Nike is arguably one of the most successful companies in the world. Nike has grown to a global level starting from humble beginnings and has permanently left its mark on world history. The company has been able to achieve its grandiose stature due to the high competency level of its upper management and aggressive and efficient marketing strategies. The words ‘Just Do It’ is imprinted on our minds and instantaneously reminds us of the brand. The company is also known for several extremely well-planned and executed marketing campaigns. Innovation and over-delivering are not unknown to the brand. A budding company could learn a great deal from the sports marketing giant and follow in its footsteps. So, here are five invaluable marketing lessons from nike that a startup or SMB could learn
- Maintain Your Socials
The pandemic has pushed the need for digitization to unimaginable levels. In such a scenario, most of the marketing strategies are limited to the digital realm. Nike has been successful in dominating this domain. Nike’s marketing strategies have enabled its social media handles to garner impressive numbers. The official Nike page on Instagram has 159 million followers, and Twitter boasts over eight million fans. These numbers turn the social handles into great places to interact with consumers. The active social media presence creates an effective platform to engage with its current patrons and draw in potential customers as well. Under all posts, consumers can reach out to Nike and submit their feedback or report their queries. Nike predominantly responds to the complaints to improve customer service and mitigate the situation. As the company spans into several business sectors, it has dedicated social channels apart from the main account to provide the fans looking for specialized content. These accounts include @nikewomen, @nikegolf, @nikefootball, etc.
- Equality to Promote Inclusivity
The brand is a global phenomenon. Nike’s marketing campaigns are loved and appreciated by people from diversified backgrounds because Nike strives to build and provide a platform that is accessible to everyone. Inclusivity is the driving force of many Nike products. For instance, the recently developed Nike GO FlyEase is a revolutionary shoe. It is based on the concept of providing a premium shoe experience to those who find it difficult to wear shoes. The shoe is a hands-free sneaker concept. The user can slide their feet in the shoe with ease. It is primarily targeted towards customers who are unable to use their hands to put the shoes on. The shoe fills a large market gap and proves Nike’s dedication towards equality at the same time. Nike is also very particular about including people from all races, ages, colors, and gender in their commercials and marketing campaigns. For a business to steer clear from any bad press, it should constantly work deliberately towards a better, more ethical environment and future.
- Celebrity Affiliations
Being primarily a sports marketing company, Nike routinely collaborates with athletes and influencers to produce innovative ideas. Using celebrity collaborations is one of Nike’s most successful marketing campaigns. The company affiliates itself with sports superstars such as Michael Jordan and Maria Sharapova to reach a much wider audience. The company has experienced countless revenue bursts by releasing a new product with an influential celebrity. One such success came in 2009. Nike Air Yeezy collection, a new line of products made in collaboration with Kanye West, was an instant success. The product was so adored by the public and fellow influencers that singers such as Jay Z were also seen wearing the shoes. ‘Air Jordans’ has almost become a household name. The brand value generated by the celebrity endorsements gets amplified when these celebrities wear these shoes in their day-to-day lives.
- Developing Personal Relations
When a person surfs through Nike’s social handles, rarely will they see a Nike product being advertised. Ubiquitously, Nike describes the struggles and success stories of the athletes they associate with. Sure, the athletes displayed are wearing Nike products, but the focus is not on the product but the value of the story behind it. The struggles of the athletes create a lasting impression on the consumers’ minds. Hence, whenever they see the athlete, they associate them with Nike products. The implicit, indirect play on the subconscious mind is what makes Nike’s marketing strategies so effective. However, it doesn’t end there. It might seem that the company is rigorously trying to market their products, but the ethical outlook of the company is also strong. These associations and collaborations don’t end with contracts. Nike is also known to provide additional support to the athlete’s training and achieve new standards. The best example that we could think of was the Nike campaign of breaking the two-hour marathon barrier. They associated with Eliud Kipchoge and invested large amounts of resources in helping him break that barrier.
- Sustain the Future
We have discussed Nike’s commitment to providing equal opportunities. Now, we shall discuss the environmental outlook of the company. Nike’s marketing strategies are highly oriented towards securing a permanent spot in the consumer’s minds. The current talk of the century is sustainability and protecting the environment. Nike realizes that a predominant section of its consumer base feels strongly about the environment. Hence, Nike has incorporated sustainability in its product development by working with retailers and suppliers to reduce its products’ environmental impact. In recent years, Nike has also shifted to using raw materials that are produced with less water and pesticides. The company also recognizes the need to act before climate change becomes inevitable. Hence, it has launched Nike ‘Move to Zero’ campaign. The aim is to make the company a net-zero waste and zero carbon entity. Consumers want to associate themselves with environmentally conscious companies, for it aligns with their thoughts.
Marketing strategies can make or break a company’s revenue. A successful marketing campaign can improve the company’s revenue many folds and keep the cash flowing. Nike has been notoriously successful in generating consistent cash flow with its highly efficient marketing strategies. The five strategies discussed are the most successful tactics in Nike’s history. Implement them in your startup or SMB and magnify your market shares.