This report aims to present the marketing and communication plan of the sportswear innovation leader, Nike Inc. Limited. Firstly, the history of the company is presented along with mission values. Next, the report explores company’s objectives and marketing and communication strategies. Besides, the report shows that Nike Inc. Company can employ numerous strategies to maintain its top position in the sportswear industry by continuously improving the image of its brand.
Nike, an American company, is located in Beaverton, Oregon. The leading sportswear company was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. The word Nike, which means, the goddess of victory, originated from ancient Greek mythology and signifies the esteemed champion of the battlefield. Initially, the company focused on producing high-quality shoes for athletes. However, the corporation later paid attention to all sportswear (Hollensen, 2019). Interestingly, the company instilled the feeling of victory in all the communication put out on all products manufactured by Nike based on its history and name.
The mission of Nike Inc. Company is to positively change an athlete’s mindset by inspiring them through innovation and creativity. The creative slogan, “just do it,” is likewise an inspirational catchphrase that inspires winners to identify with the company’s products. Moreover, through constant innovation, the company provides athletes with the latest innovations in sportswear, thereby leading the way in integrating sports with technology.
Marketing and Communication Objectives and Goals
Nike is presently facing severe competition from its rivals, including Old Navy and Adidas. Accordingly, the company welcomes all efforts directed at salvaging the situation to assist in maintaining its leading position in the international market. Accordingly, Nike’s strategies as a brand must be improved, updated, and revitalized to the best option if the company is to be successful in maintaining its profit and market position. To secure this, Nike must consider the target market as well as what appeals to prospective customers. This is where the marketing and communication plan comes in. The mix of marketing and communication strategies that the company employs must then direct all efforts towards conveying intended messages to customers (Yeshin, 2016, p. 48). Diverse elements of the mix must work together to achieve a similar net effect, which is in line with the overall company’s objectives. For this to occur, both departments of marketing and communication of any company must align their goals and carefully develop their messages. Aside from the joint departmental efforts, the company’s management must develop a comprehensive plan that enables the organization to communicate its primary attributes to potential customers successfully.
- To improve the company’s profitability by 3-4%.
- To refine marketing and communication strategies.
- To produce low-cost products without diluting the quality.
- To meet the demands of the target market.
- To increase the global market share.
- To broaden the range of products by increasing aerobic products.
Nike is focused on sportspersons and provides them with both footwear and apparel. Its primary target customers are aged between 16 -45 years. The company is unique in that it targets all athletes by selling not only a pair of shoes or equipment but also a story, a lifestyle, and an inspiration (Moon and Baer, 2018, p. 177). The company targets consumers in the following segmentations:
Nike exploits geographical variables to market the cultures and heritage of different nations, regions, and cities. The company provides both males and females with products and has similarly segmented the age range of 16-56 years.
The company targets athletic teens that want to maintain fashionable attires even when engaged in sports activities. Additionally, they sell an image of success by using unbeaten, hardworking, iconic sports champions in their marketing campaigns.
With an increasing trend in living healthy lifestyles, Nike targets different sub-segments of the active lifestyle by producing shoes for both outdoor and indoor sports activities. The company exploits the different behavioral patterns exhibited by athletes and offers fashionable, comfortable, and trendy products at a competitive price.
The company is targeting the international market, even though the U.S is its first targeted market. Indeed, Nike has penetrated North America, Asia Pacific, and Western Europe (Floyd and Wooldridge, 2017). Additionally, it has set the objective of entering new regions like Africa, China, and the Middle East.
Unique Selling Proposition
The company is leading in manufacturing high quality, innovative, and fashionable sportswear and equipment. Additionally, the company has become the dominant player in the sportswear and equipment industry by employing the inspirational “just do it” slogan, which has inspired target customers to buy its products (Smith and Hanover, 2016, p. 121). Arguably, Nike built a mystique around the sale of sneakers by creatively designing durable footwear, positioning itself as a trailblazer in relation to sportswear in the consumer’s mind.
Nike’s positioning statement states that, for every serious athlete, Nike provides the best shoes or sports apparel, giving them confidence in every sport activity (Sichol, 2019, p. 26). Further, the company has the following positioning strategies:
- Instilling the athletic lifestyle in the customer’s mind.
- Attractive style and attitude.
- Positioning itself as a global brand with quality goods.
- Engaging quality level and respected goods.
Pricing and Promotion Strategies
In the sportswear and equipment industry, cut-throat competition exists between the players, and companies are continuously coming up with different competitive advantages, which separates them from their competitors (Hollensen, 2019). The main factor, which contributes towards the success of a business is the strategy of pricing. The pricing of Nike’s products has played a vital role in the company’s success. It employs a value-based pricing strategy whereby the company sets its price with reference to the value customers place on the good.
