75. Nikes Phil Knight: How to sell without selling

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We only hire incredibly kind people. Hi it's read as you may have noticed there are now. Two kinds of master's scale episodes are classic episodes. Prove a theory about how company scale and feature surprise guests and original music. I posted seventy these episodes since two thousand seventeen and they're designed to be timeless this year we also launched masters of scale rapid response with host. Bob sathian these fast. Focus interviews with leaders in the thick of massive change sharing insights. You need right now based on your feedback or putting both episodes in the same feed. Here's how to tell them apart. The headline for a rapid response episode starts with the words rapid response and the headline for a classic episode starts with a number and now onto this classic episode of masters upscale. I grew up in eighty. And i was when michael jordan was in his prime all the commercials on the visual imagery. Michael jordan dunking shattering backboards and crisscrossing crossing over people. That was my impression of course but she was wearing. He was wearing his jordan's and his nike's that's eddie. Lou co founder of goat the online marketplace for premium sneakers that every sneaker had knows as a child of the eighties and a basketball fan. Eddie has vivid memories of jordan and his nike's jordan played his first. Nba game for the chicago. Bulls and nineteen eighty-four inside his nike endorsement. Deal the same year right away. He started making news making plays a nike started making air jordans okay at the price tag one hundred thirty dollars at footlocker and i just. I couldn't afford them like any kid. He wants something but your parents will buy us something that's comparable so instead of the joins they would. Maybe the penny hardaway's or even the charles barkley's or another shoe that was won by icon eclair. But they just couldn't justify the premium joins and i think that really helped fuel my passion and my nostalgia for sneakers jordan's right to this day. Goats stands for greatest of all time. We love sneakers. Michael jordan was our idol on. He was the goat. Goat now sells a hundred unique styles of shoes of all kinds. Not just nike and that passion that eddie and his co founder felt for nike is still very real. It also didn't just happen. That kind of lifelong brand. Loyalty is the product of magical combination of aspiration. Authenticity true value and brand. It only works if buyer and seller feel totally aligned in what they value and what those values say about them. That's why i believe you need to sell without selling great. Branding is about identity and matchmaking you gotta having radical talented every position you. There are fires burning out such an idiot imagined. Go back to era so easy wixom. Sorry a mistake time at work. We have just not all ten years later. do this. His masters of scale will start the show in a moment afterward from our sponsor. Plaid imagine you go into a grocery store and it's twenty five bucks and friday tomorrow. Is your payday. You've got twenty two bucks account you're gonna get an overdraft fee that costs you twenty five dollars. That's done pits. Plaid which helps consumers linked their bank accounts to fintech apps that are changing how consumers borrow save and spend as plaid's had a policy. He thinks about those everyday scenarios and envisions. How could be doing a better. Your payroll company is talking to your bag and sees that you don't have enough for that expense so you get a prompt on your phone that says would you like to move three dollars from your payroll account into your bank account and avoid the twenty five dollar expense consumers living paycheck to paycheck paid. Seventeen billion dollars overdraft fees in two thousand nineteen an apple like the one. John's imagined would end that cycle realizing that future is one of the reasons. Plaid was founded. We're not all the way there yet. There's actually a bunch of really great apps that can see how many hours you've worked and pay you out right away. That's a choice consumers don't have when their payroll data is sitting in a silo and their bank. Data is sitting in a silo when you let them talk to each other. You can solve problems right when the consumer needs that solution fintech apps are leveling the playing field for low income workers some are even bringing traditional forms of lending into the digital age. John will fill us in later in the show to learn. How plaid can power digital finance for your business. Visit plaid dot com. I'm reed offman co founder of lincoln partner gray lock and your host and i believe you need to sell without selling great. Branding is about identity and matchmaking. There's a little word game that one can play called. They could sell a blank to a blank. It goes like this. He could sell a glass of water to a drowning man. Well she could sell santa clara. They could sell a up popsicle to women and white gloves in the middle of july. It's fun and it paints a familiar picture. A we often envisioned sales to be. We often conflict sales with charisma and kris. Maddox sellers like someone who could sell. Stilts to a draft or fuzz to impeach those charmers do exist. The problem with relying on charm. Strategy is that it's difficult to