Nike is a multinational enterprise specializing in designing, marketing, and developing sports-based apparel, footwear, accessories, and other products. Its inception can be traced back to, 1964 and it was formerly identified as Blue-Ribbon Sports after being established by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman (Kim, 2020). The company’s success can is attributed to several factors but most notably endorsements by professional athletes such as Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Michael Jordan. However, in the 1990s, the brand’s image took a toll after several controversies about poor working conditions in its global facilities (Kim, 2020). Another significant development is attributed to the arrival of the Internet, which promoted the company’s retailing sector, transitioning to online initiatives from brick-and-mortar operations. The American giant has headquarters located in Beaverton, Oregon, and it recorded annual revenue of about $36.397 billion in 2018 (Kim, 2020). This paper explores branding strategies, internal processes such as teamwork culture and collaboration, and how they help Nike achieve sustained brand relevance.
How the Organization Makes its Brand Visible
Nike is a famous brand in the sports industry ahead of other popular companies such as Adidas, Puma, Reebok, and many more. The company has successfully built the brand through extensive advertising, sponsorship, and promotion of products through various avenues. In particular, the corporation has capitalized on emotional branding, which utilizes the concept of heroism – the customers being able to discover their strengths and weaknesses (Kim, 2020). In its marketing, the company focuses on telling stories of the struggle and perseverance of a person experiencing a challenge. For example, the Colin Kaepernick advertising campaign was an opportunity for the American giant to showcase its famous slogan, “Just Do It” (Kim et al., 2020). This promotional was a result of Kaepernick, a professional athlete in the National Football League (NFL), gaining attention in 2018 due to protesting against social inequality and police brutality (Kim et al., 2020). Eventually, the controversial advertising act was a success following record engagement and sales for the American brand. Therefore, Nike tends to use its slogan and various advertising campaigns to increase the company’s brand awareness.
Nike also adopts corporate sports sponsorship, which is becoming popular in the United States and Europe. As such, the company’s athletic endorsement includes some of the world’s renowned celebrities to promote its brand awareness. For example, prominent stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lebron James are involved in the enterprise’s marketing initiatives (Vos, 2019). Ronaldo is one of the most familiar faces in the world of football and has a unique influence in Europe and the world as a whole. His contract with the American company is worth $1 billion, and his soccer performances have also had a positive influence on Nike’s brand reputation (Vos, 2019). These professional athletes have signed a permanent contractual agreement that suggests their partnership will be valid even after their retirement. According to statistics, Nike’s spending on athlete endorsement is higher than other companies’ expenditure (Vos, 2019). In the long run, the company will primarily benefit from endorsements and sponsorships.
Nike has become synonymous with using these strategies to market its products. According to Bloomberg, the sports brand spends about 13.5% of the total revenue on marketing initiatives (Kim, 2020). Therefore, celebrity endorsements make advertising campaigns appear more authentic since individuals tend to listen to testimonials from superstars such as Roger Federer (Kim, 2020). For example, the company recently commemorated the anniversary of its well-known “Just Do It” catchphrase with a commercial featuring a commentary by film star Bradley Cooper, which gained more than 4 million views (Bose, 2018). Therefore, the American conglomerate has succeeded in building a reputable brand from its investment in sponsorship deals.
Nike is prosperous in using push marketing approaches to create awareness of its products to the customers. For example, the company has utilized the famous logo identified as “swoosh” (Kim, 2020). When consumers see this symbol, they are reminded of the American firm. This strategy has also enabled the sports syndicate to establish a connection with potential customers. The company is aggressive in ensuring that it is the name brand in any form of athletic competition. Nike has also done an excellent job of appealing to all people irrespective of age and gender (Kim, 2020). When consumers look at their product offerings, Nike exceeds their expectations. Moreover, the company also makes use of advertising via billboards and social media platforms to increase its brand awareness (Kim, 2020). For example, it does not have a regular strategy in publishing content on social avenues, and instead, its posting pattern is topical. Additionally, the sports consortium’s contents are also tailored to suit the diverse consumer segments in the world (Bose, 2018). In essence, the company has benefited from using push marketing tactics.
