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Overall Aims.

The following report will attempt to identify the Brand Identity and Proposition of the global sportswear brand Nike. It will aim to look at the differentiation points Nike have highlighted through aspects such as Advertising, Stores, the choice of Logo and tag lines. By applying models such as Brand positioning and Brand Identity a picture of the strategy Nike use for the Brand will become clear.


Nike’s mission statement is:

“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”

Bill Bowerman, one of Nike’s Founders is quoted as saying “If you have a body, you are an athlete” and this defines how Nike pursues it destiny. (, 1/10/07).

With humble beginnings selling shoes from the back of a van at track meets in the USA, Nike is now one of the biggest sportswear companies in the world operating on six continents. Nike is the leading sports footwear brand with a 47% Market share (Mintel, September 2005) and in the UK Nike employs over 800 team members (, 1/11/2007).

NIKETOWN London opened in 1999 and is one of 14 NIKETOWNS around the world. The now famous London store has become a tourist attraction in itself. Nike describes the store as “3D experience of the brand… to be the leading sports retail experience in the world” ( 22/10/2007)

Nike also now owns a number of other brands to add to its portfolio. Cole Haan, an American company for men’s and women’s dress shoes, Hurley International for action sports such as snowboarding and surfing, Nike Bauer Hockey for equipment related to ice-hockey and street skating and finally Converse, the cult brand of retro style trainers and accessories. These brands operate with their own strategy and policy and although owned by Nike Inc they operate as brands of their own. Nike have also recently acquired Umbro in there portfolio as a means to dominate the English football kit market, Umbro being one of their main sponsorship competitors in the UK as sponsors of the England team.

Brand Architecture

Nike sub-brands.

Nike’s first true sub-brand was Air Jordan (, 25/10/2007) a range of sports shoes and clothing in collaboration and endorsement with basketball star Michael Jordan. The success was phenomenal “the Jordan brand is now worth Ð'Ј1300 Million worldwide” (Powell, Versteegen, March 2007) and paved the way for sponsorship and endorsement in sports.

They then went on to create ranges targeted to unique consumer segments. Some of the collections included Air Force, Flight, Air Raid, Challenge Court and Air MAX. “Each collection had its own design, pricing, promotion and advertising strategy, but was connected with the Nike brand and it’s values” (, 25/10/2007).

Previously the brand was divided into three segments; footwear, apparel and equipment (O’Leary, 19/3/2007). However this was re-organised and the sub-brands are now Nike Performance; for athletes and aspirational customers; Nike Active for “gym to street” and Nike Fusion, high tech fabrics with “aggressive styling” (, 25/10/2007). Nike ID allows the consumer to get involved in the design process themselves by choosing colours, style and details for your own trainers that are then sent to your door. This innovative idea from Nike has immeasurable brand building benefit, “when a shoe that you have designed arrives at your door, it changes the way you feel about Nike” (Oser, 11/7/2005).

Price and target customer.

Nike target customer has stretched far and wide from just those interested in running shoes. With the increased focus on healthy living and exercise and the fashion appeal of sports brands, Nike now has a diverse target customer from hardcore athletes, fitness freaks, street styled teens and even sports basics for an older generation. Nike has managed to create mass appeal and place them at the forefront of sportswear.

Brand Identity

“Think Nike. It’s a powerful brand that has bridged most segments of the their market and nearly everyone in the world knows exactly what Nike does” (, 25/10/2007).

The way in which Nike sees it’s brand identity is very important, as this is essentially the self-image that will be projected to the consumer. “In terms of brand management, identity precedes image” (Kapferer, 1997, p94).

Nike takes its name from the Greek goddess of victory; she stands for victory both in battle and peaceful competition (, 07/11/2007). A picture of the Goddess Nike was also a feature on Olympic medals as according to Greek mythology, Zeus sent her to earth to crown the winners.

Nike has thus created a short, memorable brand name with a good ring to it and reverent meaning to its product category.


The Nike “swoosh” was created in 1971 for $35 and was registered as a trademark in 1995. The logo was designed to represent the wings of the goddess Nike. The Nike logo is a classic case of a company gradually simplifying its corporate identity as its fame increases (, 8/11/2007)

In 1988 the slogan “just do it” was introduced, which would “amount to what most people consider the most definitive and effective tagline in history” (, 8/11/2007)

“The "JUST DO IT" slogan and logo design campaign communicated such a strong point of view to their market that the meaning for the logo design symbol evolved into a battle cry and the way of life for an entire generation” (, 8/11/2007)

Nike Advertising,

Nike’s award winning marketing and products



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