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This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:
Be able to apply relevant theoretical concepts of branding to analyse specific problems and challenges in brand management and make recommendations for the design and implementation of brand marketing programs.
Be able to conduct a brand audit and use the information generated for brand planning.
Be able to examine and critically evaluate current branding activities in the marketplace.
This assessment requires you to don the hat of a brand manager and assess in detail the source of your chosen brand’s strength. A brand audit addresses questions such as ‘Who am I as a brand?’, ‘What is my core proposition?’, and ‘What are my current sources of brand equity?’, ‘Are these sources of equity satisfactory?’, ‘Do we need to add or delete or strengthen certain associations?’. Such questions provide a useful reality check to brand managers. Once conducted, a brand audit helps to inform future brand strategies. The exercise of conducting a brand audit and devising future strategies is a vital skill for a brand practitioner operating in any industry. This assessment is designed to address all the intended learning outcomes in the subject.

Company Overview

In these papers, we will do a global product brand audit for the Nike Company (Benoit & Pang, 2008). The Nike Company sells athletic footwear made for some particular sport. The company also sells athletic apparel which has the same trademark and brand names (Bhasin, 2017). The company recently started selling some performance equipment which is under the Nike brand name . Nike sells a range of shoe, equipment and apparel products all off which it sells significantly. Initially, Nike started by selling athletic bags, accessory items, and sports apparel in 1972. Their brand which is known as the Cole Han is made up of casual foot wares, dresses, and accessories. The company is also said to sell some headgears which are the brand referred to as sports specialists. Nike is also known for selling the plastic products to some manufacturers (Chand, 2014)). Nike also manufactures and distributes products such as protective gears, skate blades, hockey sticks, accessories, Hockey blades, and hockey jerseys

Nike commonly uses standardized in-store layout techniques to increase the chance of customers purchasing from them (Goldman & Papson, 2008). When one walks into the Nike stores, the most fantastic feature he will notice is how the stores have a symmetrical layout and how they are highly structured (Oxfam/Australia, 2012). Every sport has its section where products are organized by color and product type. This store usually appears like there are other small stores in one big store (Deng, 2009). The walls together with the floor are also colored depending on the sport. For example, the swimming sport has aqua colored walls while the floor is blue (Epstein, Buhovac, & Yuthus, 2010). These are the same coolers that one is likely to find in a swimming pool (Goldman & Papson, 2008). These tactics by the Nike Company were used to serve various purposes (Bhasin, 2017).  When every sport was assigned its section, Nike aimed at coming up with different markets for consumers. It helped customers to know that they needed clothes for each sport they might have participated in (Greenhouse, 2010).

Nike images can be interpreted in different meaning because of their designs and colors (Ali Mahdi, Abbas & IlyasMazar, 2015). This is what makes these images powerful marketing tools because they have a personal sense for every consumer. However, the truth is that the effect of advertising cannot be assumed in Nikes

With the well-known slogan ‘just do it' customers see Nike as a couch that makes his clients have better practices.

In-store Layout Techniques

Innovation is one of the core organizational competencies for the Nike Company. Innovations must be experienced in every area of the business: which include: Distribution, human resources, and production. However, Nike is well known because of using differentiation strategies (Business, 2017). However one of the competitors who closely have a same business is Adidas- Solomon. Product differentiation is very much essential in the footwear industry, and it gives the company a chance to increase its profits by selling different products (Chowdhury, 2011). Other merits of having several product lines are to diversify risks. This means that if a product does not sell well, various other products can cover the loss. Organizations in the footwear industry that have only one product line are at higher risk because they cannot easily diversify risks. Most of Nikes footwear is designed for athletic use. For them to greatly diversify the risk most of their sales come from accessories, footwear, and apparel which are meant for leisure and casual purposes (Sherman & Perlman, 2010). Nike usually divides its product in different ways. Nike usually manufactures products accessories and sports goods for children, men, and women.

Happens to be a short statement that explains a brand position. Sometimes it sounds like a brands aura. It does not compromise of the advertisement slogan. Sometimes it is used to make tough decisions in an organization. It becomes a guide on how to run the business and handle a crisis. Nike is known to use three words brand antra ‘'Authentic athletic Performance''. Through this Mantra, we can see that Nike mostly emphasizes maintaining authenticity which also calls for purity and integrity. On the other hard or products that Nike come up with have to be athletic and not for leisure.

