Nike Marketing Case Study: How Do They Do It?

Nike boasts of 1.15K stores in 170 countries and roughly 76.7k employees spread out across the globe. Better still, it scores some serious bragging points with annual revenue of 39.12 Billion USD. With a compound annual growth rate of 11% between 2011 and 2015, projections show that Nike will expand its revenue by 30,601 million over the next five years. The secret behind the impressive growth is the brand’s intelligent marketing approaches. Stick around to learn more about the genius Nike marketing strategy. 

When it comes to footwear brands, Nike is a powerhouse that commands global respect. The brand’s slogan “Just do it” sets the standards for the company’s operations. Furthermore, the swoosh logo is a familiar scene on the feet of renowned athletes. Nike, a brand founded in 1967, was first known for its basketball shoes. However,  it has expanded its product line over the years. Today, you can find Nike sports equipment, eyewear, digital devices, clothing, apparel, and socks, among other items. Generally speaking, Nike is at the peak of the game in the apparel industry.

Quick Facts About Nike 

Before we check out the Nike marketing strategy, let’s first go through the impressive stats of the brand. Hopefully, this will help you understand why Nike is creating so much buzz and has remained the market’s dominant player despite having fierce competitors.

  • Nike was founded in 1967 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman
  • The name “Nike” stands for the Greek goddess (also known as the Winged Goddess) of strength, speed, and victory.
  • Nikes swoosh logo resembles the wing of the goddess
  • The brand enjoys a 27.4% market share in the athletic apparel scope in North America
  • Nike has for decades enjoyed an astounding 96% of the market share for basketball footwear (this has changed slightly in recent years)
  • Compared to other athlete footwear brands, including Puma and Adidas, Nike still rules in terms of overall annual sales
  • In the fiscal year 2019, Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers generated a whopping $3.14 billion
  • Nike’s website enjoys over 60M users monthly

Nike Marketing Strategy; Discover the Secret?

Even with a slow global economy, Nike’s sales keep increasing with each passing year. What’s the brand’s recipe for success?

Let’s diver deeper to understand the Nike marketing strategy:

Find Your Vision and Mission

Bill Bowerman, one of Nike’s founders, was a track and field coach. Naturally, he worked closely with athletes and understood most of the setbacks of having improper sporting footwear. Hence, he envisioned creating shoes that allowed athletes to move faster and soar higher in their profession. While Bill and Phil would have named their company whatever name that popped in their minds, they took a deep look into their vision. This allowed them to find a brand name and mission that told their story.

Generally, the brand’s aim, right from the beginning, was to make sportswear for sportspersons. As such, they wanted their brand name, mission, and vision to make people think about comfortable, lightweight, supportive, and durable footwear. Essentially, even the meaning of their brand name and logo tell a story and give consumers the illusion of training their bodies and minds. Nike’s “just do it” slogan sets the athlete’s mind to focus on overcoming all challenges while on the field.

Ensure Proper Product Positioning

The instant someone mentions “Nike,” the first thing that pops in your mind is athletic footwear. Well, this is all thanks to the genius Nike marketing strategy of ensuring proper product positioning. According to Bill, sticking to a specific niche ensures people can quickly relate to the brand and differentiate it from the competition. Don’t get me wrong; product positioning is easier said than done. It took implementing a multi-facet marketing strategy to achieve the correct product positioning for Nike.

Here are the four fundamental elements that went into the strategy:

  • The use of social media platforms and channels to connect the targeted audience
  • Multiple collaborations with athlete celebrities like Rafael Nadal, Tiger Woods, and Serena Williams
  • Consistent brand involvement in consumer’s conversations on social media platforms
  • Ongoing engagement of social media influencers to help promote the brand

Keep the Online Purchasing Process Dead Simple

According to Nike’s CEO Jon Donahoe, digital marketing is the future of retail. If you want to increase your sales on both land-based and e-commerce stores, it is imperative to invest in digital marketing. Moreover, make sure your online sales funnels are dead simple to follow. Nike’s online sales in 2020, right before the global pandemic, stood at over 50% of the brand’s overall revenue. The crisis has surged this percentage significantly. Hence, there is a greater need for entrepreneurs to spruce up their e-commerce marketing tactics.

