Nike Strategic Analysis

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Nike: Strategic Analysis

Nike’s Global Business Strategy

When first founded in 1962 under the name of Blue Ribbon Sports, the strategy was “to distribute low-cost, high-quality Japanese athletic shoes to American consumers in an attempt to break Germany’s domination of the domestic industry. ” Today Nike offers athletic shoes at every marketable price point to a global market.

Nike sustains its leading position through emphasizing quality products, constant innovation, and aggressive marketing.

Nike sells its products in more than 180 countries under not only its namesake brand but brands such as Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley International, and Umbro Inc. It uses distribution channels such as company-owned stores and websites or sports retailers, such as Foot Locker. As mentioned earlier, Nike is a truly global company, which means that its success story is transferrable over borders.

It divides its sales into four main regions- the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific, and Central and South America.

For 2009 each of these regions accounted respectively for 34. 1%, 28. 7%, 17. 3%, and 6. 7% of total revenue. Segmentation Strategy: Nike realizes that in order to be number one they need to offer a wide range of products to be able to develop a culture and fulfill their loyal customers’ needs. Nike’s strategy in terms of segmentation is excellent. Their core product is footwear but they also manufacture apparel and equipment and thus, they spread their influence in other sport-related markets.

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Nike also has several sub-brands to grasp different consumer groups.

Strategy Nike

Nike’s main source of revenue is athletic footwear, which is also its core competency. It accounts for 54% of total revenues. It is designated for running, cross-training, basketball, soccer and it includes even a casual footwear line. Sales in this segment increased by 14% in 2009 from which a big portion was a result of the increase in sales in the Asia Pacific region. The second most profitable segment for Nike is apparel, such as t-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, and licensed apparel made specifically for universities with their own logos.

With an increase of only 0. 2%, apparel sales accounted for 27% of the company’s revenue in 2009. However, sales in this segment grew by 14% in the previous period, between 2007 and 2008, due to the growth of 25% of revenues in emerging markets, such as Russia, and other EMEA countries but also a substantial revenue growth of 50% in China. Unlike footwear, which main market is the US, the majority of apparel sales come from the EMEA region accounting for 38% of total apparel revenue. Equipment, such as balls, golf clubs etc. ccounts for 6% of total revenues in 2009 and 13% come from other brands under Nike, such as Cole Haan, Converse, Umbro etc. these different sub-brands supplement Nike product lines. For instance, Umbro specializes in selling soccer apparel and footwear. Nike Golf targets golf players and offers specialized golf equipment, apparel and footwear. Cole Haan on the other hand offers premium dress and casual footwear. Hurley International offers products suitable for snowboarding, skating, and surfing. Marketing Strategy:

Significant role for the competition of market share in the footwear industry plays marketing in order to strengthen the brand image, develop product identity and expand customer loyalty. Competition between players is non-price but rather based on differentiation in brand image and product innovations. Therefore, substantial investments in marketing campaigns are required. Nike invests annually between 11% and 13% of revenue in marketing. Advertising strategy: Nike’s strategy was to create dominant presence in media. Nike created media presence in several trend setting United States cities.

TV ads linking Nike to a city were used, but real drivers were huge oversized billboards and murals on buildings that blanketed cities with messages featuring key Nike-sponsored athletes, not products. The company focuses its marketing on celebrity endorsement, i. e. athletes in basketball, golf, soccer, and tennis. Lately, Nike has also began to sponsor big sporting events so as to create huge awareness and brand following. In 2008, Nike spent significant amount on advertising in the Beijing 2008 Olympics and the Football Championship. After the recent Tiger Woods scandal Nike plans on revisiting it celebrity endorsement strategy.

It can be noted that the ‘swoosh logo’ is one of the most famous in the world due to these huge advertising efforts. Branding Strategy: Nike’s strategy in this front is to develop a premium brand associated with high quality product that satisfies customer needs. Nike’s brand is associated with an aggressive attitude portrayed by, “you don’t win silver, you lose gold,” which clearly suggests that winning is vital. The Nike customer associated the Nike brand with being the ‘American’ way: Being individual and aggressive like Michael Jordan and John McEnroe.