scale. It's not impossible. But when there's a mismatch between product market the bottom usually drops out great selling is actually not about trying to force feed customers and ill-fitting product. It's more about matchmaking. I tell the world who you are and then do everything you can to find connect with your ideal customers who are these ideal customers. The ones respond to your authentic brand. They'll be the ones who stick with you as you scale. I wanted to talk to phil knight about this. Because no one is more qualified to talk about where authenticity and advertising meet as the co founder and longtime former. Ceo of nike he oversaw some of the world's most successful brand partnerships. He helped innovate a new model. Athletes sponsorships endorsements and product lines. Oh and he commissioned one of the most iconic logos ever but at the start of our story fill was just trying to make a sale. I never thought i was a sales personality. An extra effort is the person that stares at other people's shoes so i'm not really the typical salesman but eventually you got to sell something phil was actually trying to make the hardest kind of sale. He and a friend were in a way on the first leg of a trip around the world. We got conned into an encyclopedia salesman. They ran an ad in the honolulu advertiser about wanting some people for pr. We went for the interview and we dressed up our suit and tie and they said we want to couple. Pr guys to place. Encyclopedia's and homes for free and we got a certain amount of money for a replacement we made when we got done with the training which lasted about two hours. But you also have to sell the yearbook which costs four hundred dollars. And i said oh boy. We walk into that. The scam was revealed but fillon his friend still tried to unload the free merchandise selling. A cyclopes door to door is a bit of an overstatement. Since i didn't sell a single one. But i did try it for a week before i quit. It wasn't by choice. But phil learned a valuable lesson. Selling by deception is harder than it looks. It feels bad to trick people into buying a product. You don't believe in and they don't want to give selling a bad reputation it places customer and salesperson in zero-some match that only one of them can win and frequently. They both lose luckily fills. Brief foray into the encyclopedic arts was merely a side to his main mission. That had started back when he was a student at the university of oregon ran on the track team coached by bill armony hall of fame coach and he was always experimenting with shoes in those days. All the really great runners were either adidas or puma shoes and it was a real eye opener for me when davis won the pacific coast conference championship and a pair of barman homemade shoes. If you're having a hard time picturing pair of homemade track shoes they're little frankenstein ish with leather operas. Cut by hand and glued to rubber and metal souls. Bilbao woman was so obsessed with making lightweight racing spikes for his runners. He even studied with a cobbler. Each new prototype was an experiment. Often performed unfil- himself. He tried it out on his as he called his hamburgers before. I put it on his elite athletes. He felt that getting lighter shoes was important. Those bauer men homemade shoes left their imprint. On phil's mind it stayed there when he went on to business school at stanford. I wrote a paper in the entrepreneurship class. Japanese shoes do german shoes with japanese cameras. Did a german cameras. The teacher a game a good grade. And i got kind of excited about it and away. We go fill wasn't trying to build shoes like his old track coach. He just wanted to sell them and he had an idea of where the innovation was happening. He headed to japan with one. Brief encyclopaedia field stop in hawaii. Along the way phil managed to score a meeting with executives from the nitsa company who manufactured an exciting new running shoe called the tiger was the kind of lightweight performance. Shoe bilbao woman had been trying to make from scratch. Phil wanted to sell it in the us. Now he needed to sell nitsa on himself. At the end of the day it was a sales experience. Right i got sell them. On letting me be a distributor of the tiger shoes fill improvise the name for his existent company. Right there on the spot. Blue ribbon sports. The name might have been made up but his enthusiasm for the tiger was honest. So is diligent market research and strategy to capture market share from adidas his passion and preparedness convinced nigga to make blue ribbon sports. They're american distributor. His sales pitch had worked now. He needed make good on his promises. He returned to the united states. Got himself some samples and got to work. One of his first calls was to his old track coach. I don't remember how many samples got in but it was probably twenty pair. Maybe i sent a couple of them down barmen and hoping that he would buy some for his team he called me up and he said i'm going to be up in portland for an indoor meet. Let's have lunch. That's when he proposed that we partners and i was thrilled. We shook hands in the agreed to put in five hundred dollars. And that's what i had put in as there. We go fill had come to the table looking to make a sale instead. He got a founding partner. Without even having the pitch baron had