Discuss about the Communication and E-Communication Strategies.
The term communication can be defined as the exchange of information between the sender and receiver. Earlier, the process of communication was entirely based on face- to- face interaction or paper. However, technology has changed the whole scenario. Now it has become important for people to make requisite efforts on understanding the manner of sharing the information. Communication through the use of electronic media is referred to as e-communication or electronic communication (Louise, Paul, Mark & Rob, 2016). Communication strategies can be defined as the scheme of planning the way of sharing information. It is referred to the selection of most beneficial objectives of communication and recognition of a specific brand and its strategies in terms of attitude.
This report focuses on communication and e- communication strategies of Nike through the assessment of the key electronic and non- electronic communication methods, practice sad strategies. It also involves the assessment and comparison of the communication practices of Nike with that of its competitors. At the end of this report, some suggestions and recommendations have been provided with the help of which Nike can improve its communication.
Nike Inc. is the multinational corporation from America which is engaged in designing, developing, manufacturing and global marketing and sales of equipment, footwear, accessories, apparel and services. The headquarters of the company is situated in the Portland metropolitan area near Beaverton, Oregon. It is the largest supplier of apparel and athletic shoes in the world and is the key manufacturer of sports equipment. The mission of Nike is to bring innovation and inspiration to each and every athlete (Nike, 2018).
Nike enjoys the advantage of being the leader of the market and access to cheap labor and material. Nike has established its presence in a number of countries and therefore its suppliers suffer from lower bargaining power. However, substitute goods create a serious threat for Nike as they are swiftly gaining the ground (Mahdi, Abbas, Mazar & George, 2015).
Key Non- electronic communication methods and practices used by the Company
Non- electronic communication can be defined as the distribution of information or message without the use of an electronic device. With the passage of time, non- electronic communication has lost its popularity for Nike and it has switched to its alternative i.e. electronic communication. Following are the methods and practices adopted by Nike for non- electronic communication for the purpose of engaging customers, suppliers, staff members and public.
Face to Face Communication- This is the most common and efficient form of communication that helps Nike in getting instant responses from the concerned parties. Face to face communication is adopted by Nike in case of staff members and suppliers. This form also helps in exchanging hard copies and other paper work with the parties. Such face to face communication helps in the formulation of strategies and is useful for conducting meetings. This practice is beneficial for resolving any queries with the clients and employees (Merritt & Havill, 2016).
Invoice- Invoice is another non- electronic communication method which lists the prices, quantity of each item, contact address for payment and service description. It is a legal document which is regarded as the evidence of the debt incurred. Nike uses this method of communication with the buyers of its products. Such practice is useful as it provides an evidence for both Nike and its customers.
Memorandum- Memorandum is used by Nike for internal communication within the various departments of the organization. The use of this communication mode is made basically for the employees of Nike. The employees or staff members of Nike are required to go through the memos and act upon them as and when they are addressed. Since Nike is spread across a number of financial departments and geographical areas, it issues various memos each and every day. However, with the advent of electronic communication, memos are mostly being sent via an e-mail to the employees (Debasish & Das, 2009).
Letter- Letter is used by Nike as a method of formal and informal non- electronic communication. Formal letters are used for appointment, resignation, termination, contract other instructions, etc. and are issued to staff members, suppliers, etc. However, informal letters are issued by Nike to the customers for creating awareness regarding the current offers, discounts, events, etc. (Quintanilla & Wahl, 2015)
Nike also makes the use of other practices such as issuing of posters, banners, advertisements in magazines and newspapers, etc. for the promotion of the company in the target market. Moreover, it also publishes legal information in the newspaper which is required by specific laws for creating awareness in the general public.
Key Electronic Media and Communication Strategies Used by the Company
Electronic communication can be defined as communication through the use of an electronic device. Electronic communication has completely changed the way business conducts its activities. The adoption of electronic media and communication strategies by Nike has helped it making its business activities easier and has resulted in saving of time and money. The modes of electronic communication adopted by Nike include e-mail, website, social media, video conferencing, etc.
E-mail- this electronic communication method is used by the HR department of Nike for establishing official communication with the employees and management. Moreover, this mode is also used for sending special offers and discount to the customers who have subscribed to the email newsletter of Nike. This method is used as a strategy for getting the previous customers return to Nike by updating them with new offers that meet their requirements (Sanchez, 2015).
Website- Website is another electronic media and communication method adopted by Nike with the help of Nike is able to communicate useful information to its customers and prospective investors. Through the website, Nike communicates information regarding its history, management, various practices adopted, products and services offered and its various branches across the globe. This mode uses the strategy of relationship and community building, providing current information and increasing customer involvement (Oh & Doo, 2015).
Social Media- Being a sport giant, Nike is also required to maintain its presence on the social media. It uses almost every social media platform including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. it is the most effective communication strategy adopted by Nike. The pages created by Nike on social media is considered to be one of the most dedicated pages that are updated on daily basis with images, videos, etc. and its corporate page is updated around once a week (Johnson & Hong, 2015). The Twitter page helps Nike in communicating with the customers regarding the details of products, stock information, and order queries. It has used social media as the central tool in its marketing campaign. The strategy involves celebrating the greatness of the athletes which in turn serves its mission of bringing inspiration and innovation for every athlete (Blakeman, 2018).
Video Conferencing- The business activities of Nike is situated in almost every part of the world. Therefore, it is not possible to conduct face to face business meetings with the management of its various branches. Therefore, video conferencing is used for business meetings with little notice. This strategy helps in delivering real time and face- to- face interaction with business partners and remote employees without any wastage of time or costly travel (Guffey & Loewy, 2015).
