The brand caters a promise of reliability, in effect that one stand behind their product. Branding is not an action we can realize overnight. A successful brand is built over time from the hundreds of little things we do right. . The brand is, at its core, an declaration of a standard performance. It guarantees that the product or service carrying that brand will live up to its reputation. The merit of a brand rises or falls with the integrity of the people behind it. The principles of the principals build or rupture a brand.
When running shoes first came on the market, it was a marvelous development over the old sneakers and high-tops. But soon the market became crowded with shoes bearing a wide variety of features, at a wide range of price points. The main players in the sports shoe industry are Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. Here, we will take into account the segmentation, target market and pricing strategies of the athletics- industry giants.
NIKE: A huge brand such as Nike transmits different messages to different groups based on gender, age, and sport. Nike's core benefit approach to people is athletic shoes with performance and style. As long as Nike imparts this message steadily, they achieve success. They have an undifferentiated market coverage strategy and they try to sell over many potential segmentation variables. In international markets Nike has a different positioning in each separate market. Additionally, there are several ethnic segments, such as females and Hispanics that they reflect on because of their increasing significance. Girls' participation in school team sports, like basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball, keeps rising and they are an important segment for the sports shoes business.
Nike finds that the bulk of consumers can recall the company's "Just do it" ad slogan. Nike builds its image by concentrating on the benefits of difference and diversity. In Ireland Nike is the governing brand among 12- to 13-year-old males. Adidas is the second preference here, with Reebok a relatively distant third. Nike depicts the best way to adapt a product without depending on brand-name recognition or the withholding of product attributes. The personality of their product patronizes loyalty among people of different ages. Nike's Air Jordan shoes have primary relationship with Michael Jordan's athletic prowess and secondary associations with the Chicago Bulls and winning. The more associations a brand has, the greater its impact in the consumer's memory and the more likely it is to be recalled. Nike ads presenting women with icon of competition even victory and a motto of self-reliance describe a version of feminism that is affirmative with their aspirations. In Southeast Asian countries, Nike footwear is a symbol of class and status. The prices charged here are relatively high, since the disposable income is low as compared to United States. The Nike slogan, 'just do it' revitalize people to believe everything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and does not give up. Hence, when purchasing Nike sportswear, customers do not only purchase the utilitarian product but recognize with the values and attitudes allied with the 'Nike story'. Nike footwear are well-known, but its basketballs, golf bags, soccer pads, football gloves and watches are less celebrated. Nike products are produced all over the world and have to some extent monopoly in the sports-shoes business.
Nike models proclaim the highest sales. In line with the traditional late summer peak in football shoe sales, two footballs' shoes again head up the list of the top-selling shoes in America based on units sold. The Nike Black Twitch Shark football cleat has now held its spot as the country's top-selling shoe. Another Nike football cleat takes up the second spot, as the Land Shark football cleat held its position fostering sales by nearly 6,800 units.
ADIDAS: Adidas also segments its market on the basis of gender, age, etc. They emphasize on oddball sports fans and a "For the love of sport" theme. They position their commodity as the gritty, adequately priced brand. Adidas shoes are cheaper than Nike and Reebok while delivering like tangible benefits. Adidas had at present taken some steps in the right direction. It had reduced manufacturing costs and brought new faculty into the management contingent. Adidas has built a loyal patronage among its target that cherishes the substance of their shoes more than the style. Their shoes seemed to recognize early on that not everyone sees sneakers as a fashion item. Adidas's customers demand support, and performance, rather than fashion fuzz. The company has built a solid reputation for more customized, high-performance sneakers, with a unique look rather than running after the prevailing fashion craze along with everyone else.
Adidas are in a capable position to market their product locally. This is most visible through the sponsorship of local athletes and events. The heart of the Adidas product line is athletic shoes, including tennis, running, and basketball. Adidas' Streetball events are very much targeted and perfected at a local level. The number 2 maker of sporting goods internationally, behind Nike, Adidas endorse sponsorship deals with popular U.S. football and basketball stars, as well as the New York Yankees.
Three years ago when Adidas America reached $1 billion in sales, it established itself as Nike's foremost competitor, beyond Reebok. However, after Adidas stumbled in 2000, the company is in motion to re-define its brand to comprise a line of up-scale shoes, starting at $125. Adidas looks set to exceed its ¥50 billion sales target by 2003 with a full range of new enthusiasm from this year and next. World Cup fever had already set the brand to a new high.
Adidas's Grid Iron Onslaught men's football cleat was sold by nearly 9,000 units.
REEBOK: Reebok like its competitors, cater to men of almost all ages. The Reebok Brand is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports and fitness footwear. Reebok's marketing research shows that in 1971, one of every twenty-seven (27) females was absorbed in sports. Now it is one in three. Therefore Reebok has put specific emphasis on the women sports market. In 1982, Reebok introduced the first athletic shoe designed especially for women; a shoe for a hot new physical fitness exercise called aerobic dance. The shoe was called the Freestyle™, and with it Reebok foreseen and inspired three major trends that transformed the athletic footwear industry, the aerobic exercise movement, the inflow of women into sports and exercise and the recognition of well-designed athletic footwear by adults for street and casual wear.
In the mid-1980s, Reebok was able to grow its business instantly by manufacturing athletic shoes of garment leather that granted greater relaxation than other competitor's shoes. The main targets for these shoes were women, who were not being targeted by the competition. When this strategy was flourishing, Reebok endeavored to attract the male athletic shoe market, a strategy that met with a strong counteraction by Nike to defend its target as well as to attract Reebok users.
The increased visibility of the Reebok brand on thousands of professional athletes is introducing the brand in a very pure way to core consumers. And, their partnership with the NBA will further drive their growing basketball business, which is being energized by Allen Iverson and other signed athletes.
Trends in athletic shoe industry: It would be fair to say that the athletic footwear business is represented by Nike, Reebok, Adidas who have been actually on a growth phenomenon from the 1960's onward. There has been a move away from pure athletic shoes in the last 10 years to the rugged brown shoe, the type of footwear that people wear when in the outdoors, walking or hiking. There has been penetrating growth in this area and less importance on the proverbial…