Reebok and Nike are athletic apparel companies with differing promotional strategies and marketing. They sell similar products, particularly sneakers and are known globally as companies that promote athletic lifestyles through their sporting goods. The footwear industry, for which Nike and Reebok have their niche is a tough industry to not only market in, but also sustain profits. Both companies although different in their approach, have managed to create a brand that appeals to a wide and broad market. Researching their promotional strategies and company profiles, the differences and similarities become visible lending to possible analysis of both of the companies' strong and weak points.
Reebok's promotional campaigns are different from Nike's. A good example of this is Reebok's 2002 promotional campaign using a well-known Irish footballer as the central focus. The company timed its advertisements with the footballer before the beginning of the World Cup of that same year. His involvement in the Republic of Ireland team was to play an integral point in catching the attention of consumers. This strategy backfired when the player was sent home by the team's manager. The negative publicity received from the untimely dismissal forced Reebok to abandon the campaign. The company lost all of the contracts and recording costs that had been bought before the footballer was sacked as captain.
Nike's promotional strategy although uses celebrity endorsement from time to time relies on emotional branding to reach their target group. Nike's brand strategy is all about building a powerful brand. They believe customer loyalty will come inspirational images that promote a struggle against hero and foe, where the victor emerges triumphant. The victor in this case is the consumer. The consumer battles against the foe, "laziness" and through the use of the company's sneakers, they defeat "laziness" and become something greater.
Both promotional strategies offer consumer a means of achieving more than they are used to. They both wish to inspire the consumer into becoming something better than what they are now. Reebok does this by using inspirational and well-known figures to show their product helps these notable athletes achieve the results they have and Nike inspires consumers by using their products a means of combating negative aspects of personality like laziness (Knight, 2002, pp. 541-570). Although the strategies here are different, they achieve similar outcomes which are to inspire and motivate the consumer.
Recommendations to better both Reebok and Nike's promotional strategies would be to support the everyday individual to achieve more through "little things." To begin, Nike wishes to promote hero emotional branding. This although effective, doesn't reach everyone. Some people already have the mindset of achieving and do not feel a connection when it comes to this promotional method.
Instead Nike can focus their campaign on giving average people their product, sneakers, and having them achieve "little victories" every day. For instance, a commercial can feature an overweight woman with Nike sneakers on. She slips them on after a long day of work and goes and climbs up stairs as she heads out to take the subway. This kind of emotional branding makes the consumer feel like they can use these sneakers to do more in their lives and become more active, thus instilling confidence in them to do more and therefore be more. This can be a long-term promotion as people of various walks of life can perform in the commercials.
People like to achieve. That's why people play games like "Flappy Bird" and "World of Warcraft." They want to feel like they can accomplish something even if it is small. Motivating consumers by making them see the product can get them these small accomplishments really helps in instilling in the consumer loyalty and confidence in not just the product, but themselves. They will feel that attachment and therefore consider the sneakers when they want to achieve something positive in their lives.
The same can be done with Reebok. Reebok likes to use celebrity endorsement, which many companies do. However, if they go instead for real life interviews with every day people discussing how good they feel in Reebok sneakers and how much they got done in for instance, a workout, while wearing the sneakers, it'll make consumers again attach positive emotions and experiences with the sneaker. It is all about relating something to something else. In this case, the connection is made through getting more done, being more active, with wearing Reebok sneakers. This can be a short-term promotional strategy as people like to see what others think but not all the time. Sometimes they do want to emulate people who are more successful or more accomplished, and that's fine.
All the promotional strategies in the world will ultimately fail if the right consumer group is not targeted. Getting to know the consumer is the best way to form a connection and create customer loyalty. Nike is a widely known sneaker brand. With their large customer base, they can use the information they gain from their customers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. A simple survey conducted on their website can gather information from their consumer base to figure out what kind of events, things, people motivate their consumers to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. After all, Nike promotes an active lifestyle, so it needs to know what makes people want to be active and healthy.
Key information on consumers will lead to better advertisements and higher rates of customer satisfaction. Nike has used the information they've acquired as shown by this quote: "Nike has been especially adept at integrating claims to social responsibility into a promotional strategy that involves two major elements: extensive endorsements and sponsorships, and the use of information subsidies" (Knight, 2002, pp. 543). In an article by Joshi and Hanssens, they describe brand-related intangible assets and firm value. They suggest marketing variables provide an impact on brand-related intangible assets by the kind of branding strategy the company adopts. This also signifies that customer satisfaction and firm value are linked leading to the conclusion that advertising has an "indirect impact on firm value, as well as a direct effect" (Joshi & Hanssens, 2010, pp. 21).
Besides the online-based survey, another method that can gain valuable customer knowledge and therefore a competitive edge is customer satisfaction surveys and reviews. If customers place reviews on the website and in other places where they buy Nike products, which they do in sites like Amazon, new customers or potential customers will see others opinions on the product and become more informed. Tailoring and modifying products based on real customer reviews will help and does help companies like Nike not only create a better product, but also develop that highly coveted customer trust and loyalty. People all over trust and believe in the quality of Nike sneakers.
Trust is an important thing to have when it comes to the purchasing patterns of most buyers. In an article by Saha, Dey, and Bhattacharyya their findings show that quality and durability are "the most important factors among the product factors followed by design and product warranty" (Rajiv, 2002, pp. 88). Therefore if Nike establishes a well-designed, well-made product, based off of the opinions of previous customers, they'll be able to generate a product that many will want to buy and use. Trust, well-made, reliable, these are words that resonate with all kinds of consumers from varying degrees, from the teenage fast food worker to the jet setting business executive. People want to buy things that will last them and will make them feel like they spent the money they work hard to earn wisely.
Digital billboards are something that most people think get the highest bang for the buck. This is true. It reaches many people without needing to use up too much capital. However, it does have its limitations. It only provides a still image and around 8 words to showcase a brand or product. Because Nike is all about image, emotion, and active lifestyle, billboards will help them the most as an effective advertising medium. The reason being, the image of Nike is already well-known, so moving images do not have to convey the message that Nike has already established. Additionally, since their promotional strategy relies on emotional branding, they don't need an advertisement with too many words to convey their message.
Their message can be of a man dunking a ball with his Nike sneakers on and his friends cheering him on the sidelines with the message: "Just did it." This will not only get people when looking at the billboards, but will also motivate them to seek the product because the message conveys victory, reward, and accomplishment. Many people drive, especially in America. They see billboards and data suggests it helps them in their decision to buy things. "One in Five Viewers Discussed an Ad Seen on a Billboard with Other People. 19% of travelers who recalled a specific ad on the digital billboards said they talked about the advertising message with their family or coworkers that…