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Nikes’
campaign was truly refreshing to see, in cultures dominated by male society
Nike have made an impact on women’s day to day lives regarding sport and have
truly started to break down some of the boundaries for these women. Although
the campaign may have not affected women in North America or Western Europe
this campaign only adds to the brand value from an ethical stand point,
moreover because of the campaign some males now see Nike as more of a feminine
brand however due to the growth in the emerging markets the positives out way
the negatives. 

Conclusion

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With regards to their competitors such as
Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance and Puma, Nike seem to be leading all their competitors
in terms of style and trust. Whilst all the brands are different in their own
way, it is widely regarded that Nike and Adidas are similar brands, however as
on the positioning map Nike in comparison to Adidas is ahead in terms of trust
and differentiation. In terms of positioning for the future Nike is still
trying to keep their exciting and stylish image. Nike is the most fashionionable
brand amongst the other sport brands, boasting a higher level of satisfaction,
whilst also being the more exciting brand and more stylish. However, in
contrast their rival Adidas according to this study is seen as more of a
classic brand and more comfortable to wear than Nike. (See Appendix 2) but only
change in the trust category of these statistics. Moreover, the one negative
attribute Nike is still associated with is unethical. It was twice as unethical
as any of the other brands Mintel (2017). More campaigns such as this one will
help to change the perception some people have of Nike.

Nike
position themselves as a premium and aspiring brand, associating themselves
with sports and other types of fitness throughout the campaign, these are
aspirational features that the consumer will want to achieve. Nike have created
a brand that is seen as fresh and appealing to women thanks to their campaign
strategy, with women finding Nike more appealing than men Mintel (2017). The
positioning Nike took throughout this campaign has been key, as their
perception from their loyal consumers will not have changed and more than likely
added to how they value Nike, this adds to brand image. The biggest difference
will be the changed perception of Nike in the emerging markets and the long-term
benefit will be Nike dominating the market. Brand image is shown to be key by
Trott (2017) who stated “Brand image plays an important role in enhancing the
value of the brand. A strong and positive brand image lifts the value of the
brand in the eyes of the consumer.” This means that whilst Nike is more than
likely already in the consumers evoked set, they are more likely to choose the
brand over its competitors.

The
marketing communication campaign set out by Nike has proven itself to be
effective in raising awareness of the Nike brand in emerging markets across the
world, whilst also tackling key issues for women in sport. Nike thorough out
this campaign has helped restore themselves as more of an ethical brand than
previously.

Evaluation of Strategic and Tactical
Positioning of the Campaign

Nike
also used social media as a marketing tool as their main way to advertise their
new products, this ties in with the AIDA model where the brand aims to get the
attention of the consumer, arouse interest, then the consumer has a desire to
purchase the product then finally action, with the consumer physically
purchasing. The three online adverts were targeted towards females with all
three advertisements following the main character in a story type advert, where
they overcome the social, cultural and gender roles within society. The women
all wear Nike branded clothing, giving the impression that any women can do it
if she wears the brand. This helps to add positive associations to the brand
for women. All three adverts whilst addressing issues for women are also very
different to each other as each advert is tailored to address an issue, this
also helps to keep the message Nike is sending fresh which is important as
shown by Bird (2008)” Advertising creativity should, however, be viewed as the
ability to generate fresh, unique and appropriate ideas that can be used as
solutions to communication problems”. The images Nike released in their
advertisements of women breaking social barriers and Nike helping these women
achieve their goals Nike aim to associate themselves as the brand that is
helping to break the boundaries down, therefore being an ethically pleasing
brand. This is key as Seventy-six business students at a university
participated in a survey on ethics and consumer behaviour, finding that
students found a positive response to ethical messages connected to a brand
with 71% finding added value if the product is tied to an ethical stand point
Askegaard (2006).

