Nike is among the world’s leading producers of high-quality clothing, footwear, accessories and equipment. The company, whose history is traced back to 1960’s, has expanded over yeas to take a global scope with branches all over the world. However, the company has been facing a shrinking market share due to the high competition from other companies such as Puma, Adidas, Reebok and Li Ning among others. The company hereby needs to carry a marketing research in order to identify the measures on how to extend its market share and gain a competitive advantage over its rivals (Sutherland 2012).
The most appropriate research method to employ when identifying the market plan for Nike Company is the quantitative research approach. This is a research method that will engage both primary and secondary sources of information, describing the current phenomenon – shrinking market share and creating relations between the variables (Emory 1976). Research tools such as interviews and questionnaires will be appropriate in data collection, after which the data collected from the target market segment, will be analyzed to give the company the best approach towards gaining a competitive advantage.
The research will be guided by the flowing research question; which approach should Nike employ and increase its market share over its competitors? The research question should give a guide towards an effective marketing approach that will influence the customers buying behavior and improve the sales of the Nike Company.
Nike Company manufactures clothes, footwear and equipment’s such and game tools. The market targets all potential buyers, but in a special way, puts emphasis on various game players and athletes. Apart from the players, much of the Nike products are bought and used by fans and ordinary people. In this case, my target market segment is the sporting department. The problem is that most of the potential customers are turning their attention to other sellers of similar products such as Puma and Reebok, hence leading to a reduction in the sale of the Nike products (Datamonitor 2002). It is hereby important to carry a marketing research that will identify the best approach to winning back the customer’s choice and preference. An analysis of the Customers decision-making process is hereby important.
According to Cadogan, J. W. (2009), physiological characters influencing customers’ decision making are issues like beliefs and attitudes. In the field of sporting for example, ‘true fans’ believe that real fanatic is wearing a sporting tool similar to that of the player or the team you are supporting. Targeting the popular and many supported games, clubs and players will through this character lead to increased sales of the Nike products to the fans. Another element is the demographic character such as age and gender. The youth, for example, are likely to make impulse buying out of attraction of the product. The target market, in this case, can be the youth. Another element to consider is geographical characteristics. Highly populated regions will mean more customers and hence more sales of the product (Cohen 1995).
A good marketing strategy is drawn from market research and major on the product mix in order to meet customer satisfaction, maximize the sales and profit as a way of sustaining and developing the business. The best marketing strategy is to collaborate with the influencers (Kotler, 1980). In the case of Nike and its products, the influencers here is the sporting company, comprising of the various clubs, teams, and players. The company needs to come into collaboration with sporting activities and ensure that their products are used in popular gaming events. This will extend the brand awareness because most people will be following the events, and will see the Nike label.
Creating a partnership with alias will also enable the Nike Company to push its marketing campaigns. This will be cheaper, quick and expose the Nike brand to the new audience. Nike can decide to collaborate and form an alliance with a company like Puma to come up with a marketing campaign and push their products far. Embracing user generated content is also a marketing strategy that can expose Nike Products. This can be done by creating an interactive forum in social media alongside the company’s platform and products for the customers to express their views and opinions on the product. Such platform will generate points of concern from customers that will enable the Nike Company to know exactly what they need to improve their products (Katz, 1994).
Positioning and Differentiation Positioning
Nike Company makes a variety of products such as shoes, game equipment among other accessories. The products of Nike Company are cheapest in the market compared to other producers. However, the price does not compromise with the products quality. Nike Company makes high-quality wear and equipment that are durable and classic. This has made the company to be the leading in the market. Among other competitive advantages are the distribution channels. The company has opened stores across the globe, making their products available in all corners of the world (Orhun & University of California 2006).
My specific market segment is the various game fans among the youth in all corners of the world. The youth has much interest in games such as football, basketball, marathon and other sporting activities, where they gain much influence in terms of altitude and clothing. The ‘norm’, that a true fan should be like the player they support or wear like the team they support especially during the gaming activities. The target of the research is to create a marketing plan that will influence the fans through the sporting activities to purchase the Nike products. The marketing plan will target the use of the Nike products such as clothes and footwear in actual gaming activities such as leagues through collaboration with concerned parties as a way of creating brand awareness to the target market segment.
The positioning statement that will govern the positioning strategy is “To youth fans, Nike is the only Footwear, clothing and sporting facility producer that is customer friendly because it offers cheap, affordable and high-quality products delivered to your door. However, repositioning will be essential. Although the current customers perceive that Nike products are of high quality, most people perceive such products as expensive. Other people believe that Nike products are only meant for the players and not everybody.
I would recommend that the Nike Company engages in rebranding. The target market; youth is mostly influenced by attractive looks. The company should try to come up with a new brand of shoes and clothes, among other products that are attractive. The Nike Company should also consider the pricing, bearing in mind that the purchasing power of the target market is limited since a greater percentage of the youth do not work but rely on their relatives for money to purchase things. The new brand will effectively suit the target market in terms of taste and affordability; hence will enable the Nike Company to expand its market share to the new target segment.