I need a pair of running shoes — the old Salomon trail shoes are rounding on the heels and a threat to my health. So off I went for recommendations from the CrossFit community and came up with these — Nike Free’s.
When I checked them out on Nike.com I discovered I could customize them — really customize them — so in honor of my Cotuit Skiff, the Snafu II, I went with a yellow body and a green highlight.
Professionally, while these suckers will take a discouraging four to six weeks to arrive, I liked:
1. The customization interface was really intuitive and kind of cool to play around with.
2. The text entry for putting words on the heel cups was capricious — permitting some words: “Sinister”; but dinging others: “Dexter.”
3. The email progress notification is a great example of post-sale-pre-delivery expectation management. Including a photo of my shoe is very smart.
There’s a lot to learn from Nike in the customization and communications process. I know I will probably be horrified at how ugly these are on my feet, will look like I have two lemons strapped to my feet, and have an argument with my wife for not conferring with her before committing the order.