Nikewhich started out as Blue Ribbon Sports is today world’s largest supplier ofathletic 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 sportsfootwear into athletics clothing, turning itself into a symbol of fitness andwell-being. It then went several steps further, positioning itself as anathletic lifestyle company which, by using celebrities such as the basketballstar Michael Jordan and the golfer Tiger Woods to endorse its goods, enabled customersto identify with the lives of their sporting heroes. Today, the company offers innovativeand stylish products, backed by marketing that combines traditional advertisingwith imaginative schemes to build basketball courts in inner cities and donatefree Nike gear to high schools” (Larson, 2011, pp.4).
Nike’smission 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 syncwith its mission statement. It’s the new technology that they innovate andemploy in their products that sets them apart from competition in addition toexcellent understanding of how to keep customers engaged and change with needsof time. Nikes strategy based on readings of Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble, (2018) is “Outcompeting rivals on the basis of differentiating features,such as higher quality, wider product selection, added performance, value-addedservices, more attractive styling and technological superiority” (pp. 8).Nikestarted in shoes and then gradually moved to apparels and sports goods and now targetingcustomers who are not professionals but regular people.
As well Nike is usingits labs to continuously innovate and comes up with better products forcustomers of all cadre thus strategizing not only to innovate but capture everyavailable customer in market be it females (Just do it campaign), athletes orregular customers to ensure while it innovate it captures market and alsodesign products which are accepted by customers as regular casual wear. “Nikecontinued to build on its core competencies in design and development,incorporating customer insight, and using high performance materials to manufactureshoes and apparel”. (Stonehouse & Minocha, 2008).Nowif we compare Nike’s performance and alignment with its mission statement wecan say that it passes all the three tests thus again proving they have awinning strategy in hand. TheFit Test – Nike pass this test which can be substantiated bythe revenue it is making and holding the position of largest supplier of shoes.According to Stonehouse and Minocha (2008), “Nike’s leaders encourage itsemployees to think creatively and there is a strong but informal team-basedwork ethic. Informality is used as a mechanism for promoting forward thinkingand 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 conceptsand products to keep the company in touch with its customers. Laboratories and testtracks to test out new products are also located on site” (p. 27).
Nike’sleadership have a belief that there is a seven year brand cycle and investslarge capital on continuous innovation.TheCompetitive Advantage Test – Nike passes this test too as itsstrategy which involves tapping all the markets and while also ensuring new technologyand innovations keeps coming to gives them edge and flexibility to changehelped gain competitive advantage again supported by revenue in numbers andholding top position in sports industry. “Product design and developmentcontributes to Nike’s competitive advantage, marketing and promotion contributeas well. Nike’s knowledge of its young customer base remains a critical successfactor in marketing and promotion” (Larson, 2011, pp.
9).ThePerformance Test – Again Nike hold good on this too as it possessesexcellent financial standing, profitability, branding and space in market. JustDo It slogan, Swoosh logo are known by almost everybody. Like Larson (2011)said “Nike is accepted as the sports apparel market leader based on itsrevenue, global penetration, and market share. The “swoosh” and Nike’s name(the Greek goddess of victory) are synonymous with high performance sports”(pp. 7).
Overallit can be said that Nike ensure its mission aligns with strategy and focuses oninnovation to capture new market ensuring market penetration, development,diversification and product development and also focusing on marketing andbranding. Nike invests maximum time in innovation and branding whileoutsourcing manufacturing as a part of its strategy.