immediately recognized what is former runner was offering. It was a chance to create a future. They both believed in full of featherweight sneakers. That would help people run fast. The idea sold itself. His deal was the world needs better running shoe and these were people that made good shoes and were really responsive to ideas on making better shoes but as much improved as the tiger shoes were. It didn't take long fulfill and co-chairman to start tinkering with the design. They said this is a great high. Jump training shoe and it had some cushioning in it. And i says well that's sort of silly for the high jump shoe but cushioning for a running shoe makes perfect sense and it didn't make that much sense of japan where they average runaway about one hundred twenty five pounds but in the united states were the one hundred sixty pound runner running on the streets. Cushioning men a lot barmen was tearing us apart which ultimately led to a shoe called cortez. Which was the first cushioned. Mid-sole running shoe which really kind of got us going. The partnership between phil knight bill bauer and own nitsa tiger clicked because of a shared goal improve functionality and quality while keeping their price point below that of puma and adidas fill the value of the product was obvious if the shoe performed it would sell period and the proof was in the receipts. We went eight years as it. Sugar and we got sales up to two million dollars. Which in modern times doesn't seem like much but their total sales in japan were twenty two million dollars so it was not bad. It wasn't bad but soon other distributors started noticing and they wanted in a nitsa was fielding competitive offers to help sell their shoes to american athletes. They got besieged by different distributors. United states. saying you know we could do a lot better job with this and miss kind of seductive to him. They came to the conclusion that they'd be better off with established distributors rather than this to bits of wood outfit in oregon so they basically jerk the contract and left assigned dry. And did you see it coming. Were you able to prepare. We had about nine months notice. Their export manager came to us. And he said we're gonna sit up the distributors unless you sell us fifty one percent of your company for book value and so i swallowed my tongue and said we'll think about it and then got on an airplane to japan. To find another factory it was a classic pivotal moment. In the entrepreneur's journey phil had the side in that moment whether you could establish indentity for himself and his company without the partnership that had gotten him this far it was a big risk but it was also necessary. One the partnership between a nitsa and blue ribbon sports had become a bad match staying in it wouldn't've felt authentic and a wouldn't have made either side happy. Within three months fill and bill had found a new factory one would allow them to make their own product. And not just to shoot someone else's it was a major change. In strategy they started with. Bilbao armaments hybrid invention the cortes but without the name and reputation of Tiger they couldn't just rely on the quality of the product to drive sales. That would need to build a new branded entity to win. customer trust. They needed a fresh start a chance to start building their branding story from scratch. It's at this stage that so many new companies falter to quote the legendary graphic designer. Paul rand design is so simple. That's white so complicated. And nothing highlights the need for simplicity. Like the quest for the perfect logo. We hired a freelance artists student. Porna- state university. Peter two dollars an hour to come up with different designs and she came up with what is now known as the swoosh. If you're vowed sneaker head height based a connoisseur of kicks all terms by producers of assured me are real then. You may already know this origin story. That's because the swoosh has iconic status the elongated checkmark looks like a line in motion. It stirs something in the observer. It's an incredibly efficient design. She came up with several different iterations. She didn't just draw one day. I mean she spent seventeen and a half hours on it and we said modify this modify that the way phil tells it. He didn't have any grand moment of clarity about one. The swoosh was done. He just had to trust his team that they'd gotten a right. That is kind of. I don't know if i like it that much. But we gotta have something and that's the best we got amazingly the same thing was true of nikes name. After the ancient greek goddess victory it was a way to align the brand with winning either blatantly or really depending on how well you know you're mythology. It also helped that. The name nike obata couple of basic rules of marketing. An trademark article that we all had red said good brand names or short. They have kind of a hard signed. Like or xerox or kleenex. That taivon's name. The name nike was submitted by the company's first employee. Jeff johnson but it was far from the only suggestion in the mix. We had forty five employs. And they'll put a name in the hat. I put in the name dimension. Six which i gave some thought to and was the name in the hat like you settle options that everyone voted or did everyone no no. It's only one vote that counted and what made nike