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Product Review – Nike Jordan

This is a report on ‘Product Quality’ which aims to explore the ways in which the seller/manufacturer of a product conveys the underlying qualities of their product to the prospective customers through advertisements or other public information channels. It also explains how the public can infer the quality of the product from the information provided in the above sources. Information has been collected from several articles and websites and a specific model of footwear from a reputed manufacturer has been selected for demonstrating the path of the quality information and the response it evokes from the customers.

The report further touches upon the subject of quality rating. Rating is a simple and convenient method of providing help to the undiscerning customer in making choices (Liker, 2003). Though ratings rely heavily on the individual preference of the person who rates the quality, in our case the criteria for judgment of the product’s quality have been very clearly specified. This has minimized the possibility of a biased or a weak judgment. The most desirable features in footwear in general have been listed and the brand which provides the most of these features has been rated as ‘Five star’.

The rest of the ratings are

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in descending order of the numbers of features provided by the respective brands. A table has then been presented to clarify the differences in rating and the reasons thereof. The report also deals with those fundamentals of quality which are relevant to the topic (Deming, 2000). Since the profitability and reputation of any footwear manufacturer relies heavily on the response of the customer to the quality, viz. features such as the comfort on wearing them, the cost etc of the finished products, the need for developing an information channel to update the customer on the benefits on a regular basis is necessary.

This is also needed for encouraging repeat purchases of the product. The need to maintain literature on these is also found necessary in the long run. This would further encourage collection of more information through marketing research agencies as well. It was also felt that the compilation should be user-friendly and free of technical jargon so that it can be used as a handbook for everyday use by the marketing managers as well as by non-technical staff or beginners in the industry (Bank, 2000).

The best possible efforts have been made to make the complicated process of product quality measurement and communicating in the field of footwear manufacturing rather simple, logical and systematic. The complications present are due to the presence of too many desirable features in footwear which can mislead the customer to addressing the wrong or overlooking the pertinent issues. It has also been attempted to simplify the process of rating in the footwear industry by listing the most favored qualities that are essential in any footwear and vetting the products of different manufacturers to see if they satisfy the requirements or not.

Ratings have then been provided based on this. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY There are different approaches for communicating with the customer about product quality like simple advertisements in magazines, hoardings etc. In this report, we have touched upon how these advertisements are effective in convincing the customer about the quality of footwear by a specific manufacturer, namely, “The Jordan Melo M5”. We have tried to gauge the effectiveness of conveying of the information to customers who would ultimately decide the sales quantity, the profit and the reputation of the company (Eugen, 2008).

We have further drilled down to the salient features in this particular brand to find out how this is different from its competitors. A rating system has also been developed for this brand. It is expected that this work will find use in the footwear industry by marketing as well as shop-floor as well management personnel and can be readily used by even beginners in the industry as the language used is purely non-technical. 1. Describe how the quality of the product is communicated by the seller/supplier.

This can be interpreted from packaging, materials, advertising, sales channels, supplier-provided information on the Internet, etc. “Nike shoes” has released information about their product quality in various advertisements and customer reviews in the internet. Through these, they have tried to convey that quality in foot wears encompasses comfort, durability, looks that last, fashion, good support to the feet, safety etc. They have explained the means used to achieve quality, some of which are the materials used, the fitting, the overall construction of the footwear, the pricing etc.

Here, we perform a case study of their new product, “The Jordan Melo M5”, to find out how the quality features are conveyed to customers through advertisements (Nike, 2008). The makers of ‘Nike’ footwear believe that the use of quality materials mean comfort and durability. Some natural material or leather is used to make uppers in their footwear. The purpose behind this is to provide breathing facility for the feet and to allow the moisture to escape. They argue that Vinyl and other synthetics trap both heat and moisture. When feet remains hot with trapped moisture, it becomes an ideal ground for bacteria to thrive.

“Nike” claims that in all their products, the linings, insoles and fillers are made of natural materials for the reasons mentioned above. They ensure that the soles are made of leather or composition rubber. They also claim that rubber is relatively longer wearing and also increases slip resistance. Hence they use rubber heels to enhance comfort and slip resistance. It also resists impact and can be perfectly adapted to our feet. They go on to describe the various types of leather that are used in their process to highlight their knowledge and expertise in footwear making and how they utilize these to add value to the customer’s money.

