Brand Building: Nike’s Case
This is a research paper focuses on product brand building. It uses both primary and secondary sources to analyze the Nike’s footwear brand equity and positioning. The primary source was abstracted from an interview involving a loyal Nike’s football boots customer. The secondary sources were obtained from articles published in journals.
Brand building is a critical exercise that often takes many companies long time to achieve. Brand building creates brand equity which is the justification provided for preference of one brand over alternative brands. Brand equity can also be defined as extra value a brand name adds to the product in the market (Okwonko, 2007). Brand equity has many benefits that include strong brand loyalty, less vulnerability and increased project margin. To achieve brand equity, a company must exploit its competitive advantages and position itself strategically in the market. Positioning involves knowing target market, competitors, and how brands are similar and different. Nike has built its footwear brand for over four decades. It has positioned itself as manufacturer of high quality and stylish footwear and apparel and sport equipment maker. It brands, especially footwear has positive brand equity. Consequently, the brand has many loyal customers who recognize and consider the brand as superior to other alternative brands.
Brand loyalty interview: the brand and its competition
A friend who is a loyal customer of Nike football boots was interviewed for purposes of getting information on why he had strong preference for Nike’s footwear. The respondent owned ‘Victory’ football boot that he had bought in June 2013 at 54 dollars. Since he began playing football in January 2008, he has bought a total of three Nike boots. The most expensive one was worth 129 dollars. The respondent insisted that he shall continue to buy Nike’s footwear as long as he plays football because of a number of reasons. He said that he preferred Nike because of its name was recognized everywhere in the world. Consequently, he wanted to associate with the company brand. He cited Manchester United and Tiger Woods as prominent club and sportsman who have contract with Nike. Besides, he stated that Nike’s products were very durable and stylish compared to products from competitors such as Puma and Adidas. The respondent farther said that Nike products are available from many outlets in US. He recognized that Puma and Adidas were the Nike’s main competitors. Puma and Adidas have contracts with Arsenal and Chelsea. He concluded by stating that he would want Nike to lower the prices of their footwear so that many footballers can afford their boots.
Analysis of interview: brand equity and brand positioning
Nike Inc has an outstanding reputation as a designer and maker of high quality football boots. Footwear was one of its pioneer products and the company has mastered how to develop durable boots that offer value for money to its customers. Nike’s logo is recognized worldwide and its brand are very popular not only US but in all continents of the world. Its brand ambassadors are very popular and successful people in US. They include Tiger Woods and Mia Hamm . These people are very instrumental in creating brand awareness. The company owns many outlets in US where customers can purchase their favorite products. These outlets stock footwear for various sports which include football, athletics and cricket. Nike faces stiff competition from Puma and Adidas who have signed lucrative contracts with top clubs in England. However, it has maintained its brand loyalty because of its high quality products, aggressive marketing and outstanding reputation. Nike has continued to position itself as
Brand research: market segments and targets
Nike football boots targets male football players in both developed and emerging economies. Football is popular among men hence Nike’s designs most of it football boots for men footballers. It uses high quality construction techniques to design boots for male children and adults. The company’s boots for females are designed and made for both leisure use and playing.
Brand research: brand equity over time
Branding remains the main competitive advantage in footwear industry. Consequently, brand equity plays an important role in Nike strategic growth (Tong, & Hawley, 2009). According to Sorensen (2013), technology and color are top drivers of footwear markets in the world today. He argues that is among sports shoemakers that have has embraced technology in its production, distribution and marketing. The company developed a wristband that measures distance covered by a person while walking. The gadget also measures the amount of calories burnt by the person during the exercise. Besides, Nike has used technology to make sneakers that are capable of determine how high a basketball player jumps. Another innovative product from Nike is the Vapor footwear which weighs 185g. These boots are meant for high speed. The company has expansive which sell its products.
.Brand research: brand positioning
Nike was in founded in 1968 under the name Blue and Ribbon Sports by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. It changed its name to Nike which is the name given to Greek goddess of Victory in 1972. It was rebranded with a new logo in 1980s. The logo has been used consistently over the years. Nike also owns other popular brands that include Umbro and Converse. Nike has the largest market share for sport footwear (Seymour, 2011). Initially, Nike used American personalities to markets its brand. Today, Nike uses various ways to promote its brands and maintain market leadership. For instance, the company signed deals with Brazilian National Soccer in 1996 and Manchester United in 2002. Nike maintained its market share by exploiting its brand power (Larson, 2011). It positioned itself as sports Lifestyle Company through the use of famous and influential sportsmen that include Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. These people have endorsed the company’s products. Consequently, some customers buy the company’s products because they want to identify with their heroes. Over the past few years, Nike has been using internet marketing program to popularize its products. The company partnered with Google in launching an online social networking site called Joga.com. The website was developed for people to share soccer videos. Over one million were registered. Nike has also use internet marketing program to promote its brand. Another website created by the company gave people opportunity to design Nike’s shoes online (Ramaswamy, 2008). These initiative has enabled the company to connect with millions soccer fans who are also customers. The engagement enables the company to establish relationship with clients, learn customers’ preferences, get feedback, generate and refine ideas, and build innovative brands.
Nike has successfully built a footwear brand that has created high consumer based brand equity. The company enjoys price elasticity and brand loyalty.
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