If there is ever a most valuable brand in sportswear it is Nike. Nike is an American multinational corporation that designs, develops, manufactures and distributes equipment, footwear, apparel, accessories, and services worldwide. But what is the secret to its success? According to Burgelman (2017), Nike's milestone success is as a result of its tactical approaches to marketing and strategic goals strategic goals which have in turn positively impacted on the customers.
Nike's Strategic Goals
Nike's main strategic goal is building and sustaining partnerships. The company believes in stakeholder partnerships that create opportunities for sharing the best available practices (Mahdi, Abbas, Mazar & George, 2015). Nike has partnered with the European and the United Kingdom governments in strategic legislations that continue to model the clothing industry in areas of consumer awareness, recycling, sustainability, and environmental labeling (Burgelman, 2017).
Sustainability is another major goal for Nike. The company aims at enhancing sustainable practices throughout the entire supply chain. This goal is based on the company's understanding of sustainability as the key to building and sustaining its brand, marketing, and production (Larson & York, 2017). Nike has continued to adopt new strategies in marketing and production areas to so that its practices are relevant and in line with the current market demands. The company recognizes the fact that its future remains uncertain if it does not consider appropriate sustainability in the entire chain of supply (Larson & York, 2017).
Moreover, Nike intends to become the market leader. To attain this goal, the company has invested heavily in extensive marketing to establish a brand and a logo which has allowed the firm to sail through in selling "emotional benefit" of its products and resulted in market dominance (Mahdi et al., 2015). Also, Nike produces a wide variety of products which allows the company to secure the front place in the market throughout the industry (Larson & York, 2017). All the products are high quality and innovative which allows the company to stay ahead competitively.
Nike's Strategic Tactics
Despite being a top brand, Nike recognizes that it operates in a market where competition is at its peak. As such, the company has employed essential strategic tactics that have helped meet market demands. The company has been continuously launching new and unique products which are highly valued by customers, thus leveraging their market position (Rothaermel, 2015). For example, over the years, Nike has launched innovative products such as Flykit technology which lightens footwear as well as the Fuelband digital tracking devices. Such new and innovative products enhance the company's momentum to stay at the top.
Besides launching new products, Nike has focused on diversification. The company has launched various lines of consumer products to meet the needs of every individual in the market (Rothaermel, 2015). For example, it launched Dri-FIT product that adapts apparels from shirts to socks. This product has performed well for Nike Pro Bra Collection and Dri-FIT knot for running.
Furthermore, Nike has invested in new technologies which have allowed the company to customize its products as well as releasing new ones in the market as fast as possible. Nike has embraced technology in its day to day operations (Rothaermel, 2015). These technologies have been instrumental in managing wastes, enhancing the speed of operations and driving growth of high gross margin in customer business.
To ensure top brand positioning, Nike has identified brand ambassadors. The company spends over $2 billion in marketing where it promotes its brand through sports ambassadors and other admirable world icons (Mahdi et al., 2015). For example, Nike named its shoe after Michael Jordan, who is a world NBA player. Other notable sports ambassadors that Nike has identified to promote its products include world footballers Christiano Ronaldo and Ronaldhino, golf player Tiger Woods and tennis champion Serena Williams. These ambassadors have popularized the company worldwide and more than doubled its sales.
Nike's other success tactic has been expanding production in emerging economies and China was the main destination. Since 1981, Nike identified China as a prime place for its production because of the low wages and talented manpower (Perepu, 2016). To expand its market in the country, the company sponsored many clubs and sports-related events as well as launching sporting leagues. It then designed products specifically for Chinese which were affordable and popular among the huge growing middle-class population (Perepu, 2016). Its capitalization of the world's largest population reached its peak in the 2000s when Nike took part in China's Olympic bid and sponsoring several teams that participated in the competition thus expanding its presence and popularity in the country.
Overall, Nike's success is attributed to strategic and tactical approaches which enhance the brand while penetrating the world market. Nike ensures that its products are leading in innovation and quality to appeal to many consumers and remain competitive. It also ensures that it produces a variety of products to suit different consumer needs. By involving itself in sporting activities and engaging world sports ambassadors in its marketing strategies, Nike maintains and continues to build its brand worldwide and increase its sales.
Burgelman, R. A. (2017). 9. Complex strategic integration at Nike: Strategy process and strategy-as-practice. Handbook of Middle Management Strategy Process Research, 197.
Larson, A., & York, J. (2017). Nike: Moving Down the Sustainability Track Through Chemical Substitution and Waste Reduction. Darden Business Publishing Cases, 1-4.
Mahdi, H. A. A., Abbas, M., Mazar, T. I., & George, S. (2015). A Comparative Analysis of Strategies and Business Models of Nike, Inc. and Adidas Group with special reference to Competitive Advantage in the context of a Dynamic and Competitive Environment. International Journal of Business Management and Economic Research, 6(3), 167-177.
Perepu, I. (2016). Nike in China. IBS Centre for Management Research, case reference no. 216-0055-1.
Rothaermel, F. T. (2015). Strategic management. McGraw-Hill Education.
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