resonate with you. Will the others were so bad. My comment at the time was i. Don't know if i like it. That much will grow on me and of course it has at its core. Great branding is about simplifying. It's not stripping away the irrelevant details until only the essence remains imagine a sculptor chipping away to block of marble until a statue beneath is revealed. That isn't just true of logos and names. it's also true messaging. Your companies values must be just as identifiable as its font and signature colors. In nike's case what they valued most was competitive edge. Think back to bilbao romans frankenstein. Shoes crafted alba's runners win now. It was their job to tie that quest. Victory to the brand one of the things that i think is fascinating about. The nike store is that it starts with his intense focus on product. But it also then those will. We can't just have the world's best product we also have to be very brand conscious and as we start out to brand people but now everyone in the world looks to us as the experts about how you establish branded you grow and treat a brand than you connect that brand emotionally with customers. When did the brand part of the story begin to be like okay. This is something we have to focus on onto. Originally the focus was on the product. Self totally and then if we could get some good people to work so it would get the attention of our consumers which are really the runners of the and you know getting. Steve pre-funding were the Was a big big help. Of establishing a brand steve prefontaine american long distance runner and competitor in the nineteen seventy two olympics. Coached by bill. Baron as phil just told us nike strategy relied heavily on its association with star athletes. Nike didn't invent the endorsement but they may well have perfected them going for world class competitor captured the public's imagination. Steve prefontaine carl lewis. Jackie joyner-kersee if you wanna run fast wear nike. If you don't take your training seriously who cares what you wear. But there was a flaw in that plan to go all in on the serious runner. The number of people who aren't they had defined their target audience so narrowly. They made themselves vulnerable to the competition. The eighties we got a brain speed out by upstart company called reebok and they basically focused on women and they focused on what the shoes looked like and we hadn't really focused on the appearance of issues. We said if she performs and a great athlete or is it it'll sell and so all of a sudden designed became important to us because we are losing market share for bad design if you will by the nineteen eighties sneakers or well. Integrated into everyday fashion. Men wore them with suits to look a little rebellious. Women wore them in place of high heels on their way to the office. And it wasn't just reebok mike. His old nemesis adidas were also surging in popularity in clout after performing their song. My adidas at madison square garden the rap group run dmc a million dollar endorsement deal on the spot. Nike was bleeding market share and there was no sign of it. Stopping speaking only to the driven market was not going to deliver a win. So nike pivoted back to the swoosh talking precisely to everything surrounding it. We went back and and got an emphasis on design. We had a young designer that we kind of put in charge of all those design. His name was more parker freshening. The look of their shoes was a good start and style has been an integral part of nike strategy. Ever since but it wasn't enough they also had to pivot their sales strategy. They needed to inform the non elite athlete. The nike was for them to and we said well. Maybe we should try some advertising after all. If this seems like it should have been a no brainer. Keep in mind would fill told us at the start of his episode. I never thought. I was sales personality to fill. Their shoes. shouldn't have to pass the fashion test. If nike was trusted by world champions. What else did you need to know. But even he had to admit was time to connect the reputation of their branding and their branding to a wider audience. What they did next would soon change. Everything will be back in a moment after a word from our sponsor plaid. It's an old thing an old thing that has been rescued by this technology and rescued on behalf of the people who believe it's the right and best way for them to borrow money. We're back with john. Pits had a policy had plaid. He's been telling us how fintech apps are challenging the way brick and mortar banks. Do business like assu. One of hundreds of apps plaid powers sousa was created for customers with low credit scores or no credit score at all. Its neighbors friends. People in the same community putting their assets into a collective pool in a lot of other countries pooled. Resources are the single biggest way that people use to save and borrow and pay for purchases. The sousa was modeled on a traditional form of lending in mexico. It's called atanda in west africa. Assu what a sousa is doing is taking something that people are really culturally familiar with and more comfortable than going into a big anonymous bank and asking a stranger for money. What you're doing is playing to that cultural preference playing to that history of a really good product that has lifted millions of people out of