The Appeal the Company Possesses
Brand appeal is vital for convincing the consumers to purchase products or services as it reminds them about the brand with which they are already acquainted. The rational viewpoint of Nike’s brand appeal emanates from exceptional quality apparel and sportswear. The American giant emotionally connects with the consumers’ innate sense of strength, achievement, and determination. Nike’s strategy to differentiate itself from the other brands stems from its emotional appeal, and the “inner heroism” of the target market (Bose, 2018). However, Nike’s emotional approach also incorporates a rather cunning misrepresentation of the story since it turns the consumer into both the leading star and the anti-hero of an ongoing controversy (Kim, 2020). In essence, the company’s customers comprise sports and fitness fanatics, who continuously challenge themselves to improve, run faster, and become stronger. These difficulties are frequently internal, as individuals force themselves to “just do it” and push harder (Kim, 2020). Therefore, the American brand developed its brand to become an exceptional example of a company that has emotionally connected to its consumers.
An effective teamwork culture is characterized as a set with shared values and beliefs that the company can prosper when collaboration and cooperation are at the core of planning and decision-making. Nike incorporates various teams from marketing, operations, finance, and other departments of the organization (Kim, 2020). The company exploits these sections by selecting specialists to unite. Nike’s product development is differentiated because of the stylists and marketing professionals, but the athletes and customers as well. The various teams include Digital and Technology, Global Communications, Supply Chain, and many more (Kim, 2020). Since its employees work together, the company saves time and money. When searching for potential workers, Nike tends to place precedence on innovation and believes that team thinking leads to creativity.
Nike’s teams are mainly talented, diverse, and inclusive since these are the factors that the corporations consider when hiring. The American brand understands that talent and innovation supplement each other. This characteristic is incorporated into Nike’s corporate culture because it emphasizes the need to offer human resource assistance for the development of products and other internal processes (Kim, 2020). As such, the sports firm also utilizes various training and coaching programs to ensure individual performance. These strategies are based on the fact that Nike develops and allows managers to promote the growth of the global brand (Kim, 2020). In essence, this quality of teamwork sustains the talent and infrastructure, which are essential for manufacturing some of the world’s leading athletic shoes, clothing, and equipment.
Moreover, diversity is an essential aspect of teamwork for the company, and believes that it is an element for establishing a dynamic workforce. Diversity is vital because it fosters creativity, novelty, corporate image, and subsequently, competitive advantage. Therefore, Nike maintains diversity through various initiatives such as the “speak up” agenda, which expedites information sharing among employees (Kim, 2020). This aspect of the corporate culture amplifies its product development cycles, especially in crafting new designs for footwear, attire, and equipment.
Inclusiveness is also an element incorporated into Nike’s corporate culture to support teamwork. The purpose of this quality is to reduce barriers to individual productivity. Nike utilizes the tool for optimal performance and supporting diversity and employee development programs (Kim, 2020). As such, the American brand backs this function through a team-oriented strategy to administration. Moreover, it incorporates several programs such as NCourage, which refers to a set of networks for cultural awareness (Bose, 2018). In essence, Nike’s organizational culture has created a conducive environment that promotes team spirit for achieving goals and objectives.
Collaborations and Focus
Collaborations and focus are important aspects of Nike’s internal processes and functions. The company has collaborated with the government, industry groups, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) positively impact society. For example, the firm has cooperated with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a group consisting of 200 prominent clothing and footwear retailers and vendors, to minimize the environmental impacts of its products (Kim, 2020). Moreover, the American organization has also partnered with PeacePlayers International since 2017 (Kim, 2020). This organization is well-known for integrating divided communities. Nike also joined Girls Inc. in 2018, a corporation that inspires women to be strong through advocacy programs (Kim, 2020). It is a nonprofit initiative that serves girls aged between 6-18 across various nations such as the US and Canada (Kim, 2020). In essence, these collaborative efforts have enabled the American conglomerate to establish its presence in the apparel industry while also ensuring brand relevance.
This paper has discussed the marketing initiatives that have enabled Nike to emerge as the world’s leading shoe-making and apparel firm. As such, the organization utilizes various approaches to ensure that the customers are aware of its products. For example, it has made a significant impact by using endorsement and sponsorship deals to establish its presence in a highly competitive industry. Moreover, the American company also uses emotional branding to connect to its customers. Irrespective of the marketing approach, the business uses various internal processes to ensure brand relevance. For example, the company has implemented a teamwork culture that facilitates innovation, talent development, inclusiveness, and diversity to promote organizational performance. In essence, Nike remains the leading manufacturing organization in the sportswear and apparel industry due to its marketing approaches.
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