 Nike is one of the powerful brands in the world according to how it uses its elements. Some elements used by the Nike company include slogans, they also use celebrities or athletes', names, and brand logos. Every product of the Nike Company has its unique logo and name. For example, Jordan's brand uses its unique logo and name. Nike has some unique slogans like the ‘Just Do it.' Nike came up with this slogan to encourage everyone to participate in sport. Another slogan for Nike Company is ‘if you have a body you are an athlete.' This means that the Nike brand is for everyone who is interested in the sport.

Brand Messaging and Advertising Strategies

SWOT analysis is about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Nike Company. Nike is ranked among the top three-sport shoe sellers in the world.

Nike happens to be a number one shoemaker. It makes shoes and sportswear for almost all sports

Nike effectively utilizes research and development (Kotler& Keller, 2016). This can be noticed by how innovative the company is

Nike happens to be a global brand. It happens to be a number one brand in the world, and it famously recognized because of the swoosh logo (Pearson, 2010).

The business income heavily depends on the share of the footwear market. These exposés the company to risks in case the share markets goes down

The retail sector is known to be price sensitive. But most of its income is generated from selling products to retailers. Retailers usually give an almost equal experience as consumers

Product development offers Nike a competitive advantage over its competitors. This brand is generally defended by its owners arguing that it is not a fashion brand (Kotler& Keller, 2016).  However many youths believe that it is a fashion brand

There are also opportunities to come up with products such as jeweler, sunglasses and sports ware. These products can earn high profits for the company

Nike businesses can be developed internationally which can help in building strong global brand recognition (Pearson, 2010). The company can also make use of some events such as the world cup

Nike is a global company that sells products across countries, yet the currencies are not as stable as such. Sometimes Nike may manufacture or sell products at a loss in case of unstable currencies

The market for the sports garments and shoes is very much competitive (Kotler& Keller, 2016). And many companies are coming up with different strategies to overtake the Nike brand

The first advertising campaign for Nike was made up of professional athletes who were dressed in some unique Nike gear (Greenhouse, 2010). These advertisements were mainly found in video advertisements and lit posters. These posters consisted of athletes from different categories. The first picture showed well known present day Olympics athletes (Haigh, & Brubaker, 2010). These pictures mainly targeted some young people who were thought to have a sense of achievement when buying the athletes clothes (Epstein et al. 2010) The other photos included black and white images of well-known athletes when they were young. These were meant to attract some older customers who would draw some sense of comfort and nostalgia when they see some of their best players when they were young (Frank, 2012). By having these athletes wear this Nike attire, they believed that their customers would greatly trust the Nike company.

SWOT Analysis

The other commonly used advertising campaign by Nike is a product description in both poster forms and videos(Epstein et al.,2010). This is in opposition to the first advertising strategy. This type of advertisement usually describes the design, technical and function merits of every Nike product as well as showing a visual of it. Although it cannot be easily noted these advertisements usually employs a specific myth (Frith, 2015). For some products such as the Nike one golf ball, Nike is informed that many customers cannot differentiate between Nike balls and other balls from the competitors (Ali Mahdi et al. 2015). Thus when Nike uses the technical jargon, Nike bring out the myth of science  which originated from the scientific revolution and enlightenment  Nike knows that science is usually used as an objective measure  thus using it as a  marketing tool to attract customers who will purchase the Nike products

Over the last few years, there has been a significant shift in the marketing industry. It used to be standard practice to market products, but recently corporations are involved in marketing brands. Thus the Nike swoosh is the most recognized and commonly demanded logo across the globe. Similarity, the name Nike, was adopted from some Greek myths (Chowdhury, 2011). The reality is that Nike swoosh is just a meaningless check mark thus Nike had to associate it with some well-known athlete and community programmes. Therefore as a company, Nike usually uses its Nike stores to show what the Nike swooshes and Nike company represent globally (Ali Mahdi et al. 2015).