Here are six tactics in the Nike marketing strategy that help the company to offer a smooth online shopping experience:

Professional Website Design

If you are reading this, then the chances are that you have peeped through Nike’s website. It has top-quality imagery for stunning visuals. Each page on the website contains vibrant pictures that make the athlete’s lifestyle seem incredibly appealing. Moreover, the brand’s marketing strategy involves leaving website visitors feeling that Nike’s products can keep them healthy and youthful.

Nike Marketing Strategy; Product Analytics

Nike thrives on making its consumers a priority. Customers dictate new product designs and marketing strategies based on their shopping behavior and reviews. For instance, through using practices such as trend analysis, Nike can compare business data over a specified time and note any patterns, trends, or consistent results. Consequently, the brand can develop a marketing strategy that responds to these trends and its business objectives.

Intuitive Product Recommendations

Through intuitive product recommendations, Nike can give its website visitors the best online buying experience. This is a big part of any e-commerce marketing strategy. Essentially, each picture you click recommends other related products automatically. This makes it dead simple for consumers to choose the right products to buy from a whole array of merchandise that suits their style and preferences.

Email Marketing

Even in the Nike marketing strategy, email marketing reigns supreme. By encouraging customers to sign up for your email list, you also benefit from a means to do follow-ups. Furthermore, email marketing simplifies the process of keeping your fan base engaged and in the know of upcoming merchandise.

Nike Marketing Strategy; Product Filtering

Another Nike marketing strategy that is worth mentioning is how the brand filters products. Simply put, consumers enjoy an easy means of sorting out products based on their needs. For instance, you can get a whole list of shoes based on aspects such as technology, material, color, size, model, and more. By including a product filtering feature in your e-commerce website, you can ensure visitors stay on your site for more extended periods. Ultimately, this increases their likelihood of purchasing something they fancy.

Customer Loyalty Reward Programs

It’s in human nature to feel attached to relationships where they feel valued. As such, a loyalty program helps to encourage buyers to remain loyal to the brand and make more purchases. Nike’s customer loyalty program had over 100 million subscribers in 2017. These subscribers made nearly three times more purchases than guest buyers on the brand’s website. Loyal fans of the brand were willing to spend a little more just to receive exclusive benefits such as priority access to exclusive products or early access to Nike sneaker launches.

Tips To Help You Implement the Nike Marketing Strategy into Your Business

You are probably wondering how you can implement the Nike marketing strategy into your business and help it thrive. Well, adding the above methods into your current marketing strategy is not easy, but it’s doable.

If you are eager to “just do it,” here are three tips that may get you started:

Nike Marketing Strategy; Identify Your Audience

There is always someone out there browsing the internet in search of what you can offer. With proper brand positioning, that someone will find you with the hopes of getting particular concerns addressed. Consequently, the right content should make handling your targeted audience’s specific pain points and problems more manageable.

The Nike marketing strategy targets athletes and people seeking to adopt new lifestyles and get in shape. Consequently, the brand identified its audience and positioned itself as a company that can help them meet their fitness goals by providing the proper footwear.

Find Out the Best Means to Reach Your Brand Fans

Where does your targeted audience hang out? Are they often on social networks, or are they more active on email? How can your brand go where your targeted audience is? These are just some of the questions you must ask yourself. Once you have your answer, you can now decide on the most effective content distribution tactics.

Create Content Designed To Address Your Fans Needs

As you can tell from the Nike marketing strategy, there are more than a few clever ways of finding your brand fans. It could be through social media channels, blogs, video platforms, or emails, just to mention a few. Irrespective of where your fans are based, you must deliver the right content to grasp their attention.

Great content should:

  • Entertain your audience
  • Answer their questions
  • Solve their problems

Just Do It!

There you have it, detailed information about the Nike marketing strategy. While this may seem like too much information to take in, it highlights the best marketing practices that could take your venture to the next level. The bottom line is that the best approach is to do more than just sell. Content is king, and the more it spreads, the better your chances of making top sales. You have to sell ideas, tell a touching story and ultimately gain a great and loyal following.

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Nike Marketing Case Study: How Do They Do It? For over five decades, Nike has remained a dominant sneaker maker globally. Let’s discuss the Nike marketing strategy and why it works.
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