Clothing industry is a multi-billionaire industry today. It has increasingly become influenced by big names in the industry such as Andrew Rosen, Jeff Rudes and Mickey Drexler . The clothing industry is boosted a lot by fast fashion in the present as well as in the past decade. Fast Fashion means that things/clothes/styles go quickly out of fashion and new trends take their place and this happens a lot in today’s clothing industry. To survive in this industry, a company needs to +fulfill consumer demands, make short lifespan products and work their way out with complicated supply chain. A company needs to do creative marketing to create brand awareness of its products and build a brand value of their company/products. I am going to discuss the marketing techniques of Nike to illustrate the bigger picture of how Nike became what it is today.
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Nike was not called Nike in its founding years. In fact, it was called Blue Ribbon Sports from 1964-78 when it was founded by Bill Bowerman, a track coach at University of Oregon and his student Phil Knight. Their first retail outlet was opened in 1966 and the Nike shoe brand was launched in 1972 . The company was renamed in 1978 as Nike, Inc. and went public two years later. Now in the 21st century, Nike has its retail stores and distribution centres in almost every country on the planet. So how did Nike transition from an average performing shoe company to a global shoe brand that has the greatest influence in its market?
Nike owes its success to endorsements and deals with famous athletes such as Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods. Nike signed with such athletes when they were about to hit their prime and fans all over the world wanted to be like their superstar. In fact, when Nike signed Michael Jordan, a player who literally made basketball and NBA a global trend, its sales and share prices went dramatically up within years. Every game that Michael played well and every championship that he won, Nike kept on growing and growing. Michael had such a tremendous impact on Nike that they had to create a separate brand for him called Air Jordan.
Nike’s Marketing and advertising tactics
Nike didn’t build its fan base by harping on its shoes and other products. In fact, their ads rarely show their products. Nike induces its consumer’s feelings through emotional branding. Their products create a need within their customers that can only be fulfilled with Nike products. It creates a story of an athlete who works hard and eventually comes up victorious while putting on Nike products. Through this we can understand that in Nike’s ads, their product is a secondary thing. The primary thing is the emotional story with which a lot of people connect and are compelled to buy Nike.
Endorsements with Athletes
One of the major part of Nike’s success is – Super Expensive Endorsement deals with athletes who can be recognized on the world stage. Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Rafael Nadal, Derek Jeter, Neymar, Lionel Messi, Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods are some of the most famous names associated with Nike. Even if we’re not associated with sports, we still have seen or heard some names of these athletes somewhere in our lives. The reason why Nike signs such deals is just because of a simple human psychology – “My favourite star wears this, I’ll wear it too, so I’ll be more like him/her”. It does sound like a kids phenomenon but we do sometimes make our purchase decisions through this thought. The irony is that we don’t realize that it’s that thought.
Promoting business through CSR
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a big thing for a lot of businesses these days because most of us want our purchases to have a positive impact not only economically but also environmentally and socially. Therefore, in order to get more sales, businesses engage in activities that are good for our society and ecology. CSR has become such a huge thing for businesses that they take out separate funds for “actual good deeds” and its not a small portion of money. Some businesses spend millions of Dollars on CSR. Nike also spends millions of dollars on its community programs. Some of the major programs include innovating to get kids involved, creating positive impact in local communities through funds and accelerating global change. Any area that Nike touches through one of its programs, that areas essentially becomes a Nike market for the company as its promoting its business as well as winning prospective customers.
Ever since Nike lost to Reebok in the lucrative market in 1980s. It always has tried to constantly innovate as that’s the key to a long term surviving and growing business. Nike has tied up with up Apple in a program that involves customers using Nike and Apple products to precisely measure their workouts and record their daily performances. Example, in 2006, it developed a new kind of shoe that connects with the user’s iPod to measure the distance walked and speed of the user. However, most smartphones have this feature today in 2019. But who would’ve thought of this in 2006! Well certainly Nike did and that’s how its relationship /business grew with Apple. Today, Nike has paired up iPhone, iPad, iPod and interestingly with iWatch too. Both companies advertise their products in a simple way. Apple says ,” Use iWatch to track your activity while you workout with Nike products” and Nike says, “ Workout as hard as you can and track your performance through iWatch!” . Apple has also released special Nike watch bands that we can use with our iWatch. Other innovative products by Nike include self lace-tying shoes and flying knit technology that makes durable and light weight shoes.
Social media interaction
The company connects with its customers on social media’s every platform. It has millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. It also shares funny and relation building moments with some of their customers which connects the customer with the company even after the economic transaction. The ground line for this is that it gives attention to people in this attention-seeking world.
All the advertising tactics, CSRs, endorsements has made Nike the biggest Shoe brand in the World. It is valued at 32 Billion US dollars. While its next biggest competitor, Adidas is valued at 16 Billion US dollars which is exactly half of Nike. What’s even more dangerous is that Nike’s current financial statements show that the company is still growing. It is already a huge force in the shoe industry. We will see what happens when it is done growing and when it actually tries to sustain what it has.
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