Marketing can be described as a set of processes that are undertaken by an organization in order to create, communicate and add value to the products that the organization deals with (Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane 2005). The aim of marketing is to create awareness and a relationship to the customers in a manner that will be beneficial to the organization and the stakeholders. Marketing do exist as an activity of an organization, and it is ever changing in accordance to new trends and technology in the field. As Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane (2005) notes, in style marketing represents the way the society develops, and it is dynamic as it is ever going through changes. It offers new products and services on the customers using new techniques and communication media. Marketing business is big and always growing. According to American marketing association (AMA), marketing is where by planning and carrying out the processes of promotion , pricing and distribution of marketing ideas, services and goods are undertaken in order to create sales that do satisfy the organization’s objectives (Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane 2005).
Marketing As an Evolving System
Marketing is dynamic and has been evolving since 1970s with the beginning of marketing orientation; this was during the initial stage of capitalism business (Brown 1993). Initially, companies were concerned with only production and manufacturing of goods, the focus was on producing effective products to meet the demands of the consumers. However, in the 70s companies realized that the needs and wants consumers were the one directing selling of products produced. Thus, marketing orientation began, and companies began doing market research (Brown 1993).
Today it is believed that marketing has reached its fourth stage, where companies are opting for personal marketing orientation. With the current technology market tools has increased and brought consumers close to the companies. Companies no longer have to limit their marketing strategies on broad market segments, but, they can concentrate on personalized marketing that are more effective and responsive to the customers (Brown 1993).
Marketing has continued to change and two levels of marketing have emerged, strategic marketing and operational marketing. Strategic marketing tries to determine the ways by which an organization does compete besides its competitors in the market. Specifically strategic marketing is geared towards a company creating a competitive advantage in relation to the company’s competitors. On the other hand, operational marketing is geared towards retaining old customers and attracting new ones. It also puts emphasizes on customer satisfaction and better service delivery.
Marketing Strategies of Nike
For the purpose of this paper we are going to examine Nike Corporation marketing strategies that have managed to keep the company at the top. Nike is an international company dealing with a range of sports equipment such as shoes, shirts, t-shirts and Jerseys for various sporting activities including, football, athletics, basketball, cricket, tennis, skateboarding and golf. Nike is a premium company that sells well branded and expensive products that are known for their superior quality. Nike is well known for the trademark “just do it” and it relates to the sporting spirit. This company has more than 500 factories in over 45 countries that are contracted to manufacture these products. With this extended production capacity, the company has elaborate marketing strategies that has made it possible for the company to realize its goals and objectives (Hampy 2006). The company has adopted a marketing strategy whereby, it sponsors well known players in various sporting fields such as Ronaldinho, Tiger Woods, and Lance Armstrong among others.
Nike has adopted marketing mix, which is marketing strategy employs the use of “4 Ps” that is product, promotion price and place. These four aspects are the ones which are used in many companies. Each aspect is important and plays a big role in marketing processes. Marketing is a wide are in the company and Nike has managed to take full advantage of it in as a world number one company in sports wear (Hampy 2006)..
This is an object or service that a company produces or manufactures particularly on large scale with precise amounts (Lauterborn, 1990). Nike has a large collection of products that it sells to the market, this include shoes, clothes and apparel used for sporting activities. The products cater for different sports like basketball, road running, tennis, soccer, athletics and many more others. Nike products are meant for men, women and children. The company is renowned for its hip hop culture and supplies urban fashions in terms of clothes. In order to improve its products quality, Nike together with Apple Inc. produced the Nike+ line of products that are able to monitor how a runner is performing through a radio device that is place in the shoes which is then linked to the iPod nano. In doing this Nike is able to market its products and retain its market share (Hampy 2006).
