Re-engaging Gen Z consumers in Hong Kong for Nike

Nike sparked a fresh conversation about sneakers with Gen Z in Hong Kong, reigniting the local sneaker culture.

The challenge

Nike Sportswear wanted to re-engage with young consumers in Hong Kong to build a localized strategy and reignite the local sneaker culture. Therefore, the brand needed to gain an in-depth understanding of what defines Gen Z: their beliefs, their values and their attitudes.

With the effects of the HK protest movement and the practical challenges of COVID-19, it was harder than ever to get young people in Hong Kong to open up in face-to-face settings.

Knowing that this generation is used to living a big part of their lives online and even more so in a pandemic reality, it soon became clear that traditional, offline approaches such as focus groups were off the table.

Our solution

InSites Consulting invited 30 young Hong Kong consumers, a mix of fashionistas and sneakerheads aged 18-24, to share their lives and views on fashion in a three-week online community on our Square platform. The engagement of consumers through the community activities was overwhelming as we gathered hundreds of rich media consumer posts in merely three weeks. Feeling comfortable in this online environment, the youngsters shared photos and videos of their outfit of the day, showed their shoes & clothes collection, and talked about their favorite Instagram influencers. But they also opened up about who they are and who they want to be.

The impact

Our first partnership with InSites Consulting was a great success. The team showed understanding of our category and consumers right from the beginning. They listened to our business problems to come up with a plan that worked well with our strategic framework. Team Nike was delighted by the high-quality recruitment in the community… participants were very engaged and brought a wealth of insights. We were also very impressed by the story-telling approach used to bring the findings to life with actionable recommendations. We are confident the research will be helpful to our long-term planning as well as the day-to-day operations.

Penny Ho, Brand Planning Manager at Nike HK​

The project showed how to engage young people based on their evolving state of mind, using local online community activities, events and forums based on their sneaker-related interests. It revealed how local relatable influencers can also be used to share stories about their personal interests and journey.

The insights provided Nike with a 360° view of their consumers, understanding the ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘who’ and ‘why’ of consumer behavior. This is part of what we call consumer intuition. Want to know more about this concept?