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Brading Theory And Its Concepts

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Nike Inc.


Nike is an American multinational company which deals with designing, developing and manufacturing and global marketing and selling of footwear, equipment and other lifestyle wear accessories. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has grown to become the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of athletic shoes and related apparel as well as sports equipment. It employs 44,000 people worldwide as at 2012 and had revenues exceeding 24 billion dollars the same year. As of 2017, the Nike brand alone was valued at 29.6 billion dollars and it was ranked at number 89 in Fortune 500 list of Americas largest companies.

Established in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, it initially traded as Blue Ribbon sports before changing its name to Nike Inc in 1971. The name is derived from the Greek goddess of victory by the same name. Over time, the company has acquired other subsidiaries like Brand Jordan, Converse, Nike Bauer, Cole Haan Umbro and Hurley International.

The Nike Brand is well known all over the world. In-fact, the company’s two trademarks of Swoosh and Just do it are the most recognized Sportswear logos in the world.  

This extra-ordinary brand recognition is attributed to several factors.

Brand Awareness.

To stay ahead of its competitors in terms of brand recognition and awareness, Nike has always endeavored to create a unique marketing adverts for its audience. It emphasizes its decade long message of its products been vessels to uplift the spirits of the average person and make them get up and accomplish their goals. The Just do it trademark is a simple yet catchy phrase that can be interpreted in many ways by the audience but whichever way one interprets it, their interpretation will always be positive and inspiring. It has worked to build and retain a loyal and committed fan base over the years, transcending from sports to everyday life. It has been voted as one of the best advertising slogans of the 20th century.

All elements of a good branding are encompassed in their brand awareness strategies. The company has undertaken advertising and marketing campaigns aimed at ensuring that its three major logos, Nike, the Swoosh and Just do it remain in the minds of their customers, are catchy and trendy, can be transferred to any new products the company releases to the market and are adaptable to changing times and changing market needs.

Nike launches new shoes and apparel every often to keep in touch with lifestyle trends. But it has always been able to maintain its brand logos in every new product that it releases. This goes to show the longevity, transferability and adaptability of the brand logos to changing times.

Nikes unique advertising prowess was underlined during its recent launch of its new LunarEpic sneaker. Instead of running adverts on television and mainstream media, the company decided to install a giant running track in Manila area of Singapore. This track was designed in the exact replica of the LunarEpic shoeprint. They then lined the track with LED screens in which a personal avatar pops up after a runner has done lap one of a race. The runners can now use the avatar to measure up and push themselves to their intended limit. This advertising strategy caught the fancy of many running and footwear enthusiasts around the world. It served the purposes of reaching out to digitally savvy audience and maintaining Nikes long message of personal pushing oneself to just do it.

The above example of a brand awareness campaign encompasses most of elements of branding. The strategy, just like the swoosh and just do it logos, was easily likeable and brought meaningfulness to the audience. The audience could identify with the campaign and its uniqueness meant it was going to get stuck I the memories of the targeted audience.  It is just one of many of Nike’s brand promotion campaigns that have been consistent throughout the years. They all aim to capture every element of a good branding campaign.


Brand Image.

Nike’s Swoosh trademark is an easily recognizable logo anywhere in the world today. This image recognition has been created by using several marketing methods over the years but without swaying from the main theme of the brand; perseverance, grit, determination and just doing it. Some of the methods which Nike has used over time to protect its brand and maintain its visibility are: –

Emotional Branding – Nikes adverts always depict a hero versus villain story which is a common theme of most adverts. But in Nike’s case, the hero and the villain are the same. It creates the impression of the customer as the hero who is facing a villain called laziness and malaise. This creates a message that is more personalized to the audience since most people can relate with looking for excuses not to wake up and exercise, or to finish that task. The audience can relate their personal struggles with the brand and therefore they believe the brand is personal related to their lives. This helps creates a loyal fan base of Nikes products who keep on coming back to buy its products.

Celebrity Personality Branding – Nike has been using sports celebrities as representatives of their brand. From Michael Jordan to Tiger Woods to Christiano Ronaldo, the company has over the years used the power of sports celebrity appeal to market its brand and its products. By portraying the celebrity’s success in their field of play as been partly brought by use of Nikes products, it gives the impression to the average Joe that Nike is the brand which successful people use. This makes the brand more desirable and valuable.

