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MKT235 Brand Management | Conducting a Brand Audit

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Nike is an American multinational corporation involved in the design, advancement and manufacturing of footwear, sportswear, clothing, equipment, accessories and more. The company is having headquartered at Oregon, United States. The company is registered in NYSE. The mission of the company y is to do anything to expand human capital. Nike believes in doubling its business by reducing the impact on the environment just to half. It accelerates sustainable innovation. Nike guides its marketing efforts with authentic athletic performance. The company has successfully expanded its brand from running shoes to all the things linked with athletics.

Brand inventory

Brand portfolio

Nike offers products under nine categories, Running, Nike basketball, Football, the Jordan brand, Men’s training, Women’s training, Sportswear, Action sports and Golf. The men’s training comprises basketball and American football product offerings. Nike also designs products for the kids, athletic and leisure usages such as tennis, cricket, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, walking and outdoor activities. The athletics footwear is intended mainly for the precise athletic use. The company focuses on innovation and on the development and manufacturing of the products. The top selling footwear categories of the company are sportswear, running and the Jordan brand (Aaker, 2009).

In addition to the Nike and Jordan brands, the company also possesses subsidiaries like Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley, Nike Golf and Umbro. All of these sub-brands strengthen the ability of Nike to reach worldwide (Rodrigues, Souza & Leitao, 2011). The sports apparel of the company features the same emblems and is sold through the same marketing and distribution channels as of sporty footwear. The company sells equipment and accessories such as socks, bags, eye wear, sports balls, digital devices, protective equipment and more sports equipment.

Brand positioning

Nike is the world’s leading designer and wholesaler of athletic footwear, sportswear and equipment. The core competency of the company relies in its high performance products. The company has manage a brand which appeals to every demographic worldwide. Nike has been able to become universal due to its best marketing campaigns. It clarifies the trend in marketing. The company has done the best television ads in order to become one of the best well-known brands globally (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2012). The advertisements represent that Nike has a brand for everyone, the location has no role in that. The company has moved into something which is truly universal. It has successfully shifted its products focus into an attitude.

The positioning statement of Nike is “The company contributes confidence which provides the best shoe for every sport to the serious athletes. Nike has established its position in the sports goods industry and has enhanced the athletic life style. It is the largest athletic manufacturer in the US. Nike has turn into a passion for everyone to use its products which creates Just Do feeling for the competition (Sasmita & Mohd Suki, 2015). The company has always been successful to position to the customer’s anticipation and athletic fictional which is recommended by the real athletes.

Brand mantra

When the products become part of a lifestyle than the brand is started to be recognized by everyone. The brand mantra of Nike is “Authentic Athletic Performance”. The brand mantra puts emphasis on the maintaining its authenticity and integrity. It is a guide to make a lot of decisions. The brand mantra can inspire, simplify and communicate. The brand has a high level of familiarity and awareness. Nike as a brand is strong, favourable and unique. It has many associations with superstar athletes, businesses and community projects. The company generates a differential effect and makes use of marketing efforts to influence customer’s response.  The products of the company exude world class performance and meet the demands of the athletes (Riezebos & Van der Grinten, 2012).

The brand mantra has a role in positing its brand. It is also referred to as brand essence. The mantra of the Nike has a different meaning in the different cultures. The company ensures that the products and the brand image reverberate with the image which the brand wants to create (Teece, 2010). The mantra of the Nike legitimately addresses the brand. It understands the social tension which is desperately required to be resolved. The company appeals to consumers to take charge of their physical fitness.

Brand elements 

The brand elements of the Nike are:

Memorability: The brand name Nike is simple and clear. It is easy to enunciate as well as memorize. The brand name is also easy to pronounce and easy in conveying to people. The tag line of the company “just do it” is quite simple and easy to remember.

Meaningfulness: The Nike has used meaningful objects for the brand name and symbol. The meaning of Nike is “the Greek goddess of victory” and it promotes victory and pace. It is very straightforward to the people.

Likeability: Nike is appreciated by the millions of the people. It is the icon of sportswear worldwide. People always opt for Nike when it comes to buying sportswear and shoes. The logo of the Nike represents a sign of ‘ok’ which creates a positive impact on the view of people (McWilliams & Siegel, 2011).

Transferability: The transferability is the competence of the company to add innovative products for the sake of brand equity. The company is also involved in the fashion business other than the business of shoes. It also produces sports clothes. The products of the company can be seen in every sport.