poverty and helped them build their financial lives and making it available in a country. That doesn't do lending that way. Fintech is making banking more inclusive and the numbers show it. We'll hear about that. When john returns later in the show to learn how plaid can power digital finance for your business visit plaid dot com or back when we last left our guest phil knight hit just accepted grudgingly. There was time for nike to change their approach to brand strategy. He and his team went to meet with a young upstart advertising. Agency very upstart. We walked into an office. It had four guys on a card table. Their names were david kennedy. Dan wieden if those names sound familiar. It's because wiedeman kennedy is one of the largest independently owned ad agencies in the world. The first time. I met dan wieden while walked into his office. And i said. I just want you to know dan. I hate advertising. And he says well as censoring way to start. It was but what dan wieden said. Next made phil evolve his opinion one of the things they did and of course they were young and hungry to is that we have to know the client. We have to know the product we have to know who and what they are after represent what they really are and what. He began to understand really quite quickly. Wasn't that i hated advertising. It was that i hated traditional advertising. What did he mean by traditional advertising. Maybe something a little like this. Look here solarium super galvanized rubber shoe soles provide seventy three percent more satisfaction comfort than shoes without other. Souls are too stiff fall apart and inclement weather just wo. Make your step. So full with solarium super galvanized rubber shoe soles us phil wanted something different for nike something. That felt less like selling encyclopedias. And more like an honest introduction to what nike is all about. Something stirring kinetic something more like the swoosh was the design and the advertising the beginning of saying it isn't just the absolute best product for the athletes and for the people who want to run but it also has to be a way of connecting with them so people understand this product is the is the product that's for them for sure that was denver. -tising message why it in kennedy wanted to kick off a brand revolution for nike. So of course. That's what they called it. We had john mcenroe swearing by jackson. Being able to play different sports michael jordan jumping over the moon on it all came together and really looking back. It's maybe just in that first. Real campaign is one of the best campaigns we've ever had spring boarding off the sheer star power. These athletes would become a staple of nike strategy. Shoes were made with the best mind and the proof was on the screen. The ad also used the beatles song revolution that got a lot controversy and a lot of publicity which we loved why controversy. Well for one. Many people weren't comfortable with the idea of the beatles selling out even though by then the rights their catalog had already been sold. The record label emi capital own licensing rights while publishing rights belong to none other than michael jackson time. The three surviving beatles sued nike for. The song's use but the controversy reinforced nike's image as an iconic classic irreverent company. That wasn't afraid to show their edge. We just wanted to one wake people up and be honest on who we were. And it became edgy. We didn't say okay. Make it edgy. It just sort of reflected what we're trying to do you can find that original nineteen eighty seven commercial online. And however you feel about the beatles. The ad is still electric. Not just because of the song or mcenroe or michael but because of the old couple speed walking in the park the little kid caught mid air as he sails across the basketball court. The exhausted marathoner collapsing under their foil blanket after the race. The ad draws a direct connection between ultra lead athletes. And the people who could be you you in the greats exist side by side and the same sweaty happy tribe. this is what spot on branding. Can-do does just showcase the best aspects of the product. It let you believe that you deserve them. A slew of high profile head turning ads. Endorsements and sponsorships would follow as moore's blackman michael jordan morris. Black with here with my main man. Michael jordan charles. Barkley over boys and girls how you get fine jar all fighting wake up the country club baseball football photo basketball. You know list jimi jackson any so smith michael jordan. You'll mike what makes you. The best player in the universe is a vicious dumped. Isn't the shoes no on issues. Not the shoes schumann. No money's got to beat assumed also. A little healthy controversy doesn't hurt either will. isn't it the case like the air jordan was banned by the nba That was great. You heard that right phil just said that being banned by the national basketball association on the court or the biggest celebrity athletes played was a good thing. I mean we couldn't have paid david stern for better publicity that he actually banned the original jordan's from anybody else in the nba. Even michael by can wasn't supposed to wear. I'm and of course i'd got huge publicity and every kid wanted eddie. Lieu of goat was one of those kids. He remembers this incident to michael. Jordan's