Youth Marketing Insights » Daryl Butler Inspiring best in practice youth marketing through sharing of ideas, strategy, trends and conversations about cool stuff Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 en hourly 1 Daryl Butler of Nike wins me over, again Wed, 22 Apr 2009 06:23:50 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg

Recently YPulse did a brief Q&A with the very smart Daryl Butler, retail brand marketing director for Nike (and before that he was at Boost Mobile, which was also one of the first youth brands I had the pleasure to work with years ago). Nike does youth marketing really well, best in practice really, and as could be expected there was some interesting insight from DB.

I won’t include a copy of the whole interview, as I want to direct you to YPulse here for that, however I wanted to make a note of how much I think this guy gets it….and BTW in a 5 questions email interview, I generally wouldn’t be expecting a whole lot.

Take the below for example:

[YPulse] YP: Can you describe a recent successful youth-targeted initiative from Nike? What made this work?

[Daryl Butler] DB: I would be selling the brand short if I focused on an initiative. That assumes that our work is done….and that’s far from the case.

It’s not that what he says is groundbreaking, it’s that it feels genuine. There is a humbleness with which Daryl speaks about the brand and the relationship with it’s consumer that I find amazing, especially in this industry. It is a sense of learning from and listening to the customers. It is all about adding value to their lives. It is a real understanding. It is the conversation. Sounds like he is even at the basketball courts with kids on Sat morning, chatting, trying new products, just being a part of their lives – that is commitment anyone can respect.

So now that I have exhausted pretty much every buzz word in marketing (I see about 36 in the above para alone), I want to make clear why call out DB and Nike specifically. I guess it’s that while brands speak of this level of engagement, few actually do (or maybe should say can), and that’s why his and Nike’s approach stands out. This is not to be negative towards other brands, it merely highlights how advanced Nike as an organisation is, not just the marketing department.

“Going back to basics” as I believe he puts it, and listening to consumers is exciting, maybe because I grew up jaded by the you-need-me approach. Really there are very few brands – if any – that we as paying consumers need. I can think of 1 example – tow-truck companies – by the time a car is towed we have to pay them to be allowed to recover it, and most who have experienced that would agree customer satisfaction is low on the priority list there and we all hope to never run across them again. So with that in mind, does your customer need you or do you need your customer ?

As always my tangent gets a bit off track, but the point is I look forward to continuing to watch and learn closely from the mistakes and successes of a brand like Nike, where the customer is central to the company. I sincerely hope to run into more marketing execs at places I hang out listening to what I want, if that ever happens you can be sure they would have converted at least one advocate – me!

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