Nike
used promotional offers such as sales as a tool to increase awareness of the
brand and increase sales. Sales promotion is defined by Jackson (2004) as “A
tool that provides incentives for customers to buy, as it is the one tool that
ensures a sale.” He later goes on to explain that it is more used as a tool for
B2C rather than B2B marketing and unlike advertising which aims to create long
term consumer relationships, sale promotion aims to get the consumer to buy now
in the short term. The sales promotion offers would likely be at intermediates such
as official Nike stores and online, this will allow consumers to be able to buy
Nike products at discounted prices, therefore being able to build a long-lasting
association with the brand.

Gospe
(2008) spoke about creating a successful campaign “We must take extra care to
make sure that every message we communicate is relevant and meaningful to our
target audience. It’s not about mass marketing anymore. It’s about promoting a
personal dialog via one-on-one marketing techniques that speak to the needs of
prospects and customers.” Nikes communication campaign highlights this as they
did not decide to mass market their campaign on multiple different channels but
on social media knowing that 92% of millennials 18-29 use social media Willoughby
and James (2017). Nike used a variation of different marketing tools to
increase awareness and grow sales in their campaign.

Effective Use of Communication Campaign

Nike
did not choose to use a variety of different channels in their campaign, they
decided that they would choose to use social media for their campaign across
several platforms but kept the message the same across all channels used, with
the message that women are strong and should pursue sport. Moreover, they
decided not to use television to broadcast their campaign and with 90% of
people watching television within the last 3 months, Mintel (2017) Nike has
perhaps missed out on an opportunity to reach a wider audience and gain
awareness with their campaign. However, with Facebook nearing two billion
monthly users in 2017 and YouTube announcing that viewers watch on average over
1 billion hours’ worth of videos at day Mintel (2017) there will not be a lack
of viewership on the platform for Nike to target, as 73% of all internet users
use Facebook Mintel (2011) Indicating that a campaign can be ran completely
online and still be successful due to the shift from traditional advertising as
Simmons (2010) indicates “With the grow of advertising utilizing digital media,
this is believed to be challenging the claimed added value of this medium over
the traditional media methods.”

If
Nike are going to effectively broadcast their message at their target audience
they must first use the appropriate channels to reach their market, there are
many different types of channels from television and radio to trade shows and
catalogues. Marketing is moving away from managing customer transactions to
managing internal and external relationships (Vargo and Lusch 2004) and from
passive to interactive multi-channel marketing communications strategies.

Use of Appropriate Channels

Nike’s
traditional target market is 18–40-year-old males Cook and Ryan (2015).
However, in this campaign it is clear to see that the target audience is women
of a large age range and ethnic backgrounds as the age of the women that appear
in each of the different videos is ranged from roughly 8-35 and from several
different cultures. However, because of the nature of the advertisements it
could be argued men could become dissociated with the brand, seeing Nike as a
feminine brand and even, some men with misogynistic views on women’s roles and
rights may boycott the brand in favour of a rival like adidas, who do not
direct as much of their marketing towards women. Nikes campaign is about
inspiration and breaking social barriers, with consumers regularly going
through the CDMP when making their decision to buy Nike products, according to
Burnett (1994) consumers are influenced by guilt when making a purchase
decision, this emotion comes from a consumer’s decision that goes against their
values and beliefs, with the guilt being defined by four different subsections;
financial, health, moral and financial responsibility. Nikes latest women’s campaign
helps consumers to fight two of these guilt sections in moral and health as the
brand is linked with a sporty healthy lifestyle morally braking these barriers
for women is another step along the way of convincing the consumer to make a
purchase. The other two guilt barriers will be broken with adequate pricing.