banned commercial where he was getting fined every single day for wearing his jordan. One breads and that that commercial just so iconic where. He's just bouncing that basketball and they announced they're saying that These are the shoes that's the nba has banned from wearing etcetera. And all that stuff just creates more hype by the way. Those fines against jordan came to five thousand dollars per day. And i keep them all where he wanted them to ban it again but he made him legal next year. Commitment controversy continued when wieden kennedy nike work together to unveil their new slogan in nineteen eighty eight just to it. The slogan was used in a thirty second spot about an inspiring eighty year. Old runner seventeen miles every morning to people. Ask me how by teeth from chattering and a wintertime. I lead by locker. Just do it has since been used for just about everything nike related to this day. It's a slogan that way excuses and says the only thing standing in your way is you. You know one of my favorite ads as joint. Ernst's was a great triathlete and she was in the early revolution ads. She talked about how hard it was to do. The two miles swim the twenty six marathon and hundred mile bike ride and she said this what you gotta do gotta train. She goes through it in this. Just do it side. And then she looks at the cameras and it wouldn't hurt with quit eating like a pig either and so as a completely different than anybody else ever said and it was just sort of us fill remembers this ad fondly but nike hate mail over it especially from women part of the very demographic they were trying to reach was this a case of nike identifying their values or the choosing controversy over a chance to connect with part of their natural audience they decided to find out in the early nineties nike worked with a young female ad writer at wieden kennedy by the name of janet champ. She crafted a new print campaign for nike. women's fitness. read more like a series of poems all your life you are told the things you cannot do all your life they will tell you. You're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough. They'll say you're the wrong height or the wrong type to play this or this or achieve this sometimes the ads featured female athletes but often there were no sports picture at all. Instead there would be a picture of marilyn monroe or an antique photo of a mother and daughter or just toward. No they will tell you know a thousand times no until all the other knows become meaningless all your life they will tell you know quite firmly and quite quickly they will tell you know and you will tell them yes after. Decades of explicitly masculine advertising. This was a seismic change in approach. But contrary to what it might seem. It wasn't a change in identity. These new ads weren't soft and flowery. They were tough and direct. It sent a signal to women. Written a woman's authentic voice our shoes of for athletes and you are athletes to nike. Started getting letters for women again this time. Praise of the ads. The campaign was over zoning. Success and pave the way to endorsement deals with superstar. Female athletes from cheryl swoops to michelle we. To the goat of tennis serena williams they started with athletes and they have all the best athletes in the world. And it's funny. because a lot of athletes. They could get paid a lot more to work with other brands but they stick with nike because of the level of excellence in performance and the brand value that night he has once more eddie lieu of goat with nike they stuck to their core values and becoming truthful to what they stand for and having that point of view is very important remember. Great branding is about matchmaking riskier. Not there's actually a benefit to letting your brand story defined not only who your audience is but who it isn't. He took a risk by making colin kaepernick. The anchor celebrity of just to its thirtieth anniversary campaign in two thousand eighteen. Kapernick had been the quarterback for the san francisco. Forty niners until he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence and racial inequality in america when he signed on a nike's campaign he and still is unsigned by any. Nfl team. And nike's add spoke to that believe in something kapernick said even if it means sacrificing everything the ad i air during the nfl season opener a not so subtle dig at capp's former employer by making him. The face of just do it. Nike wasn't just during controversy there. We're taking a clear stand in a moment. Extreme political division. They were picking a side. It sounds easy but it. It's hard for a lot of companies. Right but i think nike's done a great job saying what our core values that stick to them and let's have a point of and that's how people really create more affinity for the brand. They work with a lot of athletes and the people in the community that are affected by things that happen in this world. So i think it was great to see nike share their point of view on important topics that affect their audience. And i think this next generation of consumers are really in tune with social justice. And like you did a great job of supporting them. In that way nike decided it was important a double down on their values including the one that told him never to play it safe. They trusted that a love. It