The other strategies adopted by Nike involve advertisements on televisions and radios for the promotion of its products and offers in the general public and prospective customers.
SWOT Analysis of the Company’s Overall Communication Methods and Practices
The SWOT analysis of the overall communication methods and practices highlights the following strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Strengths- The social media strategy has been adopted by Nike in such a way that it has resulted in some notable successes. During the London Olympics, Nike somehow managed to surpass the official sponsor Adidas with a huge social and billboard campaign across the entire capital. Moreover, the other strategies, methods and practices adopted create an option for open communication for everyone including the employees, customers, suppliers and business partners. Such open communication assists in resolving queries in due time and does not result in further conflict (Dolan, Conduit, Fahy & Goodman, 2017).
Weaknesses- The overall communication methods and practices adopted by Nike are better in comparison with its competitors but still have certain weaknesses. The internal communication system of the company still requires to be strengthened so that the employees and other staff managers can openly discuss their queries and grievances. Moreover, there is requirement for encouraging the staff members to provide their ideas and suggestions with regard to the operations and plans of the company (Kolesnik & Tretyak, 2016).
Opportunities- with the advent of technology, a number of opportunities are presented in the way of Nike which can be used for improving the overall communication methods and practices of the organization. Certain innovation can be made in the website of the organization with the help of which the company should be able to receive feedback from the customers regarding the products purchased by them (Kakabadse, Kouzmin & Kakabadse, 2017). It can also make the use of popular hashtags in the social media platform which will expand its reach among the customers. Also, the internal communication can be enhanced by creating an internal communication app for the employees where the messages can be easily shared at any time and place (Hulsmann & Pfeffermann, 2011).
Threats- The internal communication methods adopted by Nike are very rigid which has established the practice of one-way communication within the organization. Such one- way communication is a threat for the business as it can lead to conflicts in the organization due to unresolved queries. Moreover, Nike is not bringing any innovation in the strategies adopted for communicating the information to the customers. This can lead to diversion of the customers of the company to other attractive strategies adopted by the competitors (Roth, 2014).
Therefore, there are strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths of the communication methods and practices adopted by Nike. This must be taken into consideration for the purpose of improving the methods and strategies and for carrying out effective internal and external communication within the organization.
Assessment and Comparison of the Communication Practices of the Company with Main Competitors
The main competitors of Nike are Adidas and Reebok. Both of them are involved in bringing innovative strategies related to communication and e- communication for attracting the customers and for facilitating effective communication within the organization.
As far as Adidas is concerned, it makes the use of both online and offline communication strategies of advertising and promotion. It has also developed an innovative website which proves to be informative for the customers and is the top priority for the company. The customer base of Adidas is diverse and is mostly dependent on communication. Promotion campaigns are conducted from time to time with the help of celebrities. The methods used involve the use of television advertisements, outdoor advertisements, internet and sponsorships and events. The internal communication activities of Adidas group also makes the use of social media tools for addressing the specific agendas. Also there is personalization of information in the workplace which makes knowledge management and collaboration an easy task. The internal network is easily managed by the employees with its help along with the projects that run on joint platform (Lee & Kahle, 2016).
The communication and e- communication strategies adopted by Reebok, another competitor of Nike, involves creating awareness regarding the products and promoting the brand through the use of television commercials, online advertising, billboards, print ads, sponsorship events. There is an efficient flow of communication within the company which has made it one of the leaders of the sports products in the market. It updates its blog and social media on regular basis on regular basis for the purpose of keeping its customers informed. The internal communication of the customers is also strong as the employees are free to ask questions directly from the top management (Terskikh, 2018).
The comparison of the methods and practices adopted by the competitors with that of Nike provides that there are not much deficiencies in the communication and e-communication strategies of Nike. However, there are still some areas of improvement which can be considered by properly analyzing the strategies of the competitors in detail. The company can obtain ideas from the strategies of the competitors.
Suggestions and Recommendations
After taking into account the communication methods, practices and strategies adopted by Nike, it is recommended that Nike is further required to focus on its promotional strategies. Further, for improving the communication with the customers it should employ trending celebrities for endorsing the products. Celebrities act as the crowd pullers and will definitely assist in enhancing the communication of company.
Furthermore, Nike can make the use of tailor made app which facilitates internal communication within the organization. Such app will assist the employees and other staff members to receive urgent information and other details in due time and will not lead to any delays. The company can also make the use of innovation management systems so that employees can freely communicate their ideas and suggestions for the benefit of the organization (Quirke, 2017). The strategy for communication should be adopted in a way such that it communicates the mission of the company to the employees and customers of the organization (Eyre, 2016). The communication should be made in such as way so as to make the part of the team called Nike Inc. Moreover, it should make continuous evaluation of the strategies adopted by its key competitors namely Adidas and Reebok so that it can analyze the market trends and can take steps in this regard.
Therefore, it can be concluded that effective communication consists of the effective exchange of information between the sender and receiver. The communication strategies can be defined as the scheme of planning the way of sharing information. This report focused on the communication and e- communication strategies adopted by Nike. The companies makes the use of non- electronic (face o face communication, letters, invoice and memorandum) and electronic communication (website, social media, internet and e- mail) methods, practices and strategies for ensuring effective communication with the customers, suppliers, staff and public. The report further highlights the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the overall communication methods and practices of the company with the help of a SWOT analysis. Furthermore, the report makes the assessment and comparison of the communication practices of the Nike with its main competitors i.e. Adidas and Reebok. Moreover, some suggestions and recommendations have been made in this report which should be considered by Nike for further improving its communication and e- communication practices.
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