Adaptability: Nike can adapt every environment from developed to under developed nations. It also produces new products every year following the fashion trends (Wheeler, 2017).

SWOT analysis

Nike is one of the top 3 brands of the world for the sports shoes.

  • The brand image of the Nike is its key strength. The company has built its brand image as an virtuous and customer oriented organization. It is an inventive brand recognized for its excellent marketing and good quality products (Pandey, 2017).
  • The international presence of Nike has grown fast. The number of its stores has grown to 758 other than the US. The brand factory stores are 642 and 71 in line stores. The number of non-US stores has become double than the US stores.
  • Nike has excellent marketing capabilities which are also a source of competitive advantage. Other than marketing, the company also focuses on the innovations and advertising. It relies heavily on the digital and social advertising (McWilliams & Siegel, 2011).
  • Nike has an enormous and well-managed supply chain and distribution network. It depend on the independent manufacturers for the production and supply of its products. The company has more than five hundred suppliers across 42 nations. Nike makes use of innovative models to reach customers.
  • Nike has overdependence on the US market for the sales and revenues. The company earned 46% of its revenue from the US in 2017 and 54% from outside the US. The brand has expanded itself overseas; even then its biggest source of revenue comes from the US.
  • Due to the rising competition, the marketing and the overhead operating expenses are increased. It has caused overburden on the company (Park & Kincade, 2010). Nike spends more than 3 billion on marketing in 2017.
  • Nike can focus on the digitalization and product innovation for the future growth. The digital marketing and e-commerce have an effect on the growth and the profits. It also enhances the experience of the customers.
  • Acquisition is a good way for the company to grow faster. The brand can grow faster by obtaining related business in various countries (Li, Peitz & Zhao, 2016).
  • The international expansion is a great opportunity for the faster growth. The company is operating its website in almost 47 countries. Nike can make use of ecommerce and retail channels for the international expansion.
  • The competitive pressure is kept on increasing for Nike. The company requires higher investment for the marketing as well as operations. The competitors of the company Adidas and Under Armour makes investment heavily on the invention and marketing capabilities.
  • The legal pressures are grown for Nike which is leading to the higher pressure. It has also increased compliance related costs for the company (Parker, 2009).

Strategic marketing elements 

Nike continues to invest in research and development in order to produce new products. Originally as a distributor of shoes, the company has come up with various shoes, apparel and equipment for the different sports. The company integrates new technologies in its products to improve product effectiveness and customer satisfaction (Kornum, Gyrd-Jones, Zagir & Brandis, 2017).

 Nike applies the price to maximize profits. It makes use of two pricing strategies, value based and premium based. Nike considers consumer’s perception about the products in the value based pricing. Nike involves high prices based on the premium branding in the premium based pricing strategy.

Nike allocates its products mainly through the 3 channels. It sells products to the wholesalers in the US and international markets (Keller, Parameswaran & Jacob, 2011). The second channel is direct to consumer sales. It comprises in line and factory retail outlets and ecommerce sales through its website. The third channels are sales to global brand divisions.

Nike can communicate with its customers through its website. It enables customers to use the search function to find information concerning customer service policies. The website also provides frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Brand exploratory

Consumer awareness

Nike spreads brand awareness through sponsorships, advertising and experience focused retailing. These are the 3 channels used to enhance consumer consciousness and brand image. The athlete endorsements are also considered as the most significant source of Nike brand. The company has associated with millions of dollars to associate with famous athletes in order to create consumer awareness and enhance brand image. The brand equity is the highest perceived quality which attracts consumers (Kapferer, 2012). The company can build a good relationship with the customers by reviewing their feedbacks and using their languages. Nike expanded ‘finger on the pulse strategy’ in which its workers hit the street finding out what is in the observances of the consumers and follows their need in order to track their brand perception. Nike +website is an amazing way to communicate with customers and spread awareness. The customers can also get a fitness regime which is helpful in interacting with friends.

