PIONEER AND MOGUL, RONNIE FIEG,
Cleverly used business collaboration and a chatbot to make his customers feel like insiders to his network.

MARCH 8, 2018 –

Fieg only had to create the beginning of Pippen’s chatbot clone.

The expansion of his retail boutique, Kith, which opened in 2011 is a testament to his success as a forward thinking business owner. Recently, his company invested $2 million to renovate their Brooklyn branch.

Fieg had an average life growing up in Queens, New York. At the age of 13, he worked as a stockroom boy for the prominent athleisure footwear chain, David Z.

Eventually, with Fieg’s understanding of what made athletic footwear cool, he became head buyer for the chain.

The first big move that Fieg made was to work with the brand Asics to release limited, customizable versions of an old sneaker design.

Consumers loved the sophisticated style and versatility of the Gel Lyte III shoes, and Fieg knew this.

Major product manufactures tended to move along swiftly by producing only the latest designs. Fieg did something different by convincing manufactures to produce an archived shoe design.

This move was a huge success. It garnered the attention of the Wall Street Journal, with the shoe designs appearing on their cover soon after they were revived.

This caused a lot of media hype, and David Z was sold out of the sneakers within 24 hours.

In working with Asics, Fieg set a business trend that is still common today. He proved that the collaboration of major brands with third parties is a lucrative one. By selling limited amounts of customized shoes, he made consumers feel important and individually catered to.

Later, Fieg had the unusual idea of using a chatbot to bolster his customer’s brand connection.

Nowadays, chatbots are increasingly used in customer service to answer FAQ’s, book tickets and order groceries online – but this idea was unusual.

Fieg used a chatbot to simulate basketball icon Scottie Pippen’s conversational style. Customers could delight in having an easy conversation with the 90’s NBA champion about the release of Nike’s Scottie Pippen sneakers.

Fieg only had to create the beginning of Pippen’s chatbot clone. The bot was trained to interact with fans, conversing as Pippen would. Consumers could get insider information and look at pictures of the redesigned shoes. This bridged the gap between fans of Nike, Kith and Scottie Pippen, making them feel like insiders.

Unknowingly, Fieg became a pioneer in the trend of cloning someone’s essence, voice, and knowledge into bot-form. The trend coming into a moment wherein it’s used for very meaningful and personalized bots – for example, James Vlahos immortalized his dying father into the poignantly-named “Dadbot.”

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