The products produced by Nike are different as mentioned above. At first, it was just produced shoes alone, but, as technology changed and demand increased, then it was practical for it to expand to other products (Hampy 2006). The characteristics of the company’s products are well defined to meet the needs of the consumers; the packaging of the product is considered attractive to entice the customers to buy the products. Nike believes the quality of their products is perfect, that is, it is the quality that matches with the prescription of the product in the market so that it can maintain its consumers who are not misled with the misrepresentation of the qualities with its competitors such as Reebok and others (Hampy 2006).
Promotion includes all communications that a company uses in marketing its products. We have four different elements in promotion; this includes advertising, point of sale, word of mouth and public relations (Brown 1993). If a company incorporates all the four elements then a certain level of crossover do occur. Nike has greatly used this marketing mix to its full advantage. It has incorporated all the four aspects of promotion which as seen the company capture and retain a big share of the market.
As discussed earlier, Nike has entered in sponsorship deals with various celebrity sports personalities and professional teams who are used to bring attention to Nike products. The company has sponsorships agreements with Ronaldhno, Christiano Ronald and Wayne Rooney, in football. In basketball the company has Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter, while it has Lance Armstrong in cycling. In golfer the company has a sponsorship deal with Tiger Woods, while in tennis it has Roger Federer. All this sports personalities and many other are used to market the company products (Hampy 2006). This method of marketing has been very successful to the company has many customers want to be identified by their favorites sports personalities hence buying the company’s products. The company has several adverts that appear in the media and on the internet that are used to advertiser the company products. It should be noted that advertisement is a very powerful marketing tool that is used to create more market for the company.
The amount that a customer pays for a certain product is its price. This amount is determined by various factors which includes product identity, competition, market share and the perceived worth of the product by the customer (Doyle 2000). Nike has focused on producing quality products at a premium price. Though, products from the company seem to be having a higher price, this is because the quality of the products is normally high. Premium pricing from the company is also a marketing strategy that is working. Nike has adopted on the following pricing methods to enable product reach its marketing standards. Premium pricing is where the uniqueness of the company product is defined such as a fixed price. For Nike to be able to gain the market share, it begun with the application of the penetration pricing whereby, once the company achieved the market share, it increased the price of its product (Hampy 2006).
This stands for, location where the products from a company are found and purchased. This in many cases refers to distribution channels of the company which can be physical stores or even virtual stores found on the internet (Doyle 2000). Nike Company has managed to create a lot of distribution channels that has ensured that its products reach a wide market. Nike has built a large network of selling its products; this has ensured that customers are able to easily get products from the company. The company has independent distributors, subsidiaries and licensees in other countries who sell the company products. In the United States Nike have many outlets to sell its products. Nike channels of distribution are considered to be the best and have played an important role increase of revenue. For example, the “NIKE Towns” which are located in all major cities in America. Nike either uses the direct or the indirect channels that is, supplying to the consumers directly or through wholesalers (Hampy 2006).
Nike’s Competitive Advantage
The company has a competitive advantage in the sports wear market over its main rivals in the industry (Hampy 2006). This is because the marketing of Nike has been efficient and effective in their jobs by practicing good measures that includes; frequent monitoring of other competitors products, constant improvement of its products quality to meet the ever increasing market demands, provision of social support and community projects such as providing scholarships to needy students and sponsoring sports events in various parts of the world and employing sound financial management techniques as well as constant evaluation and control measures of the company.
Marketing is an important aspect for a company. With cut-throat competition being observed in the markets, a company has to come up with marketing strategies that can make it maintain its market share. As Kotler, Philip, Keller and Lane (2005) observes, today’s world consumers have become more informed and require more information on buying Creativity in marketing is very important and necessary; it enables a company to come up with appropriate marketing techniques that are relevant to the market. It also makes the company to save on costs and at the same time help the company to achieve its objectives. Nike has been able to get and stay at the top through quality products that are able to satisfy the needs of the customers. The company has also undertaken through marketing of its products that has enabled it capture wider segment of the market. Nike marketing technique of concentrating on brand image has is unique and very successful. However, marketing is a continuous process and for the company to maintain its market share it has to continue marketing.
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