Appropriate Identification of Target
Audience

The key aims of Nikes advertising campaign
have been to increase sales of women’s products in the targeted area, whilst
also trying to build brand equity within the consumer market. The importance of
building Brand Equity is highlighted by King (2009) “A product is something
that is made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by a customer. A
product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be
quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless. “highlighting why Nike are
keen to start building their brand equity in these emerging markets. Facing
such strong social issues head on as discussed before, a consumer in the region
will feel a sense of loyalty towards Nike. Meaning that in the future the
consumer will be loyal to Nike which reduces marketing costs and lowers
competitive threats in the area, as the consumer will only purchase Nike and
suggest the brand to their friends and families. The advertisements also build
brand awareness, which is a cornerstone to being able to build other
associations of the brand, this also helps build familiarity which leads to a
liking. Nike would also be trying to score higher on the hierarchy of effects
Maslow (1943), due to the inspiring nature of the women in the campaign, a
consumer could go up a variety of levels because of the campaign, and a higher
level means a deeper connection to the brand, which in turn adds to brand
equity.

Identification of Aims and Objectives

A threat to the campagin could be
political factors as all three contries have a mysogenistic hierachy, Nike
women products in the future could be banned or they could be banned from
advertising from the locations due to upsetting the satus quo.

An opportunity for Nike to develop this
campaign would have been to release a forth video challenging sports barriers
in America or Western Europe, the videos released did not appeal to current consumers
as shown by the views on their YouTube page YouTube (2018). As views
massivley decreased when the video was translated into English compared to the
targeted region.

A
weakness of this campaign is that while Nike have managed to reach out to a new
market, it has seen them distance themselves from loyal consumers in a
statement released by Nike they confirmed fewer sales in Northern America, “For
the quarter, revenue growth was driven by international geographies and
continued strength in NIKE Direct, which was partly offset by an expected
decline in North America wholesale revenue” Nike (2018). Further highlighting
the positive effects in the emerging markets and detrimental effects shown in North
America

A strength that has been seen through the
campaign is that Nike has hit their target market with their advertisements as
shown by the growth in Nikes sales by region from 2016-2017 Statista (2017) with sales
being bolstered by 294 million US dollars.

Nikes
market position has been under pressure over the recent years with other brands
such as Adidas challenging the brand. However as shown by Mintel (2017) Nike
and their closest competitor Adidas are roughly equal when it comes to brand
awareness although Nike has got more brand experience in comparison. Although
Nike has had some issues recently regarding ethics, in the summer of 2017 Nike
was afflicted by protesters as United Students organised a rally against the
brand, bringing attention to the deprived conditions some workers have in
Vietnam factors that Nike uses.

In
the Middle East according to Hong (2017) “The lack of female participation in
sports has very much to do with the concept that a female need to uphold her
reputation.” She later goes on to say this idea is drilled into the heads of
young girls with her grandmother using the metaphor of “a tiny crack in a vase,
you will never be able to fix it again.”

Russian
women are also expected to act in line with Vladimir Putin’s misogynistic
society as women in the area are constantly undermined and under persistent threat
as Putin recently signed off on a new law which decriminalised domestic
violence with estimates that a woman is killed every 40 minutes in Russia due
to domestic violence Walker (2017).

Socially
Nikes advertising campaign is directing itself to a host of issues women face
across the globe, (See Appendix 1) with Turkish women, their political
environment is a reminder of outdated traditional gender roles within their
society. Natividad (2017) reports W+K Amsterdam the creators of the
advertisements released an anecdote in an interview explaining how women are
constantly assaulted for wearing shorts on public transport. Serap (2011)
claims that women and men are not given equal rights, however a women’s rights differ
by region and according to the socioeconomic status and level of the people
involved.

Background and Context

The
idea of Marketing communications has been described by Fill (2008) as “playing
an increasingly significant role in achieving overall marketing success. In
large part, this is due to many organizations developing a relationship
building approach to how they deal with customers on a long-term basis.” This
highlights the importance of an organisations message it sends to the public.

Nike
launched their “Believe in More” in 2017. This campaign was different to what
Nike have previously done, the campaign focused on the issues women face in
sport across the world. Whether that be gender discrimination, cultural
traditions and social expectations of women.

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