Starting off by selling Japanese shoes, Nike is the world’s top brand in sportswear. Nike has gradually become a pop culture icon as the best-selling shoe, clothing brand, and sports equipment. At the time of its founding, Nike was named Blue Ribbon Sports by its creators, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. In its early years, the company served as the American distributor for shoes made by Onitsuka Tiger, a Japanese company. Nike, the word, is derived from the Ancient Greek Goddess of Victory. It's interesting how the brand has become a symbol of victory for celebrity sports personalities.
Nike’s sales keep on increasing per year because of the intelligent marketing tactics the brand exercises. Since its inception, Nike has established a strong product positioning. The first thing that comes to someone's mind when they hear Nike is athletic footwear. The brand had achieved the idea of sticking to a particular niche. The process of niche marketing also makes your product stand out from the competitors.
Nike’s products are authentic, comfortable, innovative, and uniquely designed. Its innovative technologies are one of the reasons that define the brand identity. The brand’s technological highlights include the usage of pressurized gas for cushioning impact, air cushioning, and many more.
The 'Just Do It’ Campaign
The brand stories of Nike focus on themes such as sportsmanship and determination. Nike succeeded in transferring the inspiring stories of athletes like Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, and Tiger Woods to the younger generation of aspiring athletes. Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaigns with that tagline are one of its biggest marketing moves. It made a brand impression that wearing a pair of Nike shoes is to cultivate a passion for excellence and encouragement to do your thing. Nike is one of those products that established a strong brand identity in the marketplace through its symbol of uniqueness, individuality, and social identification.
Nike gained its share of loyal customers by pulling them closer in many ways. One of its unusual marketing stunts was to create Joga.com, a social website for football fans. People were involved in personal blogs, videos, pick-up games, and a variety of other activities. The site hit 7.5 million views when the brand showed Ronaldinho video clips.
Nike has enhanced its brand image and awareness through experience-focused retailing, advertising, and sponsorships. Among its marketing strategies, athlete endorsements have been the most significant success for the brand. The company has been investing millions of dollars to associate the brand with celebrity athletes. Nike’s strategy to collaborate with Tiger Woods has given them an estimated growth of 24% per year in the first five years since the agreement. The annual sales of Nike Golf have increased to almost 500 million dollars.