Triple Pundit: Can Ford Become The New Nike?

Yes, but its going to take balls. A solid question posed in this piece from Triple Pundit that definitely got me thinking. “Ford has become much more than an automobile manufacturing giant: it is a design firm, a technology company and a lifestyle brand.”  Totally agree.  But…

While Ford is doing tons of cool stuff with sustainability, technology and design, I think they’ve got a ways to go to reach Nike’s level.  No brand, in my opinion, is more clear on their purpose in the world, and how that translates into innovation, both within their core segments (e.g. running shoes) and in ones they’re still fully realizing (e.g. Nike+).

Killer purpose statement anyone?: “If you have a body, you’re an athlete and Nike exists to build happier, healthier, more fully-supported human beings, through the development of products and communities that put people and planet in balance.”

The new products being developed at Nike are all oriented around value creation.  The brand has moved beyond thinking about what consumers can buy from them and instead started thinking about what they’ll be capable of as a result.

Furthermore, no brand is more open to collaboration as a means of achieving greater returns than Nike.  Whether it be something as menial as the Nike SB Dunk “Tecate” or their partnership with Apple on Nike+.  And as if that wasn’t enough, they’re comfortable with always being in “beta.” Nothing is ever finished.  It launches to the public and evolves based on emerging needs and technologies, a requirement to be a leader in today’s world.

Ford is on their way. Recognizing that, to millennials, cars are not the status symbols they once were to previous generations, they’re challenging our understanding of what a car is and what it can enable its driver to do.  Supporting car sharing programs and initiatives like SUMURR project is a solid start, but what it really comes down to is expanding the definition of your reason for existence.

When the automobile was first invented, it not only changed our relationship to the geography around us, but it also had a ripple effect that reached into the very way we communicate and maintain relationships with others. Ford should see innovation opportunities if not responsibilities in these areas.  Nike is using technology and the social web to create happier, healthier athletes.  Could Ford not be using the same tools to make happier, more skilled drivers, that are more knowledgeable and connected to their surroundings?  Something to chew on…

[article via Triple Pundit and image via Auto Guide]



  1. Great response. Thanks for reading!

    -Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief, TriplePundit

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