Reigniting the local sneaker culture with GenZ

How Nike sparked a fresh conversation about sneakers with Gen Z in Hong Kong to re-engage with these audiences.

Guy jumping with nike shoes
Guy jumping with nike shoes

How it started

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.


How we inspired change

We invited 30 youngsters living in Hong Kong to share their lives and views on fashion in a three-week online community. The community used our proprietary Consumer Square, and included a mix of fashionistas and sneakerheads aged 18-24. 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 favourite Instagram influencers. But they also opened up about who they are and who they want to be.


How it lives on

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.

“Our first partnership with Human8 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
Women’s Brand Lead, Nike Hong Kong

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