I'm listening to the second (I'm an episode behind, I guess) Stratechery podcast, which is working its way towards discussing Nike's impending dumping of the Fuelband as a hardware product.
But along the way, they're talking about the experience of using Nike products and the Nike brand.
This is pretty interesting to me, on a couple of levels. The first is that I have no idea what they're talking about with the Nike Experience. I've been playing sports all my life; I just stopped playing competitive ultimate last year. But I have very little in the way of Nike products. One pair of shorts that was the cheapest pair I could find in that store (I was on my way to an ultimate game when I realized I had no shorts, somehow); I like them, but it's a pair of shorts.
The other that I can think of is one of my pairs of cleats. Similar situation, insofar as I was buying them on my way to a game, although it was not a situation where I said, "oh shit, I've got nothing"; I did plan on buying them that day.
I went to a store that was mostly carrying soccer stuff, and needed to find cleats that didn't have a spike on the ball of the foot (was nursing a stress fracture there at the time). There weren't many options, but those Nike's fit the bill well.
So I haven't really seen "The Nike Experience", despite being an athlete all my life.
The other part of it is that I've never been one to care about branding. Well, not with general products, thinking about it. I suppose you could make an argument for books and music, because I certainly had favorite groups and authors. But when it came to products, the closest I got was preferring Coke products at one time (I hate Coke and Pepsi equally, these days).
Well, until I got to using Apple products about fifteen years ago. And they've been stable and useful enough that I love them for all non-server uses (linux has far, far better context switching performance, so anything server-related, I'll pick linux. Probably ubuntu). I guess I could go to full-time linux use, but I'm definitely more productive on a mac.
When the iPod came out, I was thrilled to get one (it was a gift), and found it was unbelievably better than any of the other competitors that were out, then.
I actually waited a long time to get an iPhone; I wasn't interested in being an AT&T customer (we knew they were part of NSA surveillance; the others we could at least hope were better). But I didn't rush out and get one when Verizon got them immediately. I debated and debated, and finally broke down when I heard Verizon was about to end unlimited data plans. So I got it the last day they offered those plans.
When the iPad came out, I passed on the first generation. I have a vague recollection of saying I wanted three or four specific features before getting one. The second generation was close enough that I bought one the day they were announced (and waited a couple weeks for it to arrive).
Anyway, the point is that I'm very deeply into the Apple ecosystem, these days, but it's really the first time I've had significant feelings about a brand.
In any event, the discussion in there was very interesting.