All-inclusive strategy – Nike has worked to encompass every segment of society to their brand. To start with, it has been making adverts targeting women who make a big segment of ready customers. The adverts seek to create the impression that though the modern woman has less testosterone, she is just as driven, has same power and even more inspiration than the male counterpart. This helps the company tap into the large, previously unexploited women market segment. It also designs its Nike Town shops in an extravagant way so as to create the impression that its products are high-end. This makes the average Joe who visits the shop and makes a purchase to feel like he is part of a very treasured culture of the Nike brand.

Technology and Social media – A visit to various Nike’s social media platforms will tell you a story of a company that realized the importance of engaging its audience by use a method that is fast gaining traction. Nikes social media presence is way superior and way ahead of its competitors in terms of numbers of subscribers, likes and numbers of people it engages with in the platforms.  It has mastered of using catchy phrases and harsh tags which resonate with its millions of customers and fanatics. The harsh tags, just like Nikes logos, are made short, catchy and precise so as not to lose meaning. It always makes sure its social media message is cognizant of its brands image of strength, passion and determination.  

By cultivating the Swoosh and Just do it trademark as the hallmarks of courage, victory, teamwork, grit and comebacks, Nike has created a brand image that encompasses power, athleticism, fitness, modernity and heroism. These traits can be associated with any person anywhere in the world. This has resulted in the Nike brand capturing the attention of the average person who easily relates with these values and aspires to emulate them.

Marketing Program.

Nikes products are well known all-over the world. It is a mantra which the company worked to achieve and maintain over a long period of time. That feat has been achieved a mixture of several marketing and branding strategies that company has employed to target  the different market segments of its products range.

As explained earlier, the company has used emotional marketing and celebrities to market its brand image of heroism, winning spirit and determination. This strategy has ensured that its products have a solid base of customers who identify with this type of messaging. By using personalities from different parts of the world, the company has ensured that its message reaches millions of its target audience all-over the world.

The company also makes sure its brand is visible to all major sporting events like the Olympics, world cup, common wealth games, world athletics championships. It sponsors team athletes with free uniform and race gear and in turn gets the free marketing these events can give with a world wide audience watching.   The company also works out endorsement deals with the celebrity athletes and other sportsmen to get paid to don their kit. By using the power of the world wide publicity generated by these events, the company gets to endear itself to more potential customers.

Nikes target market is people of all ages, races and social status. Its marketing strategy and its pricing of products has always been geared towards capturing every segment of the society. That’s why it chooses celebrities from every corner of the world so as to reach audiences allover the world. Its celebrities also represent different racial and ethnic background for the same purpose above. The company’s products are also priced in such a way that they include high priced offerings for the rich customer but also medium and low price offerings for the middle and low income client. This works to ensure no one of their targeted audience is left out of the Nike movement.

Nike has its physical presence felt allover the world. It has a total of 1,152 stores and many more merchandising partners in different parts of the world with 525 factories making sure a steady stream of its products are supplied. This elaborate network of retail presence is a deliberate strategy by the company to have its presence felt and seen allover the world. From America to Europe to Africa, Middle-East, Far-East and Australia, Nike is present everywhere around the world. This works to ensure that its fervent legion of clients and fanatics can have their desired product at a shop within the vicinity of their area.  

Nike uses several marketing strategies to target its different segments of target markets. This is because the company manufactures and sells different types of products and so it has to target different segments of the society. To make this approach effective, the company uses positioning strategies of cost, quality and flexibility. Its high-quality footwear is well known all-over the world but it incorporates the quality aspect with reasonable prices as compared to prices from similar brands. The company also markets its shoes as adaptable a flexible for people of all classes and occupations in the society. A combination of these three positioning strategies ensures that the company endears to capture as many market segments as possible.

In conclusion, Nike uses a mishmash of different marketing plans and strategies to reach its different segments audience. This strategy is used by companies who have a wide range of products in its catalogue and Nike is no exception. It works to ensure all segments the company is targeting adequately accesses the company’s products and can afford to buy them.   


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