Among the list of the various types of leather used in manufacturing , they have ‘smooth leather’, which has tiny pores on them which may be shiny or matt and gives a good feel on the skin, ‘drummed leather’, which has a very soft and lined surface, ‘patent leather’, with an even smoother surface, etc. They have also mentioned about ‘nubuck’, which is easily marked even with fingers, but which can be brushed off easily (Nike, 2008). As the next criteria, “Nike” claims that they have a pricing which is suitable to every kind of budget and which goes higher as per the customer can afford.

The range starts with products suited for the customer with the bare necessity of comfort and a low budget to products which covers all the desirable features one can imagine in footwear. The next feature that is explained is that of safety. They are saying from experience that today’s working men expect comfort as well as safety for their feet while at work. “Nike” claims that comfort and safety come together in their products. The next and most important feature presented in Nike’s product is that of the construction of the footwear. (Eugen, 2008).

Next, ‘Nike’ claims that they are extremely aware of the modern man’s need to look fashionable. They take care to have updated models that would look trendy when worn anywhere in the world. They also ensure that the colors and materials used in enhancing the looks of the products are also of the best quality so that the foot wears look well for a longer period of time than most of their competitors. This is also explained as a salient feature of Nike products in many advertisements and product descriptions in the internet (Nike, 2008).

From a customer’s point of view, we can see that footwear should satisfy the basic need of comfort for the feet. If a footwear manufacturer promises this quality as the foremost quality available in his product, it is bound to create a desire in the customer to buy the product. Nike goes into great details in convincing the customer that their products are made of pure leather in making footwear which is the most suitable material for making footwear. They list the benefits of using leather in footwear in a very scientific way.

This convinces the customer about the comfort that he would get while wearing Nike products. The use of scientific and biological terms makes the customer believe in the quality (Hoyer, 2001). This coupled with the already existing reputation of Nike helps in creating more and more customers. The next point of their discussion is the pricing. Nike conveys the message that the cost is reasonable compared to those of their competitors. If the customer is happy with the quality and the cost, there will not be hesitation to switch over even from a different brand.

If the cost is also reasonable, it would again encourage him to go for it. The next and most important point is of health. For a customer who is interested in preserving the health of his feet and through this his general health and well-being, the availability of literature on the ways in which the product helps him in achieving this will encourage him more to buy the product. Nike is successful in conveying this message to the people through their advertisements and that could be cited as a reason for their success so far in the business of shoe making.

People nowadays are interested in keeping illnesses at bay. If the shoes help in this, there is no doubt that this will attract customers towards them. The most important point in today’s world is fashion. Changing with time, or keeping up with the changing fashion is important. There is an increased sense of aesthetics in young as well as old people. Nike promises to satisfy this need by creating footwear that stands the test of changing fashion. They say that they are the trend setters in the world of footwear.

This sentence alone is sufficient for the customer to think that he will never be out of fashion as far as his footwear is concerned as long as he wears Nike. This gives them an edge over their competitors (Deming, 1994). 2. Develop a rating scale for the quality of your product, and use the scale to demonstrate how the quality of the product can be compared with at least three similar (competing) products. (Use a one-to-five star rating scale like that used for hotels. ) Ratings help the customers to decide on a purchase.

In today’s world of competition, where each brand tries to stuff in as many innovative ideas into their products as possible, it is very difficult to get the buyer’s attention. Extensive research is needed to list out the most desirable features in the product and quick implementation is done so that the ideas are converted into benefits in the shortest possible time before the immediate competitor does it. The customer, who is bombarded with so many benefits from different brands are a confused lot.

In this background, if a reliable source offers ratings after detailed investigation, it would be of much help to the serious buyer (Goldratt, 1997). We now look into the method of developing a rating system for footwear. As the features for each kind of product are exclusive, we first do a research on what the customers look for in foot wears. We come to the conclusion that footwear rating should take into account the comfort, durability, support for the feet and body, fashion and of course the cost among several attributes.

A suitable rating scale for footwear quality may be suggested as below: Five star – Comfortable, Durable, Has lasting looks, Support, Trendy, Economical and with safety attributes. Four star – Comfortable, Durable, Has lasting looks, Support, Trendy and Economical. Three star – Comfortable, Durable, Trendy, Economical and with safety attributes. Two star – Comfortable, Durable, Trendy and Economical. One star – Comfortable, Durable and Economical.

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