From various research and studies, consumers described Nike Company as a unique and most exciting brand that promotes the winning mentality in a team.  However, there is a lot of competition coming from other competitors (Brand& Brand, 2011). On the other hand, Nike is very effective in promoting some physical activities as compared to other activities. Nike is also not considered sincere or honest because of some negative labor practices it has been associated with which consumers can still remember (Haigh, & Brubaker, 2010). Many customers are not aware that Nike running shirts were the same as Nike yoga shirts. The second reason was to make the consumer feel like she was in some other place rather than a store (Deng, 2009). By making the swimming section look like a swimming pool, is aimed at making the place appeal to the imaginations of customers. This strategy might be the reason why Nike Company wanted their walls, ceilings, and floors to be dark (Goldman &Papson, 2008). Nike usually tries to have an interior decoration that makes the customer forget that he is in a store. The other purpose this strategy aimed at was to make the customers have a wonderful experience in the store (Benoit & Pang, 2008). These techniques made customers to view all the products because of their attractiveness and color. We can, therefore, say  that The use of architectural, space and color by Nike is used to earn them an extra profit.

Brand awareness

For a consumer to make the best decision, he must be aware of the existence of the Nike Company. However, this is never enough for the proper maintenance of brand equity

 from the various research carried out many consumers were aware of the Nike company as an athletic brand which is associated with high performance. From this, we conclude that Nike is one of the most well-known powerful brands.

Consumers always relate Nike to athletic supremacy. It is also associated with feelings of finesses, improved physique, power and success (Shaw, 2011). This is because Nike is usually associated with some foot wares for different sports.

 From the study, I discovered that Even though Nike is known for high-performance many customers though it lacked sincerity and genuine feeling (Benoit & Pang, 2008). Many consumers were not willing to buy Nike products if they could get such products from other competitors

It is also clear that Nike aims at making people have a good athletic experience through coming up with some good products for the company.

 Most consumers are thought not to like Nike products, but they enjoy their advertising and marketing campaigns. The strategies that Nike uses to advertise in its stores are more complex than the approach that Nike uses in design tactics (Frank, 2012). Although both aims at making the consumer purchase the product, the way Nike wares are advertised in more advanced techniques while they are in stores (Oxfam/Australia, 2012). Customers may not know the reason behind each, but they are attracted to them because they give meaning and life to some other lifeless objects (Sherman & Perlman, 2010).

The consumer chooses Nike over all other companies because it has a wide range of footwear. It is also said that the athletic footwear from Nike company is usually very much comfortable (Shaw, 2011). Men are said to enjoy the4 Nike company because they can easily afford the shoe While women are greatly interested in the styles and designs. Celebrity endorsement has been very important. Consumers are thought to adopt some behaviors of some else's.

Nike uses a high amount of money to finance athletes who are a good representation of the brand. In 2012 the company used a lot of money in endorsement (Smith, 2010). However many consumers could not believe that the endorsement was genuine. They are belived that the endorsement was because of the money was given to the athlete and not the true feeling of the celebrity.

 The recent mission of the Nike Company is to inspire every athlete across the world. Many consumers have believed that this is very good for the Nike Company and more to what it has always done all through the year.

These are further identified as the 11 Nike maxims

1.'innovation is a culture in Nike company: the organization views innovation as one of the essential core competencies.

  1. Nike can be referred to as a global company.
  2. Nike is a famous brand. - It is commonly recognized by use of the swoosh logo which is viewed as a symbol of global leadership it also ventures in those markets where it can easily dominate. It is also well known of using the slogan ‘'if we cannot lead then we don't need to venture into the market.
  3. It believes in simplification and going. Nike products are known for having a short life cycle both in technology and fashion. The company believes in making quick decisions, and a skillful decision is essential for the success of the company (Odinmp, 2012).
  4. Nike company believes in the consumer decide. The company has to be well aware of how sophisticated customers are to be able to come up with the best product to suit all of them.
  5. They also believe in being like a sponge. Employees in this organization are usually encouraged to be curious and always  flexible to take in new ideas
  6. They also believe in evolving immediately. Nike views change as the real cause of innovation. This is usually observed in many of the Nikes products (Odinmp, 2012). Thus the company often makes use of the new strategy.
  7. The company believes in doing the right thing. Nike usually sees itself as a good global citizen. Thus it encourages most of its employees to be transparent, honest and promote sustainability and diversity
  8. Master the principles. Innovations can be useless if they are not put into action. What has dramatically contributed to the success of the Nike company is the ability to change its performance regularly. It has recently
  9. The company believes in being in the offense always. For the company to lead in a competitive environment. Nike always tells people to be leaders in every area one is assigned.
  10. Lastly is that the company still remembers the late Bill Bower man who is greatly valued because of his innovative spirit and understanding of the needs of the athletes