Brand associations

Nike is not just an athletic brand but is also the spirit of sports. Nike is the first company which always encourages athletes worldwide and calls them to advertise their products. During 2010 FIFA world cup, Nike produced football advertisement named ‘Write the future’. The famous brand associations are ‘Swoosh’ and ‘Just do it’ which shows the effectiveness of the Nike. These two brand associations represent the unique properties. ‘Just do it’ is a classical slogan and is more powerful. It helped Nike to distinguish from a sports apparel brand to a brand which represents youth. Celebrity like Jordan transfer associations to a brand (French & Smith, 2013). Jordan is the famous star of Nike’s endorsement. Nike is a perfect example to associate Michael Jordan with Nike’s Air Jordan shoe series.

Competitive Actions

Nike is one of the three largest sports footwear brands in the world.  The leading sportswear brands are Adidas, Rebook and Nike. All of the three are famous in the customer's segment. Adidas and Rebook are the top two competitors of the Nike but there are also some other competitors in the market as well. Nike has taken various actions which limit the entry of the new competitors to its business (Grams, 2011). The first action taken by the company is branding. The strong image of the company among the customers base allows charging a premium price over its competitors.

Another action taken by the Nike is scale, the cost savings linked with a greater corporate size. Nike has around $29 billion in revenue which is almost twice than its competitor Adidas (Mahdi, Abbas, Mazar & George, 2015). Nike also offers customization facility. The customers can customise some of the products which they buy. Customization is the competitive advantage over its competitors. The innovation is the discovery of the new products which is the distinctive feature over the competitors. It stirs up emotion and desire and also seduces customer’s fantasy. Another competitive action taken by the Nike is the scope. Nike offers a wide range of shoes, clothing and gears. The cost savings are linked with the proposing of various products by a single corporation than products by various corporations.

Consumer brand relationships

Nike initiated building its brand in the early 1980s. The products of the Nike are intended for the athletes in everyone and has transformed the hobby into a lifestyle. The company has topped the list for the most intimate brand relationships among the customers of 18-34 years old. The consumer brand relationships qualities are uniting, fulfilment and nostalgia. The uniting is a term used to apprehend a person and brand to unstoppably link and co-identified. In this phase, the personalities of a person and the brand begin to unite in order to become a form of mutual understanding and expression (Angioni, Cabiddu & Di Guardo, 2012). Nike uses B2C (Business to Customer) in order to monitor consumer preferences. It infers to the in-store customer experience. The data gathered here creates invention, evolution and expansion to respond to the changing consumer demands.

Nike also transfers the experience of the consumers online as consumers browse and interact with the company. Nike focused on the manufacturing and product design to sort itself and the individual customer (Jewell & Saenger, 2014).

Recommended improvements in brand equity

Nike is recommended to deliver quality products to its customers in order to attain repeat purchases and good word of mouth. Sometimes a company produces products just to be innovative but does not successfully tests the products. In order to match the performance and the expectations of the customers, Nike is recommended to focus on the quality than innovations.  

Nike is strongly recommended to adapt to the market changes. It should keep eye on the competitor activities. Nike should focus on the brand equity to target a niche. It is admired to think advanced and understand customers and their preferences (Buil, Martínez & De Chernatony, 2013).

Nike is required to maintain its image consistently. The company should understand the market in order to communicate with the consumers. The business model should be established accordingly in order to establish a brand image.

Brand leverage strategy

  • Nike is recommended to use the premium product strategy. It includes designing a remarkable experience, discovering the desire of ideal buyers and knowing how premium will work in the selected market. The improved quality can enable the company to charge higher prices. Identifying the best place for the sale of products and services help to attract the target market. The premium strategy can work well for the Nike when the market is saturated. It should focus on the bigger market while being premium.
  • The anti-branding strategy can also be used by the Nike. It helps to understand consumer behaviour, create a new customer niche and different aesthetic to reset expectations. It is helpful to the company in exploiting its brand name by using its logo designs, names and marketing tools. It can create new customer niche by raising green issues (Kozinets, 2017).
  • The export recommended strategy is beneficial to be used by the Nike as it is helpful in exploring trust tactic and identifying influencers for the brands. The company can launch products with special recommendations as per this strategy.
  • Nike can make use of the cult brand strategy to create a niche and ensure brand consistency.  The company can launch a new range at lower prices. It can appeal to the niche audience. The brand consistency is paramount in the cult strategy. Nike is required to create the expected quality for the customers.
  • Nike is suggested to use brand appropriation strategy. It comprises factors like aware of risks and asks for the permissions. Although brand appropriation is a risky strategy if it is not used appropriately. The company is required to ensure that all the legal requirements are sound and feasible in every situation.


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