In Greek mythology, Nike was the Winged Goddess of Victory. The Romans called her Victoria. Her sisters are named Strength, Force, and Zeal in various languages. Today we think of Nike as a sports-brand outfitter, but one that encourages us all to strive to victory.
The primary customer segment which Nike targets are individuals in the 18-40 age group who are either actively involved in athletics or live in households that are.
The numbers that Nike is able to bring in are staggering. Just 850+ stores generate over $27 billion of revenues every year. They have nearly 4x the amount of footwear sales than their nearest competitor. As a brand, their global market share is expected to be near 30% by the end of the decade. They’ve been able to accomplish this by understanding their core demographics.
The Core Demographics of Nike
- Nike targets US consumers with their branded products more than any other nation in the world today.
- This brand’s vision is to equip all teens with their athletic apparel in popular sports, most notably different versions of football around the world.
- Every socioeconomic demographic has at least one core target area for Nike. Race, ethnicity, income – the goal is directed more toward a positive exposure of the brand.
- No single distribution outlet outside of Nike’s retail outlets accounted for more than 10% of their overall revenues, proving the level of demographic diversification this brand has.
- Outside of North America, Western Europe is the largest geographic demographic for this brand.
The message that Nike spreads to every customer segment is simple. If you want to look good and improve your performance at the same time, then Nike is the brand you’re going to want to wear. The trademark swoosh symbol is known across all socioeconomic demographics and is a top desired brand no matter how much money a household may earn. Of course higher income individuals receive more overall marketing targets, but this brand is unique because of its high level of saturation. In many ways, it is the Coca Cola of its industry.
Why Nike Continues to Grow
- Nike has spent more than $3 billion over the last decade in advertising.
- It has an extensive social networking presence as a brand, with over 12 million people liking their Facebook page and over 1 million people following them on Twitter.
- Men are targeted more often than women with training products as Nike sees a 2-1 spending ratio between the genders.
- Emerging markets account for $0.15 of every $1 in revenue that Nike earns.
- Despite all of these emphasis points, Nike is still only ranked #5 as a brand with consumers in the core 18-24 age demographic. In comparison, those who are 45-65 rank Nike second.
Nike continues to grow because of its older demographics promoting their products by word of mouth. The glory days of athlete partnerships with Michael Jordan and other top superstars has not been replicated in recent years, which means Nike is fueled by the brand loyalty it generated over 20 years ago in some instances. Unless emerging markets continue to grow, the aging population will effectively cause Nike’s market share to shrink. This is why there is such an advertising push right now toward the younger demographics with this brand.
How Nike Could Change Everything?
- The younger targeted demographics of Nike are concerned about global impacts of the brands they represent, so a focus on changing labor standards and other manufacturing processes could create a more positive brand image.
- Union households, which generally have a higher overall household income than non-union households, are leery of Nike due to incidents like one that occurred in Indonesia where a workers was detained for 7 days simply for suspected efforts to unionize.
- Up to 30% of Nike’s total business costs in some emerging markets are bribes given directly to top government officials.
- Forced overtime and labor law violations in numerous countries without acknowledgment may drive even more people away form the brand.
Now more than ever, people feel like when they wear a brand, they are representing the actions of that company. For the older demographics, this representation is of NBA championships and other moments of sporting glory. For the younger demographics, it is a representation of a Vietnamese supervisor who struck more than a dozen women with a Nike shoe because of their poor sewing skills. To become a legend, you must do more than just dress the part. You must also be legendary in everything you do. If Nike can make these transformations, then they really could change everything.