Several companies apply this logic in selling their products at low prices to increase sales. However, Nike is focused on adding value to the products that they offer consumers. The value-based pricing strategy works for Nike by persuading customers to purchase Nike’s product because of its value, even if it means paying slightly more. Besides, Nike employs the segmented pricing strategy, whereby goods prices are adjusted depending on the target market to make the most profit possible. For example, Nike manufactures the “Air Max” shoes for children as well as adults, but the prices are different, despite the little difference in the cost incurred to make a children’s sneaker and an adult’s sneaker.
Nike’s promotional strategy is clear; it capitalizes on developing the company’s brand by sports celebrity endorsements and emotional marketing, buying out competing sports brands, manufacturing high-quality products, and employing state-of-the-art technology in production. Further, the company engages its personnel in personal selling as well as direct marketing. However, Nike has begun to incorporate added promotional strategies, including social media, to reach the online ecosystem.
Nike is using both direct and indirect distribution channels. The direct distribution plan takes into account both the retail outlets and the fully owned distribution subsidiaries. The company employs short channels of distribution consisting of not more than two intermediaries to remain directly in touch with the customers. On the other hand, indirect distribution channels include licensed agents and independent distributors to ensure high market penetration (Moon and Baer, 2018, p. 201). Owing to Nike’s vibrant brand, it pursues intensive distribution, ensuring that customers do not travel in search of the company’s products. Additionally, the company exercises exclusivity for some specific products by distributing some products exclusively through a specific channel. However, Nike has not explored both telemarketing and online selling.
As a sales incentive, the company has offered promotional pricing on a wide range of products, including shoe apparel and equipment. The company recently launched cricket shoes and offered it at a 30% discount for first the responders, a strategy aimed at increasing initial sales (Dahlén and Lange, 2018, p. 101). Nike is selling shoes and clothing for massive discounts. Additionally, Nike Coupons and Promotional codes are released occasionally to help the customers to save.
Marketing Materials and Collateral
There are four main types of marketing materials that Nike Company may employ to reach both the suppliers and the customers:
- Paper marketing materials such as sales sheets, menus, business cards, postcards, flyers and brochures to inform consumers about new products.
- Promotional marketing materials such as key chains, event tickets, gift certificates, mugs and t-shirts to promote an upcoming launch of a new product.
- Stationery including greeting cards, letterhead as well as address labels to actively get more customers within a given region.
- Signs and banners such as window decals, bumper stickers, potters, and banners to create positive consumer service experience and foster good relationships.
The following are different Nike’s collateral materials:
- Company internal magazine, which is used to inform employees about given organizational situations and possible solutions.
- Brochure or letter that the company may employ to inform the government as well as the shareholders about their situation and maintain good relationship.
- Local newspaper or television, which the company can use to inform local citizens about a crisis that may affect them.
In developing and maintaining its marketing communication mix, Nike Inc. employs a strategic combination of advertising, personal selling, direct marketing sales promotion, and public relation. Further, the company has ventured in television advertisements, sponsorships, trade shows, press releases, online advertising, seminar, and event launches to reach added segments of its market (Piskorski, 2014, p. 172). This combination enables the company to promote its products and strengthen its image effectively.
Nike Inc. has given its buyers a reason to want to come back to their website every minute ad not only engage with them but also friends. The company adds value to the customers while it acquires valuable information on how users utilize their products. Nike Inc. gains insight into consumer’s needs through the two-way conversation with its customers.
Online Marketing Strategy
Brilliantly efficient advertisements sustain the digital marketing strategy of Nike Inc. By embracing critical digital strategies such as storytelling, data analytics, and social engagements, the company has transformed its online marketing strategy. It can be argued that Nike Inc. also sells emotional benefits associated with its products, thereby ensuring loyalty among its clientele.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It is seen from the market and the company’s analysis that Nike can both execute its objectives, develop alternative products, and increase its market share with the right strategy. Therefore, by looking at Nike’s overall plans and objectives, it can be recommended that the company should expand its product catalogue and also consider providing workout or parkour products. Secondly, Nike should increase its reach to the target audience through more use of social media platforms. Additionally, the company can seek collaborations with Apple to incorporate more technology into their products. It is also recommended that the company manage its labor concerns through proper and consistent management. The management can include online video training sessions for celebrity athletes to increase their product awareness levels as well. Arguably, Nike can merge and acquire other organizations to broaden its brand and implement its global growth strategy of 2015.
In conclusion, from the marketing and communication discussion in this report, it is evident that Nike has the potential to achieve its objectives, offer new goods, and expand its market share with the right strategy. The company should widen its range of products to incorporate both parlor and aerobic products, use social media as a way of improving its digital presence and collaborate with technological companies to produce state of the art wears in golf and cricket. The suggested marketing and communications plan should guide the company on critical missing elements that would enhance its position in the market as well.
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