In 2014 Nike centralized digital brand management and execution within its EMEA headquarters in Hilversum near Amsterdam. Transferring positions, talent, decision-making and brand implementation capabilities from individual countries to headquarters, was a crucial pre-requisite for digital brand growth within wholesale.com network in EMEA region. This move enabled an executional brand consistency across the heterogeneous retail partner network’s rising tide of digital touchpoints. The rise of e-commerce meant the fall of physical national border for a digital consumer that was now able to jump from country to country with a single click. In the previous setting of national teams being responsible for local adaptation of a global campaign creative, an European digital consumer roaming the internet in search of a best offer on an e-retailer with, for example, both .fr or .de extension would have been exposed to a different creative adaptation of a same brand campaign as they would have been done by German and French team independently. This not only confused digital consumers but undermined the very pillar of global brand as a marketing strategy - consistency across markets.
In a very brand driven business and organization like Nike, brand function, brand strategy and branding execution has a prominent position that permeates all aspects of business operations. Given the importance of brand and branding and importance of wholesale as a channel – it’s not surprising that Nike established a dedicated (digital) brand team and department solely focused on brand support of wholesale partners. In 2013, being early to recognize the growth promise of online and e-commerce sales and being on the forefront of trends, Nike organizes a digital brand support department for whoelsale.com partners. The department’s single mission was driving digital brand business growth of wholesale partners with nascent e-commerce capabilities and partnering with, then only emerging, today, sport and fashion online retail powerhouses.
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