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Fill defines marketing communication as a management process taken by organization towards engaging with its numerous audiences. In addition, a process that help marketing communication managers to identify whether an organization is communicating in effective and meaningful ways with its consumers and other stakeholders is known as marketing communication audit.
Meanwhile, Belch (2003) states that Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines, also known as a concept of marketing communications planning which provide clarity, consistency and maximum communications impact, through combination of these disciplines.
1.2 Background of the company
In January 1964, Bill Bowerman, University of Oregon track coach and Phil Knight, a middle distance runner had formed Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) with the purpose to create high-performance athletic shoes for the U.S market. They began importing Japanese running shoes named Onitsuka Tiger, or better known today as Asics. In 1972, Nike was founded and the name was derived from Greek goddess of victory (Nike Inc., 2011). Bowerman and Knight were ready to design and manufacture their own brand of athletic shoes and hired Carolyn Davidson to design the logo, “Nike Swoosh”. In 1972, the new Nike line of footwear was debuted as a sporting label at US Olympic trials held at Hayward field in Eugene, Oregon. Within that year, Nike successfully sold over $3.2 million worth of shoes and its profit continued to double each year for the next decade (Inside Story, 2003).
According to Jose Nevarez (2010), the versatility and the vast array of differing designs is one of the main characteristics owned by Nike. The design and color combination is depending on the tastes and interests of any person. In addition, the brand itself has been widely promoted by athletes and superstars such as P.Diddy and Michael Jordon.
Nike Inc. has various benefits program for the employee in order for them to stay fit, create a positive working environment as well as in ensuring the wellness of their families (Nike Inc., 2011). In addition, there are various benefits such as free shipping on orders more than $100, exclusive access to seasonal promotions and discounts and ability to write product reviews for those who registered as a member (Nike Inc., 2012).
1.2.4 The Role of Marketing Communication in Branding
At Nike Inc., the brand marketing will help to drive the company’s mission of connecting with consumers through various medium. On the other hand, the global communications team will be committed in creating bottomless, realistic and genuine connections with consumers, employees and stakeholder in terms of inspiration, innovation, growth and portfolio throughout the world (Nike Inc., 2011).
In the sports wear industry, there is a very high rivalry. Nike has to compete with various athletic and leisure shoes companies globally such as Adidas, Reebok, Asics, Timberland and Puma in terms of product offerings, cost, pricing, technologies, marketing and customer service (Mishra, 2011).
Figure 1.1 Nike’s Competitors
Source: Track and Running News (2011)
1.2.6 Nike Statistics
Figure 1.2: Company Statistics
Source: Statistic Brain (2012)
Nike Inc. was engaged in designing, developing and global marketing for their footwear, apparels and accessories. In the year 2011, Nike has a total number of 38000 of employees with sales revenue of $20.8 billion. Today, Nike has 700 stores globally (Mishra, 2011).
2.0 Objectives and Goals of Nike
2.1 Context Analysis
According to Laitinen(2009), SWOT analysis can provide information of the context analysis where strengths and weaknesses are known as internal factors while opportunities and threads as external factors. Below is the SWOT analysis for Nike.
Figure 2.1: SWOT Analysis
Source: Mishra (2011)
2.2Need for Organizational Objectives
The organizational objectives are needed to drive business growth, create positive social and environmental change as well as to build better consumer and community connections. Nike is striving for the best by creating value for current business condition and innovates for a better future (Nike Inc., 2011).
2.3 Value of the Objectives
In terms of market orientation, Nike focus on the customer demands and needs and the strategy is set based on their customers Bain and Company (2011) states that Nike is applying decision architecture approach where it is successfully identified 10 major decisions areas that covering budgeting and targeting, channel, sales strategy and others. Nike has made an announcement regarding its planning to sell the subsidiaries, Cole Haan and Umbro in an attempt to focus more on its core footwear and apparel business (Brettman, 2012). According to Nike Corporate Responsibility Report (2006), it is very crucial for Nike to measure turnover rates, costs of recruiting and training in contract factories in order to eliminate excessive overtime, it is very crucial for Nike to measure turnover rates, costs of recruiting and training in contract factories. Furthermore, Nike has direct control over change which is contrast its ability to influence change.
2.4 Promotional Objectives and Strategies
The promotional objectives of Nike enable Nike becoming part of the world culture and the brand power becomes harder to imitate. Nike adopted promotional strategy through the integration of endorsements and sponsorships which attempting to promote sport as a solution to social problems. JUST DO IT is the theme of the company’s campaign.
2.5 Relationship between Corporate Strategy and Promotional Strategy
In corporate and social community, its image is very important. To show its concern towards the well being of the social and individual personality, Nike has been involved in numerous eco-friendly and social drives (Ashara, 2012).
2.6 Budget and Other Resources
In 2005, Nike has restructured the budget process by creating more steady but constant and transparent commitment, forecasting for five years. Although Nike is a well known brand, the resources pale comparing to those obtainable by governments and international development institutions (Nike Corporate Responsibility Report, 2006).
2.7 The Differences between Sales and Communication-based Objectives
Sales objectives are focusing more on statistical data to set the levels of target sales while communication-based objectives are relying only within its area of expertise (Hartman, 2012). Nike is hoping short term increases in sales and has informed the consumer that Nike is striving to deliver the most excellent footwear.
