Nike Women Sporty Jeans
Marketing Plan: Nike Women Sporty Jean
Nike is a significant company in the athletic clothing market. While it is most closely associated with shoes, the company also offers other clothing options for those who need and want work-out gear, running shorts, and other options (Nike, 2012). However, Nike is more than just an athletic brand. The company is expanding to offer other clothing options, as well. An analysis of the company indicates that it has strengths in the market which can be used in order to see growth. As with any company, there are also weaknesses - but there are opportunities to take those weaknesses and turn them into something that will benefit the company. One of the ways in which the company is expanding is through women's jeans. Currently, Nike does not have a women's jean in its clothing line. The proposed item will be a skinny jean with Dri-FIT technology that will wick sweat away and keep the wearer cool and comfortable in nearly any weather conditions.
There is much to consider any time a company decides to move forward with a new product (Jain, 1990; Jarillo, 1988; Porter, 1980). That is especially significant if the new product is out of the "comfort zone" of the company. With these jeans, Nike is moving away from its comfort zone to some degree, because it is focusing less on its athletic shoes and clothing, and more on general clothing for women. However, it is still in the same basic realm of clothing, where the company positioned itself originally and clearly intends to stay. That reduces some of the risk, but it is still vital that the risks that are inherent in the creation and marketing of a new product be addressed by the company in order to ensure that it is protecting itself. By being careful about the marketing mix and doing significant research, the likelihood of success is much higher for any company, as even well-established companies can fail otherwise (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2011; Porter, 2002).
Nike has been in existence since 1968, and was incorporated in Oregon (Nike, 2012). The principal business of the company is footwear, equipment, accessories, and apparel with an athletic slant (Nike, 2012). Nike develops, designs, markets, and sells these products worldwide. As a seller of athletic apparel and footwear, the company is the largest in the world (Nike, 2012). Products are sold several ways. Through the internet and direct to consumer sales are popular, but the company also sells to large retailers and through retail stores that are owned by Nike. Additionally, there are licensees and independent distributors in more than 170 countries worldwide (Nike, 2012). Nearly all apparel products are created by independent contractors, and are produced outside of the United States (Nike, 2012). Some of the equipment has U.S.-based creation, also by independent contractors that help keep Nike's cost of doing business low (Nike, 2012). While most products are designed for use by athletes, the products can certainly be used by anyone.
Strategic Focus and Plan
The mission and vision of Nike is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete, no matter where they are in the world. Nike also believes that "athlete" isn't reserved for some elite group of people who are on the Olympic team or getting paid millions of dollars per year to play a game. According to Nike's co-founder, anyone who has a body is an athlete. All people can and should move their bodies and get exercise and do what they can to stay healthy. They should enjoy those things. By having a mission and vision like that, Nike shows that it has a focus on everyone, instead of just on those who have the high degree of skill to be professional athletes. While few people make it in the professional athletic world, everyone can be athletic in some way and reap the benefits of that.
There are several goals that are important to Nike. Naturally, like any company, Nike wants to continue to grow, develop, and be successful. That is generally a given. However, with the creation and marketing of the women's sporty jeans, Nike is showing that it also wants to move into uncharted areas, where it has not yet ventured in the past. That can allow Nike to focus on continued product development, and could also possibly pave the way for more of a Nike clothing line that does not revolve around athletics. At that point, Nike would have the opportunity to get into the clothing market segments that it has previously avoided. Potentially, that could propel the company onto another plain when it comes to finances and also when it comes to the dynamics of the company overall. The goal for Nike at this point should be to market its women's jeans to its target market and make sure that the market realizes the strength of the brand behind the product. Nearly everyone recognizes the Nike name and logo, and the company can use that to its advantage.
Core Competency and Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Nike's core competency and sustainable competitive advantage is its brand recognition and the quality of the clothing, footwear, equipment, and accessories it produces. The company is very clear about what it does, and because it has worked at its brand for a long period of time it is now easy to see that the work has paid off in the form of sales and recognition. When a company does well because people recognize it that means it has established itself in the marketplace (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2011). People may not be expecting the jeans, but they will recognize the brand as something they know and trust. That will give Nike a competitive advantage with the women's jeans, because women likely already have Nike products in their closet. They know the quality of the brand, and that gives Nike an advantage with them.
A SWOT analysis of Nike provides an analysis if its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The main strengths of Nike would be its brand name recognition, and length of time the company has been in business, and the quality of the clothing and other items it provides to its customers. Weaknesses are price (because some people feel Nike costs too much or cannot afford its products), and a lack of diversity, since Nike has been branding itself for athletes and with athletic wear for so long. Moving toward non-athletic clothing could be difficult.
Opportunities abound for Nike, though. The main opportunity is for the company to move into the women's clothing market using the brand recognition it already has. Few other athletic companies have done this, so there is an untapped part of the market just waiting for Nike. There are threats, however. The main threats would come from other jean companies that are already well-established in the marketplace, and also from other athletic companies that might feel it is also their time to jump into the same niche as Nike is exploring.
The clothing industry is much more than athletic apparel, and much more than women's jeans. It encompasses all kinds of items, and Nike has the opportunity to move into more areas if it wants to. Currently, however, the industry appears to be focused on items like skinny jeans that have made a big comeback, and athletic attire because the benefits of exercise are being touted more heavily in the media. This is a good time for Nike to use its athletic apparel clout to market skinny jeans for women, because it is focusing on and utilizing two trends in the market. Following industry trends is important, and setting them is even better (Perreault & McCarthy, 1999; Porter, 1979). By moving into the skinny jeans market but being the first athletic apparel company to do so, Nike will both set and follow a trend.
The competition at this point is limited to other clothing manufacturers that sell skinny jeans. Other athletic companies are not an issue, because they do not sell or market skinny jeans for women. If they see that Nike has success they may decide to try their hand at it, but for now they are a non-issue. The only companies with which Nike must currently compete are those who already produce skinny jeans, and the vast majority of those companies do not have the brand recognition of Nike.
Currently, Nike is very strong. It has been building up its brand ever since the beginning. It started out as a footwear company only, but it was not long before it moved into accessories, apparel, and equipment. Almost everyone recognizes the trademark Nike "swoosh," and simply seeing that on clothing is often enough to entice people to buy. The company is in a good place in the market currently, and financially it is doing well even in the midst of a recession.…