Nike: Building a Global Brand

| Nike: Building a Global Brand| MKTG 4082W| | 1. Nike’s brand image, a set of emotions, feelings, and experiences with the brand, developed over time through advertising campaigns and consumer experiences with Nike. The core attributes of Nike’s brand image include high performance, innovation, and aggressiveness. Nike positioned itself as a company that makes products for athletes, by athletes. They tailor their products for serious/winning athletes and also stress their point-of-difference to be performance, as opposed to Reebok, whose point of difference is style.
Nike is perceived as a high performance brand and they always make performance a top priority, which is a key building block for their brand image and brand equity. They designed more durable, lightweight shoes that were tailored for runners and allowed them maximize their athletic ability. Nike, from the beginning, was open to input from runners and listened to their needs and wants, sharing their true passion for running. By doing this, they were able to design a shoe that performs well and meets the demands of serious athletes.
In addition to performance, Nike is an innovative brand and that can be seen by the introduction of innovative products to the market like the Waffle Trainer, Air Max, and Air Jordan shoes. When looking at the Consumer Brand Equity Pyramid (Exhibit A), Nike’s source of brand equity comes mostly from salience and performance. Nike used brand associations in order to establish a positive brand image and build their brand equity by endorsing popular, successful athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. These associations convey the American spirit of competition and winning and work very well in the United States.

Nike capitalized on how much Americans idolize their favorite athletes and it once again projected their image of high performance and their dedication to serious athletes. Their advertisement campaigns also helped build their brand equity by increasing awareness, as can be seen with the Air Max, Air Jordan, and Just Do It ads that conveyed powerful brand statements and reflected Nike’s attitudes, while remaining “provoking and unique. ” Nike successfully applied their new marketing formula of blending performance and attitude through strategic product development, endorsements, and advertising, which built their equity.
Their perceived quality and brand credibility is based off of high performance and innovation and their brand loyalty is strong as well, stemming from their early relationships with runners to get feedback and input. In addition, they used a “finger on the pulse” strategy to hit the streets and really find out what was on the minds of consumers, in terms of brand perceptions. Another source of brand equity for Nike is their Swoosh logo and as of 2000, 97% of Americans recognize it. 2. I am not surprised that the irreverence characteristic of Nike advertising in the U. S. id not sit well with many European consumers. The culture in Europe differs from the one in America and European consumers vary in significant ways from Americans. Nike introduced many changes in their marketing mix to tap into the European and Asian markets. They established a grassroots allegiance of local sports teams, mainly with soccer, tennis, and rugby. In addition, they evolved their marketing strategy to a two-tiered approach. Individual markets featured ads with local stars, while all of Europe saw ads that featured popular sports like soccer, tennis, and track.
Nike also focused its attention on the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, raising their overall global advertising and promotion budget to $240 million. With the rising popularity of basketball in Europe and Asia, Nike also planned to lead its marketing charge with its strong stable of basketball superstars. In addition, Nike implemented a global advertisement campaign during the 1994 World Cup, recognizing that soccer was the best way to enter new markets. In Asia, Nike abandoned its brash advertising attitude and celebrated local athletes as heroes in their ads.
Overall, Nike had a kinder, gentler marketing approach with ads that projected a more international image (use of Tiger Woods and Ronaldo in ads). Nike’s new focus was to be seen as culturally, geographically, and personally relevant to local consumers abroad. I am not surprised that the advertising did not sit well with many Europeans because of the vast difference in the cultural aspects. Europeans saw Nike’s marketing actions as intimidating and too aggressive. Also, the brand did not have the history or heritage in the market and was starting more from scratch.
In addition, fashion trends inevitably changed which caused Nike to be behind the curve. 3. To become a global corporation, Nike had to adopt a globalized strategy to build their global brand equity. They did this by broadening their portfolio of athlete endorsements and focusing their ad campaigns on different sports that were more popular in those areas. They kept the essence of the brand, the same core values, and stayed consistent with their marketing communications, but tailored to different regions by using local athletes.
This was possible because they had 90% control of the marketing advertisement strategies in Europe and were able to stay consistent. As I mentioned before, Nike also sponsored global events like the Olympics and the World Cup, which increased their credibility and awareness on a global scale. Nike also reduced their overwhelming use of the Swoosh logo and their overall aggressiveness in their advertisements. In Asia, Nike was able to improve its brand equity by establishing the Corporate Responsibility Division and celebrating local athletes as heroes in ads. Exhibit A

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New York University
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