Marketing Strategy of Nike – An Ultimate Branding Technique

Nike's Marketing

by Shamsul
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Marketing Strategy of Nike: An Ultimate Branding Technique through Selling Benefits


Nike’s classic marketing strategy is no secret. When we hear the word, Nike, “Just Do It” instantly comes to our mind along with those Air Jordan that we always wanted to buy. Are we forgetting that logo? How can we, as it is the first thing that emerges in mind? Have you ever wondered if there is anything more behind Nike’s logo that makes it more lasting in our minds? Let’s read about the Marketing Strategy of Nike.

Well, there surely is more than this to the actual success of the brand.

The Popularity of Nike isn’t based on its marketing (well, not the recent one). Its early marketing strategy was quite different and it was the main reason for making the brand the top one. Any proper and leading marketing strategy is not more of a process but a wise move that lasts in the minds of customers. You can finally get to know the secret behind its strategy, which was just “supreme priority to customer value”.

If you are looking to grow your own brand, then below given contents and the brief details will help you to determine what steps and strategies your brand needs to grow to the lengths you want.

Earliest Marketing Strategy of Nike:

The first co-founder of Nike was a field and track coach. It was Bill Bowerman’s efforts and other factors that gave the brand its foundation stone. Bill started his experiments on his wife’s waffle maker to make running shoes tread of better quality. In that case, the results include a fine tread design and a ruined waffle maker.

Nike’s unique and incredible promoting strategy is not accidental and gave the product huge thumbs up. If you are aware of the huge jogging craze all across America in the ’60s and 70’s, you should also know that Bill has the blame for that. Although it may seem different now, in those times, jogging was not much of a popular choice and it needed bill to get famous. Bill made public much fan of jogging and thus introduced the brand as a jogging need. The contributions of Bill towards jogging emerged after he noticed a jogging club somewhere in New Zealand and it was when he understood its value and advocated it to others.

He spread his idea of fitness by using books that he wrote about jogging and his articles and book threw light on how fitness is related to exercises like jogging and many others. Along with a cardiologist, he wrote a 90-page book about jogging, which expanded a three-page jogger manual published earlier.

Besides his contributions and collaborations with athletes, he also worked with the running boom in 70’s that helped the brand grow better.

Nike’s Popularity was a lucky turn of Events or Thoughtful Marketing?

Well, this was somehow a combination of both. Bill’s Marketing Strategy of Nike was a perfect example of content marketing, but it is tough to apply no matter how easy it seems. Bill’s book was published even before his experiment with waffle makers and the first pair of Nike, so if it was not content marketing, what actually was?

Customer’s Interest is the Interest of Brand: 

Customers are always attracted to a fine product and the benefits that come with it. Justifying a product that gives you benefits is always an easy product to sell and this is what Nike’s Moon Shoes did. Bill promoted the idea of jogging and then introduced Moon Shine shoes to the market so basically it was the health benefit that people were paying for but not the shoes. It may not sound like a strategy to you but it certainly worked for Nike.

Need-Based Strategy:

The targeted Audience of Nike was not the one interested in buying the shoes but the one interested in staying or getting in shape. Running was indeed a popular activity for athletes and kids at that time, but it was never as widely accepted today. Today’s white color jobs have more embraced the idea of staying fit and thus the marketing of the brand in relation to cardiovascular health. Once Nike set the trend of jogging, the actual trend faded and the brand emerged as a need instead of jogging.


Believe in your Product – Marketing Strategy of Nike

Bill never had money as his priority and although he wanted his brand to be popular, it is unlikely that being a millionaire was the main goal behind it. He wanted everyone to believe in the strength and need of sports, which was the ideology behind his brand. As a seller, you should be the first to believe in your idea and then convince anyone to buy whatever you are selling.

Sell Benefits, Not the Product:

As stated earlier, selling a benefit is always easy marketing rather than selling a product. The idea behind using a waffle maker was to make the lightweight tread, which will offer easy jogging. He knew that even such a small factor can earn all the Popularity and can match the need of a distance runner in a single attempt. That is why he got all the love, respect, and sales that he worked for.

Evolution of Nike’s Marketing Strategy:

As the mindset and market space have changed too much in the last few decades, Nike has also changed its marketing strategy in the 70’s. Although the tactics and aesthetics of this brand are now according to the market demands, but the message it conveys is still consistent with the very early idea. Nike is a perfect example of how you can shift your marketing needs to the standards set by new eras and yet stay true to the actual voice of the brand.

Accept and Welcome Technological Ideas:

The very first marketing strategy of Nike was based on published books and pamphlets, but the recent one is dominating and conveying the message through the famous technological media of today. They shifted from published media to television around 80’s and 90’s while now they are into the use of social media platforms for the use of marketing which is the need of today.

Adaption according to Customer Needs:

In any business, the customer is always the priority, and Nike seems to very well accept it. They are now working on using flashy objects to chase the customers and the needs of the era. They are making sure that the brand is not lagging behind the mindset of the customers in any form.

The Nike company has made sure that the brand is present and well seen on Instagram, and everything present on the feed is nothing less of valuable stuff. They believe in sharing the motivational ideas and messages (that was the voice of the brand since the 70’s) rather than crowding the feed with baseless sale pitches.

