The folllowing sample essay on Nike Research Paper discusses it in detail, offering basic facts and pros and cons associated with it. To read the essay’s introduction, body and conclusion, scroll down.
“For years, we thought of ourselves as a production-oriented company, meaning we put all our emphasis on designing and manufacturing the product. But now we understand that the most important thing we do is market the product. We’ve come around to saying that Nike is a marketing oriented company, and the product if our most important marketing tool.
“-Phil Knight1[i] Marketing is a group of activities designed to expedite transactions by creating, distributing, pricing, and promoting goods, services, and ideas. [ii]Marketing is an extremely important aspect of every single company because it is what introduces the company and the company’s products to the public. Through marketing businesses try to respond to what the consumer wants and needs and to foresee changes in the environment.
Marketing is what sells the product. Marketing is more than just advertising; it is about pleasing the customer. The main focus of marketing is to generate utility, which by definition, is a product’s ability to satisfy human needs and wants. 1[iii]A product should make a customer happy, and make them want to buy again in the future.
It is quite common that companies have to change their marketing campaigns in order to satisfy the public opinion. Although marketing is enormously important, it wouldn’t be very effective without creating a quality product.
In order for a customer to want to buy from that company again they have to be satisfied with their first purchase, and this satisfaction cannot be attained without creating a product of the highest quality. A company must have an expansive research and development team to improve the product and to offer the highest quality product to its consumers.
This team has to undergo a process that includes brainstorming, screening, developing, and testing new products. This process allows for the development of a high quality product, and a product that consumers are going to want to purchase. Nike has been able to develop successful advertising campaigns and effectively market their products through the hard work of the Wieden and Kennedy Advertising agency, which understands the needs and desires of consumers and has successfully throughout the years marketed the products of Nike.
Throughout the years Nike has had many different advertising campaigns, some more successful than others, but always created to reflect public opinion. What is most important though, is that Nike has changed their campaigns, in order to satisfy public preference. In the 1980’s Phil Knight’s company, Nike, exceeded a billion dollars and the company never again looked back. It was than that Phil Knight realized that he needed to not only improve but also expand upon his marketing tactics.
Nike continued to grow and to establish itself as the number one in its industry. Nike has effectively marketed their products and in addition understands the importance of a quality product. They are continually improving their shoes through new technologies that are developed by their research teams. An example of this is their Shox sneakers, which are designed to add a little spring to your step. This is a new technology that Nike has developed.
Other new concepts or technologies that Nike has marketed and developed throughout the years has been their Alpha Line, the Nike ID line; which allows customers to customize the shoes that they purchase, the AirMax line, the Hyper Flight; Nike’s lightest weight basketball shoe ever, Air Presto Faze; a lace less, slip-on running shoe. In addition to understand the importance of a quality product Nike also understands the necessity of effective marketing and this requires an understanding of public opinion.
In the last few years Nike has seen a change in the focus of their advertising because a change in society and how society views professional athletes. During most of the 1980’s and 1990’s professional athletes were looked up to as heroes and kids and adults wanted to be like them and aspired to attain this greatness that these athletes carried with them. But this new group of professional athletes that society is currently seeing can no longer be considered heroes. Many of them have had problems with the law; they have had drug and alcohol problems or have even been arrested.
Children no longer aspire to be these athletes. Children no longer strive to be like someone else as much, they have this desire to be the best person that they can be and society stresses the importance of the individual. In 1984 Michael Jordan joined the Nike team. Michael Jordan became an official spokesman for Nike. He appeared in many of their advertisements. Nike used Michael Jordan and other great athletes to capitalize on the youths desire to be like them. This is where the slogan “Be Like Mike” came from.
People wanted to be like Michael Jordan, Nike understood this and used it to sell their products. If people wanted to be athletically as talented as Jordan, they would also want to look like him, and wear the shoes that he played in. If he was able to play so great in these shoes maybe I can to, is the idea, which Nike was working off of. Using professional athletes in their advertising campaigns was both efficient and effective for Nike. Phil Knight in an interview in the Harvard Business Review quoted “It saves us a lot of time.
Sports are at the heart of American culture, so a lot of emotion already exists around it. Emotions are always hard to explain, but there’s something inspirational about watching athletes push the limits of performance. You can’t explain much in 60 seconds, but when you show Michael Jordan, you don’t have to. “1[iv] Sports’ marketing was a major part of Nike’s advertising campaign up until recently. Although Michael Jordan was the major spokesperson for Nike, he was not the only athlete that Nike used to sell their products.
