Nike in contemporary marketing complicated changing competitive environment


Under the contemporary society, in the face of a complicated changing competitive environment, the global sports giants (such as Nike, Adidas) are placing a considerate emphasis to compete in this hot market. Any enterprise or companies want to perpetuate in society without being defeated by their opponent must have the core competitiveness of enterprises, which includes corporate culture, corporate strategy and so forth. In this case, I am willing to choose a very famous sports brand in the entire world, not only among teenagers but also middle-aged and old—Nike, to do analyze with the core session themes knowledge, through brand culture, gender influence and globalization strategy aspect.

Brand Culture of Nike

Brand culture is considered as a corporate culture in which employees “live” to the brand value, to solve internal problems and make decisions, and provide a branded customer experience externally. It provides a window through which some of the quintessential attributes of brand may be discerned. No more so is this the case than with corporate brands where brand culture is three-dimensional in that it is found not only within and outside the organization but also across organizations (Schroeder and Salzer-Mörling, 2006). A company built an outstanding brand culture, and then they will have the good mentality to respond to market. A brand must build its own ethos and worldview and does business decisions must be consistent with it and the brand by means of these spiritual notions or more represented by the brand culture to attract consumers. Brand cultures in helping brands make deeper emotional connections with their consumers, which is the most powerful way to influence the customers. Some brands become icons. Think of Nike, it has the power to maintain a firm holds in the marketplace for many years. The brand wins competitive battles not because it delivers distinctive benefits, trustworthy service, or innovative technologies. Rather, it succeeds because they forge a deep connection with the culture (Holt, 2003).

Just like Nike, as a brand, especially the famous sports brand all of the world must operate much like a culture. Nike president and chief executive officer Mark Parker said “The ability to connect with consumers is the single most important competitive advantage in our industry today. Nobody does this better than Nike.”(Whitney, 2007). Movement” is Nike’s language. The Nike Company emblematizes a spirit of sport, bring association of passion and speed ideas. Nike’s swoosh is currently the most recognizable brand icon in the world, just about this swoosh sign make Nike brand has become ubiquitous to a commercial sign, even instead of the brand name itself in the public. This logo is so important for Nike’s brand culture. Nike’s successful rests with they are not only selling shoes, but also impress the marketing emotion. It sells a way of life. This sign is the incentive for the people, and the energy and determination behind philosophy, which is concerned with everyone. Nike uses a motivational type of language to inspire consumers. Nike tells its customers, if you determined to struggle hard, you will exceed others and conquer all. Use of people’s eager for success, Nike created its own kind of personality and attitude, through clever use of a very simple advertisement slogan —Just Do It; it succeeded blend an attitude of life into the commodities they sell. This is the brand culture that Nike Company willing to convey to the customers. In such a fierce competition in the market, how to Nike beat out other brands to be mention of this kind product can be the first one people thought of is inseparable with its creation of brand culture. In the changing market environment, some of the younger groups (adolescents, young adults) have no longer purchased the shoes only; there are shoes on behalf of itself own fashion sense. Therefore, Nike focus on new product development, constantly updates their designs, consequently scheme out many classic series, such as Nike Dunk, Nike Air Max and so forth. A few years ago, Nike didn’t embody the beliefs of skater culture. And a pair of Nikes would have sent a conflicting message to the skater’s friends-if he dared wear them to the skate park. Then Nike launched a new line of skater shoes, called Nike SB– essentially Nike’s third attempt to break into the skate market. But this time they somehow got it right. They hired the right people with the right street cred and deep understanding of skater culture (Hahn and Mirkil, 2009). Building brand culture is important to take note of its own personality and develop it. They must fully develop their own distinctive personality and be good at seizing opportunities for the implementation of cultural ideas of innovation.

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Gender influence on Nike

Gender is not always well understood or conceptualised in marketing theory, research or practice. Very different theoretical categories such as sex, gender identity, sexuality and sex-role have often been employed as if they were interchangeable (Fischer and Arnold, 1994). From some time we have known that the different gender consumers will have the different consumption behaviours. Any gender differences are not the result of nature or biology but of culture, this means that they are changeable (Caterall and Maclaran, 2002). The differences in shopping practices between men and women come from the personality traits of masculinity and femininity. Just like that be apt to adventurous and ambitious for men but inclinable obedient and romantic for women. The gender discourse of the marketplace whereby men are identified with production while women are identified with consumption, is a given in the history of marketing and consumer behavior research (Stevens and Maclaran, 2008). Therefore, women always are the basilic driving force of the consumer market. In recent years new sporting and fitness magazines have been developed as publishing conglomerates, and advertisers seek to create and expend a “women’s marketing”(Steven and Andrews,2005).