3.0 Message Strategy
The most powerful medium for Nike to attract consumer with amusing, modern sight and sound is always television. This is because television advertising has a wide coverage where it can reach most of homes worldwide. On the other hand, Nike also uses magazine as its marketing strategy as this medium can appeal to targeted people specifically who are interested in sport, travel and business. To catch further attention of the consumer, the magazine should come out with good color production in order to create strong advertising images. With the advancement in technology, internet has been the fastest -growing media vehicle that is low cost with active reader involvement and attention. The users can choose any advertisement at Nike official website, YouTube or other video websites (Deng, 2009).
4.0 Target Segment
4.1 Target market & Target Audience
Nike is focusing on creating premium consumer experiences on product innovation, brand leadership and high retail presence as Nike’s targeting market is active people who enjoy high quality of sports products, especially footwear (Deng, 2009).
Nike target audience is young people aged between 20 to 30 years old from low, middle income and social class. At this age, young people are either preparing of have just entered the job market. In addition, Nike also targeting middle age people, from 30 to 50 years old, with middle, high income and social class. These people have achieved various stages in their life and had confronting more pressures from the impact of economic crisis (Deng, 2009).
4.2 Feedback from Customer
Nike often received positive feedback from customer on their footwear. This is because Nike always offers flexible and comfort shoes with various design and color following the current trend and style. Apart from its footwear, Nike always comes out with stylish and sporty apparels, which suit the events. In addition, Nike accessories such as cap, wrist band and school bag has been in a very high demand. This is because Nike clearly defined a right pattern and features a right compression fit for a secure stable design that suitable for all ages.
4.3 Goals of Nike
The goal of Nike is to be the World’s Leading Sport and Fitness Company. According to Nike Inc. (2011), their business targets are more towards integrating corporate responsibility goals into the company’s long term growth and innovating business strategies. Nike is planning to improve the labor conditions in contract factories, drive sustainability product design and innovation, and create a positive environment as well to unleash potential by giving youth better access to the benefits of sport. Meanwhile, Nike has updating its public disclosure of more than 700 contract factories which producing Nike product globally as an attempt to continue its commitment to supply chain transparency and collaboration.
5.1 Concept of Positioning
Nike has positioned itself as most considerate and confident brand worldwide in order to maintain its most powerful image especially in overcoming the most critical time. One of the concepts Nike adopted is using the brand agent. For instance, two Nike’s spokespersons are Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods (Hogan, n.d.).
5.2 Types of Positioning Strategies
Nike has created a vast distribution network where the products are not only available at exclusive Nike stores and selected multi-brands outlets, but also at specialty stores, thus establishing the credibility of Nike products in footwear, apparels, accessories and watch industry. As for today, Nike carries a minimum number of 20 styles as an industry benchmark in building strength of the wide range. Furthermore, Nike has extended its advertisement campaign for key markets to communicate its brand while creating awareness and identity through a distinct presence (Hogan, n.d).
5.3 The Importance of Perceptual Mapping
In his study, Zhou (2010) indicates that perceptual mapping is able to communicate the complex relationships between marketplace competitors and criteria used in making purchase decisions and recommendations by buyer.
Figure 5.1 : Perceptual Mapping in Swimwear
Source: Speedo Research (2010)
Figure 5.2: Perceptual Mapping for Footwear
Source: Stevenson (2011)
6.0 Marketing Communication
6.1 Aim of Marketing Communication
Four principle actors namely media, the clients, the agencies and production and support companies will enable the process of marketing communication industry to function. These principles will drive the industry and form an important context of operations and relationships between organizations (Chris, 2009).
Figure 6.1: Principle Organizations in Marketing Communication Industry
Source: Chris (2009)
6.2 Promotion Tools
As to reinforce their product benefits and to appeal their target audience, Nike has produce variety of sports products with a famous tagline “Just Do It”. This tagline has motivated sports people with a message “I have done it!” in completing their sport activity with the help of Nike products. During 2012 Olympic, Nike has launched their campaign through television advertisement to convey their message, “Find your Greatness”. Besides that, Nike also used Twitter with the hashtag #findgreatness, print advertising and online film that featured London-based “everyday” athletes (Sweney, 2012).
6.2.2 Personal Selling
In retail stores, Nike utilizes a personal selling technique where the sales associates have direct contact and interaction with the buyers of Nike products. Those sales associates must be knowledgeable of the brand and well trained in customer service (Isaiah,2009).
6.2.3 Sales Promotion
For each of its products, Nike has a way to attract its customers by giving them promotion. When there is season starting to come, Nike will give consumers a
lot of coupons. By this way, consumer can save their money (Alban,2011)..
6.2.4 Public Relations
Through public relations such as Facebook, Twitter and its own website, Nike has created additional engagement channel that allowed two ways communication (Alban,2011)..
6.2.5 Direct Marketing
Nike offers a great convenience by printing catalog focuses on footwear, apparels and fitness training and sends directly to the customers’ email as a way to promote its direct marketing.
6.6 Intercultural Marketing Communication
6.6.1 Effective Promotion
Advertising campaign seems to be common objectives and intentions for the majority of the advertising. However, Nike primary reason is to highlight the quality as well as the functional benefits of their products (Tremewan, n.d.).
7.0 Problem Statement, Recommendation and Conclusion
Throughout its history, Nike has had many problems with public relations. These problems have affected its corporate image. Therefore, it is best for Nike to improve their corporate social responsibility through providing better working conditions, being more environmental friendly as well as setting up more community programs.
In conclusion, Nike has develops effective marketing communications in various aspects as discussed in this paper. Despite of the threats facing by Nike, it is in a better position to utilize opportunities that arise.
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