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Nike, Inc. is a sportswear company in the United States dealing in clothes and sports paraphernalia like shoes, jerseys among other sporting equipment. When the company came into the market, it was first called Blue Ribbon Sports.
It was founded in 1964 by the one Phillip Knight with the assistance of Bill Bowerman who was his coach in track field athletics at Oregon University. During its inception into the market, the company only produced tack running shoes but has diversified now to produce such things jerseys, shoes and shorts for all types of field and track sport.
In addition, Nike produces clothes and shoes for ice hockey, soccer, tennis, cricket and baseball. This was not the end of Nike since the company has constantly unleashed in the market sportswear for different sporting activities and the most recent premiers by Nike in the market are skateboarding shoes (which are called Nike 6.0, Nike SB and Nike NYX), basket ball shoes (called Air Jordan XX3) and shoes for playing cricket (which are called Air zoom Yorker) (Lee, and Terrence 123).
The importance of the Just Do it Slogan for Nike
Referring to the first symbolic assumption, The Just Do It Campaign advertisement came out back in 1988 and it became universal since it was a slogan that is short, simple, clear, direct, memorable and concise (Lee, and Terrence 201). It invites dreams and speaks of sport. It encourages people not to give excuses and to do something; it is all possible if you put your heart into it since it makes one eccentric, exceptional and courageous (Lee and Terrence 67).
This slogan can also be taken to mean just make it happen. The corporate logo that was designed by Carolyn Davidson is sufficiently meaningful for the company and satisfactory in its capacity to convey the company’s slogan. The logo represents the wing of the Greek goddess which represents victory and signifies the corporate identity as its frame enlarges.
Fig.1 Nike’s logo
People have multiple interpretations of the slogan as people experience life differently. Nike being one of the most famous sports brand worldwide, the young people view the brand as a sense of being cool. A consumer may see the logo and easily interpret it as meaning ‘this is my only choice.
I will buy it and wear it’; and a business man may view it as ‘try it’. There are a host of meanings that can be attributed to this slogan when used in daily living. A typical interpretation has been where the slogan has been taken to mean always “do what you heart tells you to and remain vigilant and persistent till you attain success” (Lee, and Terrence 133).
Using the third symbolic assumption Just Do It is a great motivational motto that encourages its customers to buy and use Nike shoes for their own pleasure and enjoyment. A good example is for young athletes who may be encouraged by this slogan when they contemplate giving up; or basketball players, there are products that are of high quality (the Nike Air Series) and together with inspirations advertisements like one with Michael Jordan encourage upcoming players is of great importance to such players (Nike 29).
Just do it was very popular during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.Nike planned to produce commercials which featured 31 athletes in “just do it” moments of their careers when observing their 20th anniversary (Nike 20).
Nike, when advertising has used different sports celebrities such as the likes of Jackson Bo, McEnroe John and the all time basketball favourite Michael Jordan. “If Michael Jordan can play an entire NBA season in a pair of Nikes, Certainly the average weekend warrior can trust the shoes’ durability” (Nike 57).
This kind of celebrity endorsement was great for Nike as it made its clients have a sense of belonging and this led to the all time joke that came up which said that ‘if you want to be hype wear Nike and if you are hype, you are probably so because you are wearing Nike’.
In addition to this, Nike was also able to change difficult exercises in Nike shoes into something as enjoying and exciting as it was self-refreshing and thereby was able to convince Americans that it was possible for someone to wear Nike shoes in any event in his/her event and circumstance and still feel confident, relaxed, smart and appreciated.
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This year has seen Nike shoot a video featuring some of the most prominent sports celebrities in the region and beyond to implore its customers into buying its products. Some the athletes from Taiwan were also used for different advertisements and giving them a chance to share their personal success stories include among others (Nike 106):
- Zhang Kai-Zheng – a renowned tennis player
- He Zhi-Jie – a renowned basketball player
- Xie Qian-He – a great track star
- Hong Yu-Kai – talented baseball player
- Yang Jun-Kai (BMX rider)
Looking at the fifth symbolic assumption Nike has formed a fashion culture for itself from being just about high performance. Look at the soccer market as a pyramid, having at the top few selected professional players and at the bottom the amateurs.
When you are up the pyramid it is all about high performance but as you go down the pyramid it becomes more about the fashion sense. Selling to the people at the bottom pyramid this has made Nike change its strategy to focus on developing more soccer apparel directed to the amateurs which represents about 10 percent of the overall market (Nike 87).
Nike, Inc has increased its product variety in a massive way so as to increase its sales, market share and eventually its profits. The company has come up with different shoes for different people: from women to men; children to adults. Currently Nike is making shoes using materials that make the shoes much lighter and more comfortable to wear and has increased its market to include even outdoor activities and events.
One of the areas that the company has been gaining popularity over time is among the youth and specifically in the hip-hop culture. Owing to this the company has in recent past teamed up with Apple Inc. to produce devices that can be used to monitor athletes’ performance. This is done by have a technological device that coordinates the shoe and an iPod nano strapped on the runner.
These technological advances to address practical needs among its customers like performance by athletes on the track and working in conjunction with other like-minded companies are the ones that can be thought to be responsible for the great market dominance that Nike enjoy currently. By these innovations, Nike has been able to threatening beat some of its rival competitors such Reebok which specializes in sneakers.
In conclusion, the slogan that Nike uses and its simple self-explanatory and yet very succinct log are the two things that have had great impact on the company’s niche market. This slogan Just Do It has also been embraced by the company’s management personnel transforming it from a mere slogan to a corporate company culture almost making it in full tandem with company objectives and vision.
This close relationship with company objectives is what has further made the company capable of emerging as a formidable company dealing in sports ware in its niche markets where it operates in.
Lee, Bolman, and Deal Terrence. Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership. 4th ed. NY: Jossey-Bass, 1990. Print.
Nike. “Nike Taiwan ‘Just Do It 2010 Campaign’.” Freshness Magazine. 23 April, 2009. Web. <https://www.freshnessmag.com/2010/04/10/nike-taiwan-just-do-it-2010-campaign-videos/>.