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Li Ning Marketing Case Study

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In its mission statement, Li-Ning vision is to be ÐŽ§a world's leading brand in the sports goods industry.ЎЁ While it is obvious that Li-Ning has been hugely successful in maintaining its brand image and sales growth in China, I believe that Li-Ning can further improve its market share by positioning themselves differently from the top 2 player in the industry: Nike and Adidas, by exploiting its comparative advantage over these multinational companies.

The primary target customers for Li-Ning are students in both high schools and universities. Obviously, students are often on a limited budget and are price sensitive. Li-Ning are successful in capturing this segment of the market since they are priced 30% - 40% lower than other multinational brands while they maintain a strong brand image to keep its customers away from other local competing brands.

Within the local market, while it is almost impossible for Li-Ning to overtake Nike and AdidasÐŽ¦ position in the mega cities, they should continue to build on their domination in the second- and third-tier cities since it is their major income stream. It can be said that while Li-Ning could not match value with Nike and Adidas, they make up with volume. Therefore, they should avoid a heads-on confrontation with Nike and Adidas in these markets. Specifically, Li-Ning should expand its product portfolio and include sports such as tennis and golf, where the market is still young and fragmented. However, there are unlimited potential in these two markets in China. For tennis, the duo of Jie Zheng and Yan Zi became the first ever Chinese pair to capture a grand slam title in the Australian Open 2006, and its popularity is rising exponentially in China (see reference). For golf, it is fast becoming a favorite pastime especially among the middle-high income portion (mainly businessmen) of the population. Should Li-Ning allocate additional resources to expand on these two markets, they would be able to increase their profits and market shares significantly.

Li-Ning has also broken into the international market by forming a partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and sponsoring NBA players



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