which started out as Blue Ribbon Sports is today world’s largest supplier of
athletic shoes and apparels as well as manufacturer of sports goods. So, what makes Nike successful than others.
“Nike raced ahead of the pack by exploiting its brand power to move from sports
footwear into athletics clothing, turning itself into a symbol of fitness and
well-being. It then went several steps further, positioning itself as an
athletic lifestyle company which, by using celebrities such as the basketball
star Michael Jordan and the golfer Tiger Woods to endorse its goods, enabled customers
to identify with the lives of their sporting heroes. Today, the company offers innovative
and stylish products, backed by marketing that combines traditional advertising
with imaginative schemes to build basketball courts in inner cities and donate
free Nike gear to high schools” (Larson, 2011, pp.4).
mission is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
while also stating that “if you have a body, you are an athlete”. (Nike, n.d.).
Now if you will look at the strategy that Nike employs, it is totally in sync
with its mission statement. It’s the new technology that they innovate and
employ in their products that sets them apart from competition in addition to
excellent understanding of how to keep customers engaged and change with needs
of time. Nikes strategy based on readings of Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble, &
Strickland (2018) is “Outcompeting rivals on the basis of differentiating features,
such as higher quality, wider product selection, added performance, value-added
services, more attractive styling and technological superiority” (pp. 8).
started in shoes and then gradually moved to apparels and sports goods and now targeting
customers who are not professionals but regular people. As well Nike is using
its labs to continuously innovate and comes up with better products for
customers of all cadre thus strategizing not only to innovate but capture every
available customer in market be it females (Just do it campaign), athletes or
regular customers to ensure while it innovate it captures market and also
design products which are accepted by customers as regular casual wear. “Nike
continued to build on its core competencies in design and development,
incorporating customer insight, and using high performance materials to manufacture
shoes and apparel”. (Stonehouse & Minocha, 2008).
if we compare Nike’s performance and alignment with its mission statement we
can say that it passes all the three tests thus again proving they have a
winning strategy in hand.
Fit Test – Nike pass this test which can be substantiated by
the revenue it is making and holding the position of largest supplier of shoes.
According to Stonehouse and Minocha (2008), “Nike’s leaders encourage its
employees to think creatively and there is a strong but informal team-based
work ethic. Informality is used as a mechanism for promoting forward thinking
and the sharing of ideas, which are essential to the creation of new strategic knowledge.
Design teams work in informal and picturesque surroundings to develop new concepts
and products to keep the company in touch with its customers. Laboratories and test
tracks to test out new products are also located on site” (p. 27). Nike’s
leadership have a belief that there is a seven year brand cycle and invests
large capital on continuous innovation.
Competitive Advantage Test – Nike passes this test too as its
strategy which involves tapping all the markets and while also ensuring new technology
and innovations keeps coming to gives them edge and flexibility to change
helped gain competitive advantage again supported by revenue in numbers and
holding top position in sports industry. “Product design and development
contributes to Nike’s competitive advantage, marketing and promotion contribute
as well. Nike’s knowledge of its young customer base remains a critical success
factor in marketing and promotion” (Larson, 2011, pp. 9).
Performance Test – Again Nike hold good on this too as it possesses
excellent financial standing, profitability, branding and space in market. Just
Do It slogan, Swoosh logo are known by almost everybody. Like Larson (2011)
said “Nike is accepted as the sports apparel market leader based on its
revenue, global penetration, and market share. The “swoosh” and Nike’s name
(the Greek goddess of victory) are synonymous with high performance sports”
it can be said that Nike ensure its mission aligns with strategy and focuses on
innovation to capture new market ensuring market penetration, development,
diversification and product development and also focusing on marketing and
branding. Nike invests maximum time in innovation and branding while
outsourcing manufacturing as a part of its strategy.