Be vision-led, be successful

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The Essence of a Vision-Led Organisational Strategy


In the dynamic realm of contemporary business, the path to success is increasingly complex and multifaceted. Beyond the traditional metrics of profit and market share lies the true indicator of organisational excellence: a well-articulated and evolving vision. 


A company vision is a forward-looking statement that articulates the long-term aspirations, goals, and overarching purpose of an organisation. It is a concise and inspirational description of what the organisation aims to achieve in the future. The vision statement is intended to guide the organisation's strategic direction and decision-making, providing a clear sense of purpose for employees, stakeholders, and customers.


On the other hand, a customer experience (CX) vision zeroes in on the experience the organisation aims to deliver to its customers. It’s a specific part of the overall company vision, focusing on how the organisation interacts with and serves its customers. This vision is described at three different levels - the vision statement, design principles, and then the tactics - each becoming more granular and actionable than the previous. 


Thus, while a company vision sets the overarching direction, the CX vision translates this into a practical framework to bring that vision to life in customer experiences. This alignment ensures that every aspect of the customer experience supports and enhances the broader organisational goals. 

We delve into this concept by examining the journey of a renowned brand, Nike, which exemplifies the power of a vision-led strategy in transforming customer experience and achieving enduring success.

Case Study: Nike's Visionary Journey

Nike stands as a prime example of an organisation that has thrived by being vision-led, consistently reinventing itself to align with evolving consumer demands.

Nike's evolution from empowering athletes with innovative athletic wear to embracing digital transformation and consumer-centricity demonstrates how visions guide organisational strategies and customer experiences.

The Evolution of Nike's Vision


Let’s explore Nike’s evolution over the decades…

  1. 1970s - 1980s: Empowering Athletes - Nike's initial vision was about empowering athletes with innovative athletic footwear and apparel, encapsulated by the slogan "Just Do It."
  2. 1990s - Early 2000s: Global Dominance and Lifestyle Brand - As it expanded globally, Nike's vision shifted towards becoming a dominant sportswear brand and a symbol of athletic excellence and innovation, while also positioning itself as a lifestyle brand.
  3. Mid-2000s - 2010s: Innovation and Sustainability - During this period, Nike’s vision expanded to integrate sustainability with innovation. The brand began adopting environmentally-friendly materials and processes, reflecting a shift towards a vision that values not just athletic performance but also environmental responsibility. This period marked a significant evolution in Nike’s approach, illustrating a commitment to sustainable innovation in all aspects of their organisation.
  4. 2010s - Present: Digital Transformation and Consumer-Centricity - In response to digital advancements, Nike's vision further evolved to focus on digital transformation and consumer-centric strategies. This shift was characterised by enhancing online shopping experiences and leveraging data-driven insights for better consumer engagement. Nike’s vision thus adapted to the digital age, emphasising a more personalised and technologically advanced interaction with customers.
  5. Present: Direct-to-Consumer and Community Engagement - Nike's current vision emphasises direct-to-consumer channels and community-building. This approach signifies a shift towards fostering deeper, more direct relationships with customers, moving beyond traditional retail. By focusing on community engagement and direct interactions, Nike’s vision now encompasses a more holistic view of the consumer experience, aligning with the contemporary emphasis on brand-community relationships and personalised consumer journeys.


Learning from Nike


Nowadays, Nike’s vision statement is: ‘We see a world where everybody is an athlete — united in the joy of movement. Driven by our passion for sport and our instinct for innovation, we aim to bring inspiration to every athlete in the world and to make sport a daily habit.’


This vision is not just a statement but a roadmap for Nike's CX strategy. It guides the design of services and experiences that resonate with this ethos, ensuring that every interaction with Nike is an embodiment of this vision.


Nike’s vision has evolved from a sole focus on athletic performance to a comprehensive approach that includes innovation, sustainability, digital transformation, consumer-centricity, and social responsibility. This broadened perspective allows Nike to respond effectively to changing customer behaviours and market trends, while remaining steadfast in its mission of empowering athletes and individuals. Importantly, this vision is the cornerstone of Nike’s CX vision. It informs how products are designed, how services are crafted, and how customer interactions are shaped, ensuring a seamless and empowering experience that aligns with the overarching organisational goals.

Why Being Vision-Led is Key to Success


So, how did being vision-led contribute to Nike’s success?


  1. Adaptability to Customer Needs: Nike's success is rooted in its ability to evolve with changing customer preferences. In the early stages, when fitness and personal health became a global trend, Nike shifted its focus to cater to the burgeoning demand for quality athletic gear. Utilising market research and data analytics, Nike continuously adapted its products to fit the evolving needs of fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike.

  2. Building Loyalty through Inclusivity: As societal awareness towards inclusivity grew, Nike expanded its vision to embrace this change. Initiatives like NikeID allowed for personalization, while the introduction of diverse product lines such as "Nike Plus Size" and "Nike Pro Hijab" responded to the growing demand for inclusive sportswear. This pivot not only reflected changing societal values but also deepened customer loyalty by addressing a wider range of consumer needs.

  3. Purpose-Driven Social Responsibility: As environmental and social issues became more prominent in the public consciousness, Nike aligned its vision with these emerging concerns. Its focus on sustainability and social responsibility resonated with the growing eco-conscious consumer base, demonstrating that Nike’s vision was responsive to global challenges beyond just sports.

  4. Fostering Innovation and Creativity: In response to the increasing competition and customer demand for innovative products, Nike's collaborations with athletes and designers spurred creativity and innovation. This approach kept Nike ahead of market trends and connected the brand with customer aspirations, particularly among youth who value innovation and uniqueness.

  5. Leveraging Customer Feedback: Nike’s strategy to actively seek and respond to customer feedback allowed it to refine its offerings continually. As the digital era transformed consumer behaviours, Nike leveraged technology to stay attuned to these shifts, ensuring its products and marketing strategies mirrored the digital savvy of its customers.

Nike's customer-centric approach has allowed it to build strong emotional connections with consumers, create products that resonate with their aspirations, and continuously evolve to meet their changing needs. This focus on the customer has been a driving force behind Nike's success and has led Nike to be a market leader and an industry benchmark.

Conclusion: Crafting a Dynamic Customer Experience Vision

As you have seen from Nike’s journey, a robust CX vision is dynamic and requires continuous adaptation and commitment to understanding and serving customer needs. 


A CX vision is a north star, it provides direction and alignment for an organisation as it clearly defines the experience everyone should be aiming to deliver for its customers. It should serve as a source of inspiration to guide the development of new products, services and experiences as well as providing practical ways to bring that vision to life.


It offers companies a way to ensure that the brand promises they make to their customers are actually delivered through the services and experiences they deliver. This provides the foundation for sustainable growth and enduring success.


How aligned is your organisation with a vision-led approach? Discover your standing with our Customer-Centricity Index assessment: 


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