would generate an athletes and fans would far away the anger it would raise and others. And if you're wondering if this risk paid off. Nike saw thirty one percent increase in online sales in the ads. Immediate wake it was basically system where we said we don't care how many people dislike it as long as enough people like us. The nike of today looks a lot different than the nike of nine hundred eighty eight or nineteen seventy-one including the fact that phil is no longer. Ceo and now chairman emeritus but despite all the changes. The core of the company seems intact. Nike is still associated with high level. Performance us above all in fact one of the most recent products. The nike vapor was almost banned from the olympics forgiving. It's runners too much of an edge of that innovation Has gone a long way in making us appreciate that. Nike pushes the envelope even to now the the vapor flies and allowing people to run the marathon under two hours. It's it's amazing through iq's innovation that has allowed them to get there. I asked phil knight up the lessons. He's learned and trying to keep the identity of the company crisp had aligned with its audience while continuing to grow. What are some of the areas where you found that the mistakes taught you about the brand so like i know that one of the things was. Well we're before we're very focused on sports then maybe weren't apparel company. Maybe we'll have casual shoes. You named two of the real good failures absolutely. We had a brand of casual shoes called i e and it wasn't very successful and then we bought a company called cole haan which really was successful. We sold it not because it wasn't successful because we thought our resources were better served in the other areas. Those experiments may have fizzled but nikes. Active where lines have thrived especially as they've continued to expand their definition of who and athlete is and what she might look like. Recently they launched nike m their first maternity collection. Saying mothers are the ultimate endurance. Athletes phil knight may not have envisioned. This product market fit back in nineteen sixty four but in nineteen sixty four. Our vision of who an elite athlete is was probably too narrow. even as nike has evolved. Its understanding of its core. Customer match between customer and it's branded entity has remained true so any other surprises filled in predict we foresee back twenty years ago that the sports shoe business could get so big when you're starting to see a few people wearing sports shoes black for choose with texas which we hope trend that catches on. I sometimes do that. Because they're so much better for your feet and there's so much more comfortable not for sure. I hope there are more people like you. Yes i'm reed offman. Thanks for listening and now a final word from our sponsor plaid Fourteen percent of low income consumers said there. I bank account was a fintech bank account. Their way onto the economic ladder was through attack. We're back one more time with. John pits of plaid. A financial data platform that connects consumers and leading fintech apps and financial institutions. He's been sharing with us. How intech has helped increase access to financial services by those who have been shut out of the system. Part of the legacy of geography based financial services is that some people have more access than others. You have historic practices. Like redlining where banks would not build in some neighborhoods because they didn't want to provide services to minorities once you've got the technology to reach anyone anywhere in the country. People have an opportunity to make their case for inclusion. You can't judge me on the basis of my skin. You're looking at me as the economic person that i am. While access to traditional financial services has fallen starkly along racial and ethnic lines access to fintech seems to be more equitable. According to a survey that plaid commissioned fintechs heaviest users by demographic percentage or black and latino. They're able to access financial services on an ethically level playing field where we can sort of move past some the historic structural racism that has kept people out of the economic opportunity that they deserve and i think is one of the most exciting aspects of what fintech can do to change the financial landscape in this country. Fintech is enabling access and empowering consumers and plaid is empowering fintech to learn plaid power digital finance for your business visit platt dot com masters of scale is a whitewater original. The show is recorded remotely with sanitize audio gear are executive producers are june cohen and darin trip are supervising producer is j. punjabi our producers. Are chris mcleod. Had skews jenny cataldo jordan mccloud katherine clark gray halley bondy cristina gonzales and ben manilla our editor at large. Is bob saffy original music. And sound design by ryan holiday and daniel nissenbaum audio editing by keith j mixing and mastering by brian pugh special. Thanks at schreiber. David sanford you. Sepe other adam. Heiner emily mcmanus kelsey capitana. Tim cronin sarah sandman. Charlie manassas and call how visit masters scale dot com to find the transcript for this episode. And be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter.

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