Nikkei, which is the name of the Greek Goddess of Victory, was born in 1972 when Blue Ribbon Sports (BARS) launched its first branded shoe at the U. S. Olympic track and field trials. A former University of Oregon track team member Phil Knight created Blue Ribbon Sports. At Oregon, Knight was coached by the legendary Bill Borrower and then went on to become alumnus of the Stanford School of Business. BARS was crafted in 1962 when Knight made a deal with Notation Tiger Company, a Japanese shoe company, to import their shoes to the United States.
Knight had the idea to sell a low cost shoe tit a very high quality, with high aspirations of taking Aids out of the top spot in the athletic shoe market. In 1964, Bill Borrower decided to Join Knight as a partner at BARS to create a Joint quest to be number one. Borrower redesigned the Tiger shoes while Knight acted as the accountant/personal seller and the two went on the road to sell their newly crafted sneakers at track meets and local shoe stores. By 1966, Blue Ribbon Sports opened its first store in Oregon, which is where Nikkei is still currently headquartered.
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Knight and Borrower managed the store with the only one employee, Jeff Johnson. By 1972 BARS was able to subcontract its own shoe line and began selling Nikkei Brand shoes. Over the next decade Nikkei expanded almost double its size each year from the previous year. BARS officially became Nikkei in 1978 and opened manufacturing plants all over the U. S. Nikkei was a household name for most athletes by early sass’s. Today, Nikkei is the world’s leading designer, maker and distributor of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a series activities, as well as sports-inspired civic shoes.
The company’s target market is in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, with its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Nikkei employs around 38,000 people to produce footwear for running, training, basketball and soccer use. The company also sells tennis, golf, baseball, football, bicycling, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleaders, aquatic activities, hiking, outdoor activities and other athletic shoes. The company provides these products for men, women and children. As the leading global footwear brand, Nikkei reported revenues of $7. Billion for first quarter, 2014. Identification of Target Market(s) In its beginning Nine’s focus was primarily on track and field, and for the most part track athletes were their target market. One of the first individuals to endorse a Nikkei product was a man who exemplified their style and way of conducting business, Steve Presentation. Presentation was a household name in the late seventies and has gone down in history as one of the best American track and field athletes ever. Presentation was a friend of Knight and had been coached by Borrower at the University of Oregon.
Presentation embodied what Nikkei wanted as its differential advantage of other companies, due to his brash attitude, high talent level, and cavalier mentality. This is why Steve Presentation and Nikkei were a tremendous tandem in the early years of Nine’s existence. Athletes are still currently the majority consumers of Nine’s products. This is because of the usefulness that goes along with the items. Nikkei focuses on these consumers by means of agreements with sports team, college sponsorships, and endorsement with individual athletes.
Through this, Nikkei is able to reach an extensive number of consumers and clients who are likely to purchase their products. Nikkei pays particular focus on the athlete more than other individual consumers. However, a secondary market came to light in the asses. During the period from 1985-1987, Nikkei dropped back down to number two in the running of the shoe market. Sales had dropped off because the running boom of the late ass’s and ass’s had begun to diminish, the NAB was becoming increasingly marketable, and consumers tended to wear their court shoes on the street. Katz, 1993) Nikkei began to notice an entire market that the company had been avoiding, everyday athletic activities. These activities were things done by everyday people and to Just the serious athlete. Fortunately for Nikkei, in 1985 their star was brought to light by a rookie basketball player with amazing talent and a nice smile, his name is Michael Jordan. Jordan came to Nikkei at a time when the marketability of the NAB was increasing. NAB games were being nationally televised during prime time television hours and weekends. This gave Nikkei the perfect platform to develop and market their new star and the products that he endorsed.
During the first few years Nikkei introduced Jordan to the public and Jordan familiarized himself with the American public. Nikkei ran a series of ads with Jordan and film director Spike Lee. These ads were aired during prime time television hours and were solely targeted for pre-teen school students. These ads displayed an expressed message to “Stay in School. ” The ads presented kids with a national fugue that was selling both school and Nine’s products, how could parents deny their children the shoes of such a virtuous spokesman? Jordan was a fugue that children adored, looked up to and tried to the best of their ability to copy.
