful, memorable experiences that tap into the emotional underbelly of audience desire. The value proposition you offer must be found in the audience’s emotional connection to the Web experience you provide


Nike Dunks SB – For a Complete Skate Boarding Experience

Nike dunks SB branded shoes are considered to be stylish, comfortable and at the same time extremely sporty. Built out of fine leather, these shoes offer superb skatable support when used for sports such as basketball and skate boarding. Suitable for sudden action, these brands are doubly stitched and high quality. Nike dunks SBs are highly fashionable and regarded as style statements.

Nike dunk SB is used all over the world by internationally acclaimed sports personalities. This brand was flaunted by the well known star of basketball Michael Jordan in the introductory period of this brand into the market in 1985. In order to give a sportier look, Nike dunks were combined with multi purpose designs and stitched sole. There are currently more than 65 different varieties of Nike dunks available in the market. Some of the models are namely, Nike dunk SB pro, Nike dunk high, Nike dunk low, Nike dunk premium, etc.

In this highly competitive market, Nike stands distinct with its large collection of shoe brands. Nike has become the other name for comfort. Nike SB shoes have been significantly named after the sports it has been particularly designed for, i.e., skate boarding. The flat sole of the Nike SB enables boarders to feel the skate more comfortably. Just to make skate boarding lot more fun, Nike added certain new features in its shoes such as suede toe caps, swollen tongues and the zoom air sole.

The best thing about Nike shoes is the varied color combination that it offers so as to enable the buyers pick their choice. It may look awkward sometimes, but all Nike shoes have a multi colored appearance which makes them distinct from other shoes labels. Nike gives importance to individual color selection and encourages free mind. The Nike saying goes “Be true”. The new concept of color coding has come into picture after a very astonishing incident. A game of basketball where all players of a team had decided to match the color of their Nike dunks with the color of their uniforms. Since then, the makers of Nike shoes have begun putting designs of Nike dunks in multi colored fashion.

Initially Nike was introduced as a basketball shoes and later on it was also accepted as a skateboarding wear. Nike dunks SBs appear to be longer and narrower than most other brands. To get the correct pair of Nike dunks for one, they must know the right size to look for. Nike dunks are available in many sizes and designs. It is completely your choice to get the best pair suited according to your need.


Just Cut To It – Nike’s Cutting-Edge Approach To Marketing

Nike’s new approach to their global marketing has had their competitors and fans alike wondering whether a new era in massive-brand marketing has come about. If so; is it working?

Nike is one of the few major sports labels that has truly embraced the digital generation. They recently changed their core target market to seventeen-year-olds, citing that the age group spends 20% more on shoes than their older counterparts. This shift in perspective has brought about an entirely new approach to their communication with their fans because marketing nowadays is all about communication. As Mark Parker (Nike CEO) said, “Connecting today is a dialogue.”

Nike launched the Fuelband, a wristband that enables sports-lovers to track their progress through an interactive website. Not only did the Fuelband receive massive success but it also spawned an online community that revolved around Nike bringing sports into people’s everyday lives. Another positive (and rather sneaky) benefit to the Fuelband online community is that it acts as a constant marketing survey for Nike products and Nike’s market, regularly letting Nike know what people like about what they sell and which sports are most popular.

In 2006, Nike+ was conceived. Partnering with Apple and riding on the wave of success the iPod created, Nike added yet another aspect to their online interaction. Fortune’s Scott Cendrowski explains it best:

“Powered by a sensor inside running shoes, the service both monitors a runner’s performance and provides digital coaching. A voice lets runners know how much farther they have to go; the PowerSong function generates a musical blast for extra motivation. At the end, it logs details of the workout onto Nikeplus.com, where users can store and analyze the data, get training tips, and share workouts with friends.”

Another online community, another way to find out Nike consumers’ workout and behavioural patterns and musical tastes and generally another way to find out how they live their lives. Nike has perfected the art of getting in touch with the people that support them.

Nike realised that they had to go where their target market was going and talk to them on their level – basic marketing principles but it lead to a completely new brand personality for Nike. Their international Facebook page now has 8,938,010 likes. Their Nike Footballs Facebook page boasts a staggering 11,807,328 likes. The Nike Facebook app has 360,000 monthly users – that’s 360,000 people updating Nike’s market research every single month and that’s not even the entire picture. Their Nike Chance Facebook app has 250,000 monthly users and their Nike Free Run iD has 80,000 monthly users. A very impressive transition into the digital world and it shows that Nike really understand how the social networking world operates.

On Twitter, they have a slightly disappointing 377,367 followers. Then again, the tweets results page is constantly flooded with mentions.

In 2010, Nike really put their stamp on the social-media map when they hosted their ‘Write the Future campaign’. Operating from their Nike Football Facebook page, the campaign revolved around hearing what their fans had to say about their favourite football players. A tab on the page let users choose from a selection of internationally-recognised footballs players and write a 43-character tag-line. The most popular or catchy tag-lines were screened at a pre-determined time on the Life Centre, using an LED screen the approximate size of half a football field. Tag-lines could also be entered through Twitter, using the #NIKEFUTURE hashtag.

The campaign not only let Nike know who their fans’ favourite football players were but also used the idea of recognition as a reward instead of tangible give-aways, which probably worked better than any Nike package could have.

Not only did the campaign receive international acclaim for being innovative, edgy and modern but it also ensured Nike’s place as a big brand name in the South African market – a market that is too often neglected. Write The Future showed the world that Nike was in-tune with the new digital age that has lead many other international brands to miss out on the younger market.

Nike has now drastically reduced the portion of their marketing budget spent on traditional, off-line advertising. However, this doesn’t mean that they’ve reduced their marketing budget in general. Rather, Nike has poured their funding into marketing that works now instead of marketing that worked before. They spent a record-breaking $2.4 billion dollars on marketing in 2011, the majority of it for their online interaction. Adverts for Nike now flight first on their Facebook stage, as opposed to the traditional way of putting them on TV and later making the advert available online. It’s an approach that other companies are often far too scared to try – but it’s working.