Nike has included women athletes such as Monica Seles and Mia Hamm. Both us these women represented strength and were positive role models for young girls. Nike used this to market their products to girls and to inspire woman through successful women athletes. Nike has also used other men in their campaigns; a few are Michael Johnson, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, and Andre Agassi. These male athletes were positive role models and athletes in which people aspired to be.
When Michael Jordan retired in January of 1999 Nike needed to find a new hero, a new athlete as great as Michael Jordan and as widely accepted for children to aspire to be. Unfortunately the professional sports market no longer boasted any Michael Jordan’s. Nike started promoting Tiger Woods and a golf line, but Tiger Woods is just not an athlete that all children look up to and want to be. “Black respondents said he’s ‘corny’ and ‘acts like he’s white’, while white respondents said his clothes ‘look funny. ‘”1[v]Nike could not find an athlete that replaced Michael Jordan.
Many of the professional basketball stars are not the kind of people that children look up to. Athletes like Litrell Sprewell and Allen Iverson who are excellent athletes and talented basketball players have had problems with the law, and are not people that adults want children to look up to. Not only have young people lost some of the respect that they hold for professional athletes because of their behavior, some young people are turned off by the contract wars that goes on between athletes and team managers.
And also the competition that occurs over having the highest salary; for example many people were turned off by Alex Rodriguez’s 250 million dollar contract, because they felt that professional sports were no longer about sports, but about money. In addition to the changing caliber of professional athletes there is a greater emphasis placed on the individual. And being your own person. People are proud of their uniqueness and individuality and they want to express this. With this new school of thinking Nike has created new advertising campaigns to satisfy public opinion.
Dave Larson, Nike’s brand initiatives director stated, “The idea for the marketing campaign came from some of Nike’s own research. We went out and asked kids whom they aspired to be. We figured that we would hear, ‘I want to be like Mike’, but what we heard was ‘I want to be my own me. ‘”1[vi]Nike’s new campaigns no longer revolve around professional athletes, but rather individual athleticism and individual success. Nike has departed from using athletes as their main form of advertisement and has moved to advertising the everyday man and woman and expressing the importance of individuality.
Recently Nike has launched many new advertising commercials. The first is a commercial that shows a city and is based on the premise that adults never stopped playing tag. A man is tagged from behind and then the bustling city becomes deserted as everyone runs to hide. This man is now IT, and he can’t continue on with his day until he tags someone else IT. The second commercial is called “Shade Running”, and it follows a woman running through a city, but she can only run where she finds shade. The third commercial is called tailgating.
This commercial follows two people, one man following close behind the other, tailgating him and invading his personal space; by bouncing a basketball as close to this individual without actually touching him. These three commercials are supposed to send out the message that there is “joy and simplicity to expressing one’s individualism through sport. Have a little fun… don’t limit yourself to narrow rules or succumb to the ‘that’s how it’s always been done’ trap. ” These three campaigns are supported and aided by what is known as Nike Play.
This campaign runs both commercials and events, and is the epitome of the shift that Nike has undergone to reflect the changing public opinion. Nike has created a website that tells the story of this campaign and allows viewers to view short videos of kids putting their own take on sports. It shows people showing off their moves in events such as basketball moves, soccer dribbling, BMX biking, double-Dutch break-dancing and other extreme and individual events. Nike’s Play campaign stresses individual achievement and encourages everyone to participate.
Another new campaign that Nike is currently running is its “Boing” advertisements. These are for Nike’s Shox sneakers and Wieden and Kennedy have coined a term to describe the experience that these sneakers offer for you. Displays for Shox at sneaker stores, allow customers to hear the Boing sound. The public has responded positively to Nike’s new advertising campaigns and the difference in their focus. Many people have attended the Nike Play festivals in support of the new Nike campaign, which is based around individualism and individual sports.
Many citizens have recently questioned some of what professional sports have come to stand for. Some people feel that these teams are no longer about promoting athleticism, but rather about making the most money. In addition people feel that these professional athletes are no longer role models for the countries youth and are not people to aspire to be. With this switch in public opinion more emphasis has been placed on the individual and on the simplicity of athleticism.
In the near future, Nike will more than likely continue on with its trend of supporting the individual and athleticism as opposed to revolving its entire campaign around professional athletes. This is because of a changing view in society and because more emphasis has been placed on the individual. Successful marketing advertises public opinion, and that is what Nike is doing through their new marketing strategies. Nike’s marketing campaign reflects the popular preferences in society and the stress that society is putting on individual uniqueness.