Nikkei used this to display a positive image for their company and to sell their products. Consumer Decision Making Process “Consumers believe that the firm makes better shoes. Whether or not that is true, Nikkei has been a magician as a marketer. ” (McIntyre, 2011) When a consumer purchases a product, usually there is a five step process in making a decision. The steps are need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase, and post purchase behavior. (Prepare, 2013) Nikkei tries to make this decision process easier with their advertisements.
For example, the Nikkei fuel band is one of Nine’s newest products and people didn’t know much about it when it came out so Nikkei seed an ad that caught ones attention, but that’s not all. Nine’s commercial explained what this product is in great detail. Just by watching the commercial, Nikkei completed the first three steps for you, making your life a bit easier. In many cases consumers skip steps one through three and buy products on impulse, as Nikkei would put, they “Just do it”, but in this case Nikkei does the “leg” work for you. This is an example of the magic in Nikkei marketing.
However, it’s obvious that Nikkei hasn’t actually used a wand on its customers and there is no proof which can measure that a Nikkei pair of shoes is teeter than an Aids pair of shoes or another brand, so it must be magic, right? The answer is “No”, it’s the brand image and product position that is the driving force being Nikkei sales. The two concepts are why we buy Nikkei rather than another brand. Brand image refers to the schematic memory of a brand. (Hawkins, 2012, p. 335) Simply, it is what people think of and feel when they hear or see a brand name and is the set of associations consumers have learned about a brand. Hawkins, 2012, p. 335) Product positioning is a decision by a marketer to try to achieve a defined brand mage relative to competition within a market segment. (Hawkins, 2012, p. 335) Lastly, the ability to benefit from a brand image is called brand equity. (Hawkins, 2012, p. 335) According to Asker (2013) “brand equity has four dimensions – brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand associations, and perceived quality, each providing value to a firm in numerous ways. ” The core of building the equity for Nikkei is brand association.
Nikkei associates its brand with famous athletic celebrities that exemplify the personality of the brand; they are achievers, winners, determined, accomplishment oriented, and nontraditional. The most famous example for brand association ever was the collaboration between Nikkei and Jordan. This association personified Nikkei as a superior top performing brand. The depth of this personification became permanent, even after Jordan was no longer there. Also, Nikkei associates with top sport events by sponsoring many major league sports, including the National Basketball Association. Through its brand association, Nikkei increased its brand awareness.
Nikkei communicated its celebrity associations through TV ads, which increased their sales dramatically. In addition, one of the most important resources of Nikkei brand equity is the high perceived quality. Although, in today’s market, most of Nine’s consumers are the public that use their shoes Just for walking, Nikkei is committed to design their shoes according to the high standards of professional competition. Seeing a winning athlete wearing a Nikkei shoe in a professional competition authenticated the quality perception in the minds of the customers. Lastly, Nikkei has a good relationship with its customer, which creates some sort of brand loyalty.
Recommendations Nine’s ideals and goals remain the same as those of the days of Steve Presentation ND Bill Borrower. Nine’s Phil Knight is not slowing down as he continually signs new colleges on as Nikkei endorsed schools, even purchasing a portion of the Neff’s Dallas Cowboys. Nikkei has reached a point where they can count on the Nikkei name promoting itself, and yet they continue to produce innovative ideas. These ideas have been productive and entertaining promotional tools. In the case of Nikkei, it should continue to market itself towards people of all ages who wish to be active and still comfortable.
This marketing strategy has been particularly successful as its capability o reach many athletes, and according to Nikkei that is anyone with a body. Nikkei focuses on the consumers who embrace product understanding and closeness, which allows the company to set a higher cost than its competitors. This is a marketing strategy of Nikkei which calls for superior pricing points in order to push the supposed value of the product. This strategy has also proven successful for the company. Lastly, the more reliable the distribution of the product is improves the sales and results in more profits.