Nike built its brand around sports, attitude and lifestyle. Nike backed this strategy with marketing campaigns like “Just do it” and with the companies front athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Selling Strategy: Nike’s strategy in early 2000s was to develop, flag ship stores, NikeTown shops in bigger cities, first national, and then abroad. Nike was the first company to establish flagship stores and it turned out to be a sensation. There are independent small retail stores that sell Nike products all around the world as well.

Also, on seeing the potential of the low price market, Nike took efforts in 2005 to tap in to the low price segment by striking a deal with big retail discount stores like Walmart and rolled out starter shoes at a cheaper price, competing with private label brands. However, to avoid brand dilution, Nike did not use the swoosh logo in these shoes. Currently, Nike has a high quality website and uses it as an online selling channel. NikeId , a part of the website allows a customer to customize his own shoes and buy it. The website is available in 14 languages and is different according to the country requirements.

Manufacturing Strategy: Nike manufactures all of its footwear from outside United States. Nike has contract suppliers in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. These countries accounted for 36%, 36%, 22% and 6% of total NIKE brand footwear respectively. Nike also has manufacturing agreements with independent factories in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico to manufacture footwear for sale primarily within these countries. Primary reason for this is that it is cheaper to manufacture in South East Asia and transport it to USA and Europe, regardless of the transportation and tariff costs involved.

Organizational Strategy: With over 21,000 employees worldwide, the company was organized into departments by both geographic divisions and product categories, which created overlapping management responsibilities and a fluid leadership structure. For example, a footwear manager in Europe answered to both the Vice President of Footwear and the Vice President of Europe. However, there was no formal communication link between the regional vice presidents (those in the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America) and the product vice presidents (footwear, apparel, equipment).

Human Resources Management Strategy: The sweat shop debacle in late 1990s has led Nike to form a distinctive strategy to provide a good working environment for employees. They have several internal guidelines and compliance standards apart from state laws for ensuring proper working conditions for all workers in its contracted supplier factories. Due to the magnitude of Nike and their number of stores and manufacturing plants throughout the world, Nike has taken the time to recognize the importance of each individual and what they can contribute to the team.

For this reason, Nike does not call its employees, ‘employees’ but rather ‘team members’ because each part of the team has something to add to the business. They have also admitted that they have a very large array of workers and this brings many diverse cultures and points of views together. According to one of its statement, diversity and inclusion is a crucial factor in Nike’s diplomacy in their many locations and globally. In identifying the differences they have set apart the opportunities to better understand how their teams will work together and what adversity they may face because of this.

In order to strive to reach this mission they have put into action these strategies: * Cultivate diversity and inclusion to develop world-class, high-performing teams * Ignite change and inspire critical conversations around diversity, inclusion and innovation * Create venues and environments for open dialogue, diverse opinions and a multitude of perspectives All of the above will in future venture apply and assist them in working more efficiently and having more satisfied employees for longer periods of time. Technology and Innovation strategy:

Nike fields some of the best in class technological practices and has a few patents to its credit. Nike emphasizes on these and has developed a lot of new products with use of high technology and sophistication. An example of that is the microprocessor shoe to give great experience and comfort to the customer. However, Adidas is also working on high tech innovations to provide high quality shoes. Lately, Adidas and Nike have been doing entertainment based marketing campaign by forming alliances with technology/entertainment companies.

Nike had an alliance with Apple to sell Nike shoes with Apple iPods while Adidas tied up with Microsoft to sell Adidas goods with Microsoft Xbox gaming systems. So far the success of these alliances is yet to be quantified. Manufacturing strategy: Nike follows a 100% outsourcing strategy. Most competitors follow the outsourcing strategy. Exceptions to this are New Balance and other smaller players. New Balance claims that 75% of its production is from the US and other small companies produce in the US as well.

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Nike Strategic Analysis. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Nike Strategic Analysis
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