When we are used to seeing virile sports marketing mode, it really signify “campaign to get women off”? Nike addressed this question in the process of tailoring to target on the customers of women and girls. Nike evolved a new semiotics of gender that addresses women about the achievement of non-sexist sports identities in a world less bound by patriarchal definitions (Goldman and Papson, 1998).In the past, Nike was not attach importance to the female market, they just copied the marketing tactics from men’s, even just produce women shoes simple smaller than men without any design. Therefore, such a corporation is imbued with lots of male sports fantasy is difficult keen on by women consumers. In this regard, their biggest competitor Adidas was doing much better than them. With the increasing number of women to participate in exercise and the trends in sportswear fashion, Nike began to realize this problem, so they have same emphasis on the development of the female market. As a social cultural phenomenon, from the 19th century, the feminism began to rise. As a result, the feminization of shopping will certainly occupy part of the market. Cause the market demand for feminie as often surpass the males’, of course including the sports market. Women always simply consume on the pleasure of just looking. Thereupon, Nike began to experiment with adding more stylish color and design on women’s sportswear to attract them, in order to seize the female sportswear market. In addition, advertisements could be a source of considerable pleasure for their aesthetic qualities and idealized images (Stevens and Maclaran, 2005).So Nike’s advertising targeting the star or products into the lives of their customers. The way that men and women are portrayed in advertising is an important issue for society (Caterall and Maclaran, 2002).They know take several sports stars as brand spokesman, such the hero worship style advertising is difficult to attract female consumers. Consequently, Nike’s advertisements tend to focus on a strict separation of men and women. This permits Nike to hail men and women differently, while stressing the permits of formal equity of treatment (Goldman and Papson, 1998).Introducing femininity into the Nike discourse would trivialize the “authentic and serious sport image” Nike valued (Cole and Hribar, 1995).

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Brand Globalization of Nike

Globalization is usually achieved by several methods such as integrate markets among countries; Capital and services are sourced in a global scale; Joint ventures or asset sharing internationally and strengthen the oversea agreements and so on(Arnold,2008). Globalization occurs in many fields, which involve spreading or diffusing things or information, and a wider awareness of commonalities (Lechner, 2009). In an international (and increasingly global) marketplace, companies were urged to seize the opportunity to develop highly standardized, high quality products to be marketed around the globe (Levitt, 1983). In order to gain competitive advantage during the process of globalization, companies must be establish and develop their own brands within the world. Cause the cultural diversity, economic development level and other environmental differences targeting on different countries or regions, global market will face many knottiness in the interim. Globalization can help a brand expel the competitors from marketing. It will increase sales, improve customer loyalty and expand market share. If a brand can be known worldwide, that is to say it is a successful and well-liked brand by customers.

Nike is undoubtedly a successful global brand that is recognized throughout the world. Nike’s successes business model was firstly developed by Knight who outsourcing shoes to Japan where has much lower producing cost than European countries like the United States and Germany. Therefore, it can be sold at lower price but high quality than its competitors and as a result, their sales increase to almost $2 million in the early 1970s. Due to the cost became increase in Japan, Nike developed relationships with potential suppliers in Korean, China, Thailand then finally, 86% footwear production were outsourced from Korean and China in 1982. Nowadays, Nike employed over 500,000 workers in 51 countries. After footwear successful, Nike make its products more diversified, sports equipments were produced as well. The most outstanding advantage of management in Nike is international supplier relationship, this not only make sure products keep at low cost and high quality but also help Nike to achieve globalization sales. However, this also created serious problems for the company such as the low wages for workers in manufactories and labour’s right cannot be protected. Such problem were criticized form society(Locke, 2002).To build and maintain a successful global brand has become the dominant corporate aspiration, and as the number of global brands increases this process can be seen to pose significant issues for cultures and consumption across the globe (Parsons and Maclaran, 2010). Nike International Company was officially established in1978, while Nike shoes began to enter Canada, Australia, Europe and South America and other overseas markets. Nike’s successful lie in they can pander to the needs of different customer groups. For instance, Nike treat differently to the Dutch people who are over the age of 25 like to wear white shoes, but others under the age of 25 prefer to brightly colored shoes. No other than depends on these successful globalization strategies, consequently Nike to achieve such success in the world.



Through the analysis above of the Nike company, we can distinctly see that the reason why Nike in possession of nowadays success is inseparable with its brand culture and the proper business strategy. Nike as one of leaders in the sporting goods industry, possessing a full range of brands built upon sports passion and sporting lifestyle. It has more than a brand itself. Nike came into being in1971 and step by step development so far, became a proverbially brand in the entire world, which is the successful of Nike much more the successful of sports industry. Nike brings the loyalty, competition and team spirit into the brand culture, and communicated to their customers. It is not biased on the different target customer groups by reason of it is a sports directional brand. They pay the same attention to the female consumer market and well-liked by feminie as well, which render Nike possess of a broader market, sequentially to obtain greater benefits. Moreover, the globalization strategy is the key that make Nike become an international sport brand. In addition, there are many other factors of Nike’s success. Not surprisingly, while problems also exist. Nike only promotes the advantages and continuous improvement in the problem can be achieving even greater success.

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