The Marketing Strategy of Nike also made sure that customers see influencers and the history behind the brand through its pages and subaccounts of social platforms. They have gained such a high impact in the minds of their customers that they can only say “check our women’s footwear choices” and still gain huge support on such platforms. But they decided to stay active and post the motivation on their feed that their products promise to provide.

Priority to Purpose:

Too much change is no change. If things are continuously changing around you, you would love to see something that is constant, and Nike knows this well. Their content marketing is yet true to its purpose, and the benefits are yet advertised on the regular basis but according to the needs of recent times. The idea of sticking to the basic voice while promoting the needs of the new generation is what made the brand stay firm while many other competitors became the tale of the past at the same time.

Modern Era and Nike’s Benefit based Marketing:

Nike is using the very same benefit since the start and it is consistent with its idea. It uses the cases and influencers for the marketing instead of the actual product. It draws attention to the cause, not to the product. They are seen as a sustainable brand with a modern and progressive idea, making them a future-centered brand and priority of the public.

If you go through any social media account of Nike, then you can clearly observe that they are not directly branding their product on any platform. But they are only conveying the idea of the brand, and their Audience can clearly see how much they are concerned and touched with the actual purpose of the brand which makes the health and sports debating brand. The idea of promoting health as the brand’s unofficial tagline is indeed what is attracting the right and a huge crowd.

Nike’s Email Marketing Strategy – Marketing Strategy of Nike

The example of emails from Nike shows how they are using the famous sporting influencers with their community all over the world for their promotion as leaders in sports. It means whenever people do think of sports, they do think of Nike directly. When your brand is present in everyone’s mind, then people will prefer to buy from you whenever they do need something. There are so many TV ads in which influencers are using the brand products and thus they get fame. They try to play an important role in national issues too. Recently, there was an issue of black women where the point was that black women are not being treated with the same level of respect as white people or their males.

These types of issues and regarding messages are commonly given by Nike. Now, they are also the representative of the social border movements. They try to go with positive conservation so that they are selling movement, not the product.

How to Apply the Marketing Strategy of Nike to your Brand’s Growth?

The history of the market strategy of Nike is very interesting. You can apply their strategy to your brand too.

1. Figure Out Needs of your Audience:

The Audience is always on the internet because they want the answers to their questions. You should create content that can easily address the concerns of customers. By doing so, you’ll come to know about the preferences of the Audience and thus you can easily answer the questions. You can solve so many issues by giving them what they are looking for. Your readers or customers can turn into your brand advocates too.

In the case of Nike, people wanted something which can help them to remain in shape. Jogging was very popular at that time and people were looking for jogging shoes. In this case, Nike provided people with their most wanted shoes and became popular among people as a brand that can support people to achieve their goals. If you don’t know about the choice of Audience, then you must put yourself in their position and try to have a look at scenes. By doing this, you’ll come to know about what the customers need instead of designing the features of your products. In this way, you can make a product according to the customer’s choice. it means research should be your priority.

2. Figure Out Best Way to Reach the Audience – Marketing Strategy of Nike

In the era of digital marketing, you should know when your Audience is available on the web and what is Audience looking for. You should keep in mind the recent trend of social media so that you can access your Audience easily. There are so many questions regarding it but the answer is only one that you should go where your audience is. You should know about the content of the Audience and their habits. You should share your products and content at those places where most of the Audience is present. After this all, you should try to make those products which people can easily afford.

3. Create content which can Address the needs of the Audience:

You should keep in mind the things about the needs of customers. It is required to create the best content about the needs of customers. You should share this content on those webs where most of the Audience is looking for it. If you are not entertaining, solving problems, or giving answers to the questions of the audience, then you need to think again about what you are doing. You should give answers in simple forms so that everyone can understand them at basic levels.

Key Takeaways About Marketing Strategy of Nike to Grow Your Brand:

You should go with the content which spreads information, not just the content which sells. The idea of content should be useful and creative.

Benefits of Not Selling:

You always sell the issue and people try to buy the solution. So, you need to prepare the solution. In the same way, they try to sell jogging, and then people started to look for jogging shoes. This kind of strategy helps a lot. Running shoes are for those who love to run or do jogging. So, selling them on jogging is a nice idea. In the world of content marketing, there is so much selling. It is fine to some extent but it misses the actual point that you should spread the ideas, not the products.

Good Content Marketing Spreads instead of Selling:

Content marketing is actually growing very rapidly and it brings the definitions which blur lines between the things what they actually are and what they are trying to be. It is a process, not a technique. The process consist is a certain step but content marketing does not depend upon steps. It is regarding the building of trust and providing value to customers.

Bill’s book was able to provide immense value and build trust. Instead of writing a book that is used as content marketing, he told me what marketing exactly is. He removed the blurry lines between the marketing content and values.

Selling of Ideas, Not the Products: Just Do It

Bill Bowerman did a lot of work to grow Nike into a timeless brand. It was not popular at the start but he worked really hard to reach this point. Instead of selling the products or shoes, he decided to sell the ideas. He tried to give knowledge to people about fitness and health. As a result, people started moving towards jogging or running shoes. Now, Nike is a brand that is in the global spotlight. The marketing strategy of Nike is great but if you cannot carry it then you just need to keep a few things in mind. You should know that social media is the future. The use of keywords is a very smart action. The strategy is really great. But you should try to provide the valuable thing to the customer as it will never go out of trend and it will help you a lot.


Need Help or Advice in Content Management:

Do you want more advice? Do you have good practices to share? Express yourself in the comment.

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