Why Nike Has Mastered the Art of Online Brand Management

It is no doubt that Nike is one of the most valuable apparel brands in the world. Going through just 55 years since foundation, Nike has proved its market leader with high stock value and a total of 1,152 retail stores in 120 countries.

Nike’s success is thanks to many factors and the most important factor is its brand strategy. Throughout development, Nike never loses but consistently develops the key drivers of innovation, efficiency and creativity. Since “Just Do It” trademark was first used in 1988, the slogan has evolved but been simple as always. Today Nike logo is just too popular, especially among young people.

Yet it is undeniable that Nike also faces chaos through its long history of controversial commercials. Being clear about its brand identity and brand equity, Nike has stepped into brand activism to stand for something that is important for the society. No matter how positive or negative it is from online commenters, Nike has still strongly remained persistent for what is right.

Yet it is not easy for any businesss to be bold and willing to go beyond the limit of tradition and majority of likeness to educate people something that is worth attention. Race and gender are among sensitive topics that are difficult to satisfy everyone. But Nike has done it very well. It is an art.

So, why Nike has mastered the art of online brand management?

Proper response to criticism

Being claimed for sweatshop and sexist working environment, Nike reacted by giving speeches to the press of promising to increase minimum wage, examine factories, expand education programs, strive for human rights, etc. Although some critics still doubt about the reality of Nike’s action, we need to acknowledge Nike’s effort in gaining back trust from the public.

Take responsibility

According to Nike news, Nike named top 10 for social responsibility report. The information is released to the public in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, helping Nike to achieve the commitment of transparency and good value for the environment and society. This is also a proper response to people who have negative information about Nike’s impact on the environment.

Let people talk

Search engines have various content about good and bad Nike, and Nike just lets people talk about them without mass dictation. Some people might say it is hard to control everything on the Internet, so businesses cannot hide all criticisms. It might be true, but if you search something about Nike, it’s all from press and online comments. Nike did not stop the public from addressing their thoughts. It patiently hopes for people’s support and collects negative content to appear better next time. That’s why every time we see something new from Nike, it is almost good or towards good. For example, the most controversial topic people ever talked about Nike was probably 2018 ad involving Colin Kaepernick. At first, people criticized Nike for choosing a wrong spokesperson, and stock price started falling. But later, more people supported Nike for standing for racial justice, and sales increased. Until recent ad “Dream Crazier”, Nike has appeared again with confidence in supporting women.

Aspirational advertising

No matter what, we need to agree that Nike knows how to brand itself far beyond a shoes maker but towards the value of sport in people’s lives. All Nike’s commercials are appealing to people’s emotions, and people remember Nike as a brand standing for never-give-up dreamers, young athletes, woman, and social justice. Whatever topic that Nike raises, it stands out against the mass and bravely speaks out for someone that most brands are afraid to do. Yet it is risky, but it is worthy to fight for something that matters than just making money.


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