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Nike and Reebok Marketing Strategy Essay

Abstract

            The command of sports brands has revolutionized the perception of apparel and gear in terms of use and over-all significance. The sense of competition, the techniques of play, the work ethics of training—all have been redefined by most sports brand through relentless and key marketing strategies. Nike, Inc. has successfully made its ‘swoosh emblem’ as something to be defying the concept of talent. Having that particular ‘swoosh emblem’ on one’s shoes, gear, or apparel represents an undying quest for triumph and almost by cosmic presence enhances dreamed ability into sheer reality. Having had key advertisements and endorsement partnerships with world renowned athletes, Nike has established a solid name, reputation, and marketing prowess in the sporting world and beyond.

As the shifting times have demanded change, Reebok also tries to restart its brand image and gain market share by redefining their target market.

Nike and Reebok Marketing Strategy

 1. Nike has forever changed the rules of sports marketing strategy.  It has built Nike swoosh into one of the world’s best known brand symbols (as popular as the golden arches of McDonald’s). Why has Nike been so successful? What has been the company’s primary marketing strategy? How does this strategy differ from its competitors? 

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             In terms of marketing strategy, Nike has taken the right steps and has used just the proper tools to ensure its brand supremacy among others in the sporting world. The assorted product lines presented are of top quality and design; hence, the price offerings are set at the higher end. Nike endorsers are known to be the biggest names of their respective sport backgrounds, not only for the unparalleled talent which they posses, but also for their incomparable charisma and excellent reputation. The association of the Nike roster of great ability as endorsers heightens the sense of fascination of sport apparel and transforms into a true ingredient for triumph by the buyer.

As compared to its competitors, Nike truly spares no expense in building great and almost ‘large-than-life’ ‘swoosh’ advertising campaigns for its numerous athlete endorsers and understanding that brand visibility, accompanied with a top-caliber athlete, translates to merchandise sales. The potent marketing strategy that separates Nike from its competitors is the legacy it has built and continuously building both for their brand and for their athlete endorsers. In addition, “From the start, Nike’s marketing campaigns featured winning athletes as spokespeople” (Kotler et al., 2006, p. 72). Through this, the brand has been able to redefine the line between sports-wear and everyday fashion by having separate product lines for each and for the merged sports fashion concept.  The most coveted series of particular shoe-lines Nike has designed, like the Air Force One’s, have now built almost a cult following due to their esteem and rarity. They have, in a way, mastered the art of building customer loyalty and brand image.

2. The Nike of today is far different from the start-up company of 40 years ago.

As Nike has matured and grown – moving into mainstream culture – its marketing strategy has matured as well. Let us discuss how imperative it is for your Marketing Strategy to change with the times. Explain how Marketing Teams have transformed in order to keep to date with its consumers.  Why is this important for survival?

In its early beginnings till to date, Nike, Inc. continues to study, anticipate, and pioneer various marketing strategies through the years. Nike has understood the importance of adapting to change in fashion, design, and strategy. Their commitment of innovation in a technological sense and their trend setting has made the swoosh element well incorporated in ever-changing times. In almost every sport, game, and competition, Nike has ensured that their swoosh brand shall have its mark. Nike Inc. has been expanding ever since, extending their reach beyond the more traditional sports such as basketball, baseball, and football and crossing-over into the more unorthodox sport competitions such as skateboarding.

Marketing teams have improved tremendously and still are, in terms of research to determine just what it is the customer is thinking. It is important to be very well incorporated and resilient in the sports gear industry, specifically in the perceived and actual thinking of customers, both present and potential, because this translates to their belief of Nike as a brand, as a company. It is indeed imperative that innovative marketing measures are done to safeguard brand image and reputation. In a sense, Nike’s resilience to follow the ever-changing needs of the markets only means that marketing is still shifting, even evolving as a science, and as a whole.

3. To stay on top in the competitive sports apparel business, Nike will have to keep finding fresh ways to bring value to its consumers. What are your ideas? Put on your creative marketing caps and let us think of ways in which Nike can adjust their  Marketing Plan items (See Lecture Notes from Chapter 2) to maintain their position in the future.

As the competition is intense within the sporting apparel industry, Nike has to be forever strategizing on its toes to keep market share at a well-kept, soaring level. However, Nike’s quest for brand visibility should be well thought over, for consequence may be of negative drawbacks. An example of this back in 2004 was the banning of LeBron James ad by the Chinese who saw its content offensive even though Nike, Inc. had only pure intentions for advertising. Having the assorted product lines of shoe and sports wear catering to various gender, age, social, groups, Nike has to realistically consider the fickleness of customer loyalty. The company must incessantly develop more prestigious shoe lines but at the same time keep the balance of the sport and fashion entity concepts. Nike should always be ever conscious about the various opportunities available within the industry and continue keeping the swoosh emblem of sport supreme relevance.

4. In recent years, shoe endorsements that once belonged exclusively to pro athletes have branched out to include entertainers. For example, Rapper 50 Cent recently signed an endorsement contract with Reebok and is now promoting his GXT II cross-training shoe.  Says 50 Cent, “Athletes are seasonal.  Our presence is year around”. Does this shift in endorsements signal a change in Reebok’s Marketing Strategy specifically their target market, segmentation, and positioning? What are the benefits and drawbacks of such a change in endorsers? Are any other competitors following suit?

            The revitalized Reebok marketing strategy of choosing entertainment personalities over professional athletes has various implications as well as marketing and customer perception consequences. Recently, Reebok seems to take more emphasis on the fashion than the sport competition aspect. Through this marketing strategy, customers shall perceive the brand as more of a fashion-sport provider. In addition to this, choosing such a figure like 50 cent indeed overhauls the target market. This may bring confusion to some, but is up to Reebok’s plan to communicate the new image it has chosen to take. Converse has done the same with their Chuck Taylor shoe series, but it has been established way ahead of Reebok, and from the get-go is more fashion based. All these depend on the ability of Reebok to answer the needs and wants of the new target markets.

References

Kotler, P., Keller, K.L., Ang, S. H., Leong, S.M., Tan, C.T. (2006). Marketing

Management: An Asian Perspective (Fourth Edition). Singapore: Prentice Hall.

 

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