Nike is a fascinating company that has grabbed digital and non-traditional marketing strategy by its fragmented golly wobbles and given it a damn good shake.
So, in honour of my approaching exams (which may or may not be using Nike as a case study), we’re going all Consumer Behaviour on Nike’s digital strategy. How has Nike successfully leveraged off the tenants of consumer behaviour? What digital wins and fails can we take out of its story to date? And can I manage to cover all 11 core consumer behaviour topics before my exam on the 12th of June? Only time will tell… (I’ll be trying to cover off: segmentation, consumer motivation, personality and self-concept, perception and emotion, learning and memory, attitude formation and change, culture, social influences, diffusion of innovation, situation influences, consumer decision making. Well, wish me luck.)
image credit: Wieden+Kennedy, London
We all love a company with a humble physical beginning that’s conquered hurdles to be roaring digital success, and Nike has that Hollywood-esque cliché down in spades. Its first retail outlets were a 1960’s car boot and Phil Knight’s Dad’s basement; today it is the world’s leading sports apparel company. In the 2011 fiscal year, its sales reached $20.6 billion[i] a full 30% bigger than its closest rival Adidas[ii]. Its digital mojo is huge, with its $100 million plus campaigns using online as the first (and arguably primary) touch point. As Cendrowski notes “What’s all the more impressive is that Nike shouldn’t be good at this…biggest is rarely the best in the brand game, where niche players routinely run circles around lumbering giants, especially in the new digital world.”[iii]
To put it bluntly, Nike’s digital arse is a global mofo. Once upon a time, the biggest audience Nike could reach on any one day was 200 million Super Bowl viewers, at absolute maximum, once a year. Now, across all its digital touch points, it can hit that number any day of the year. This digital, global audience is very valuable as 58% of Nike’s sales come from the (non-USA) international market[iv]. With such a culturally vast audience, understandings of local-level and global level segments are essential to keeping Nike on top of its game.