 The popularity of a brand does not make it perfect. It is always good for the brand to look for and try improving its weaknesses (Smith, 2010). From the analysis, I would recommend the Nike Company to consider the following recommendations.

From the study carried out, it has been discovered that Nike has been involved in unethical labor practices in some countries (Schwartz, 2010). This is usually a common problem for some popular companies (Smith, 2010). When competition increases companies seek for cheap labor to make higher profits. Thus the Nike Company need to be aggressive for their manufacturing plants based on human resource management.

Although Nike Company argues that a high price should also mean a high quality product, High-cost products could make the company lose its customers to the competitors. Thus Nike Company needs to adjust the prices for it to be more effective when it comes to competition.

Every company would want to see an increase in their sales (Terkan, 2014). From the analysis, we have made. The ESPN documentary ‘sole man' demonstrates how the Nike Company was able to redefine sports marketing which made the company dominate in selling athletic products, through signing Michael Jordan and coming up with the Jordan line. The moment Nike Company signed Michael Jordan the sales of the company went up with around $150 million. A year after launching the air Jordan the sales of the company rose to over $100 million

Every company looks forward to coming up with a marketing strategy which can deliver $100 million in a short period. However, marketing is one of the vaguely described terms in the world. However, various books and terms try to define this term, but only a few of these descriptions can be effectively applied. Checking closely at how the Nike Company made use of Michael Jordan and some other athletes

The following are the different recommendation on brand leveraging.

Michael Jordan was the person that Nike leveraged to ensure that the entire company and the new Air Jordan line was significantly marketed (Terkan, 2014). Sonny Vaccaro was the Nike executive who signed Jordan believing that he was perfect in promoting the Nike. The company greatly paid Michael Jordan. Though it was very much risky at that time, the association of Nike company and Jordan significantly earned the company huge profits (Benoit, 2010). All companies, industries, and markets have people who can be used as luminaries. Luminaries have great ability to attract customers. Sometime luminaries  attract customers effectively  if they are celebrities, but they don't have to be

In the case of Nike, Air Jordan was the first signature shoe that Nike had ever made for a basketball player; They were black and red according to the color of the team (Pearson, 2008). They were unique thus made Jordan stand out among all other players. The shoe even made some fashion statements (Chand, 2014). For companies to efficiently market their products, they should come up with unique quality products for their companies. The products should be separable from other products. Pictures in Instagram are more attractive to people because of the unique filter applied. Products that are well marketed; easily stand out from the many and attract a lot of demand.

 The airs Jordan were basketball shoes, but many customers saw them as perfect shoes (Benoit, 2010). Thus when one can quickly identify the value of the product, its promotes purposeful word of mouth marketing (Brand& Brand, 2011). No matter how costly it can be companies need to utilize these techniques (Frith, 2015). In the film ‘Sole Man' Chris Webber remembers the first instant he saw someone wearing air Jordan's. He states that he was only 13 years old then when he saw a kid wear the black and red Jordan's, the kid used to look fresher than anyone else. He also recalls sitting just next to him to only look at the Jordan's. Sellers need to pay close attention to the different emotions evoked by the customers. Nike has used this principle with some athletes all across the years. Its competitors such as Under Armour and Adidas have also made use of this principle. Regardless of the amount of money used this principle are effective in ensuring that products are well marketed to millions of people

Conclusion

The statements that Nike founder Bill Bower man made are what drive the branding, advertising and design in Nike Company (Terkan, 2014). Bower man aimed at inspiring global participation of people in sports. This is similar to what is demonstrated in most of the bike stores. The main aim is usually to target customers by use of different myths.

References

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