The customers to which Nike will be marketing its new product are women who are interested in the skinny jeans look and also who are interested in being athletic. Not all women are athletes, but many of them are interested in looking fit and trim. Because they want to maintain a healthy weight and look nice for themselves and others, and because they wish to remain hip and trendy, skinny jeans are a good choice for them.
Marketing and Product Objectives
The main objectives for the product and its marketing are as follows:
Locate the appropriate target market
Showcase the product in relation to other skinny jeans already on the market for women today
Use the brand recognition already seen by Nike to ensure that the target market sees the value and quality in the new skinny jeans
Become a part of the skinny jeans market in a way that quickly becomes and remains profitable for the company
Use the skinny jeans marketing and sales as a development tool for consideration of future clothing opportunities.
The target markets for the women's skinny jeans developed by Nike will be women in the 15 to 50 age group. That is not to say that women over 50 cannot purchase or enjoy these jeans, but most women that age choose not to purchase skinny jeans. Within the age group specified, women who are more athletic and active will be more carefully targeted and will have a higher chance of purchasing the skinny jeans developed by Nike. These women are more likely to recognize the brand name and appreciate the quality, because they already have Nike products in their closet. They may use Nike products for working out, so they are more aware of the brand and have a better understanding of the quality of the product vs. The price point. Other women who are not as familiar with Nike will also be part of the target market, in an effort to build brand recognition and loyalty.
Points of Difference
Nike's skinny jeans are similar in many ways to the skinny jeans on the market today, but there are differences, as well. For example, the Dri-FIT fabric that Nike is using is not what is found in other women's skinny jeans today. Most jeans are made of denim, which is a durable material but does nothing to ensure that women wearing it stay cool and comfortable. With the Nike fabric, sweat will be wicked away from the body, keeping the wearer cooler and resulting in a higher level of comfort on hot days. That one main difference can help Nike showcase and position its product, because it indicates thoughtfulness about what women really want and need in an article of clothing. It also speaks to Nike's heritage of athletic apparel while showing that the company can make much more than just footwear, equipment, and workout attire for its customers.
To position the product effectively, it will need to be sold right alongside other brands of skinny jeans and also right alongside other Nike product offerings. That way Nike benefits from having the product close to what it already sells to the public, but the company also benefits from having the product located with the rest of the skinny jeans that are available. People may be surprised to come across skinny jeans with the Nike logo, but it is such a recognizable brand that there should be little confusion. The product will be sold in the U.S., and there will be stiff competition because there are already so many brands of skinny jeans on the market. However, Nike makes many of its sales from its online store and from its own retail stores, so women going to those places to purchase Nike products may choose to buy skinny jeans as well, rather than make a purchase of jeans elsewhere. Nike will be offering them convenience as well as quality, which is rarely unappreciated.
Marketing a new product can be difficult, even for a company that is doing well and that is highly recognized Porter, 1979; Porter & Millar, 1985; Porter, 1985). For Nike's women's skinny jeans, the goal will be to show women why they need these jeans - and why this particular brand is significant. In order to make sure people want what a company has, the product must be appealing (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2011). Since it cannot be completely fresh and new (there are already skinny jeans on the market), the product must be marketed in such a way that its main attributes and differences stand out from the crowd. For example, the product's Dri-FIT fabric is the main issue that should be brought to light when marketing it. This is something that is not found with other skinny jeans, and something that will set Nike's jeans apart from the rest. Just mentioning the fabric is not enough, however. It is important to show what the fabric is, what it does, and why women would want it as opposed to other skinny jeans that do not have this kind of fabric.
What is Dri-FIT? What does it do? How is that beneficial to women? These are all questions that should be answered in the ads that are created for the company. This information can also be on the website and on the tag that comes attached to the product. In order to market a product effectively, a company has to do more than just get that product out to the masses (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2011). The masses have to want and feel as though they need the product, and that is not going to come to pass if they do not understand the benefits of the product vs. The other products that are similar and that are already available to them. This is something Nike wants to carefully consider, because the jeans they are marketing are the same yet different from what is available on the market already. By showcasing the differences but not making the jeans appear too different, the company will have a much better chance of showing that the product is something that women want and need.
Nike has, traditionally, been more expensive than some of its counterparts. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is worth considering because there has to be a reason for the higher cost. Quality is the best reason, as well as having something that is different from the competition. With the Dri-FIT fabric, Nike has something that is different. The company also has a reputation for quality. The question that must be answered is: just how much do difference and quality translate to a higher price? Nike must price its new product at a level where it can make a profit, and customers expect that. The company is not running a charity, and is in the business of making apparel and other products to make money. Still, Nike also has to be sensitive to the needs of customers and how much those customers can spend. Careful research into what the market is currently bearing and how much it costs to make the skinny jeans is required in order to get a strong sense of where the price should be set and how much customers will be comfortable paying.
The price should be high enough to bring in a profit, but low enough so as to be affordable by the largest number of customers. There is no need to cut a segment of customers out of the market for want of a couple of dollars. How much do customers usually pay for skinny jeans? Would they pay more for the Dri-FIT technology or the Nike logo? How much more? Those questions need answers before Nike sets a price for its skinny jeans, so that the price is in line with what it needs to make on each pair of jeans but also in line with what customers are comfortable paying. Nike can, technically, charge whatever it wants for its jeans - but selling them at a particular price is something entirely different. Pricing must reflect the desires of the market, not just the desires of the company (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2011). Focus groups, surveys, and other ways of collecting data about what customers will be willing and able to pay can help Nike determine where to price its new product.
Promoting a product can be difficult, but Nike has one large advantage - it is already a big company with strong cash flow and good brand recognition. Because that is the case, there is plenty it can do to promote the new jeans. One…