Nike, most known for sneakers and athletic shoes, is one of the largest athletic wear companies in the world. Despite being so popular, the brand tends to release the same four or five shoe designs with different colorways and some variations every season. Many of Nike's products have been around for decades but still receive massive hype for every collaboration and re-release. How has Nike managed this?
Besides kicks, Nike is widely known for brand deals with professional athletes and celebrities. Every star from Drake to Serena Williams has been featured in Nike ad campaigns and has been seen out and about sporting the signature swoosh. These celebrities have massive followings and have successfully influenced fans to follow their lead with Nike as their main athletic and athleisure brand.
To make these stars shine in advertisements, Nike has gathered a marketing team with a knack for providing thought-provoking and "woke" gimmicks to the brand. Touching on themes like failure, courage, gender roles, and discrimination.
Most recently, Nike is working on a collaboration with Tiffany and Co. The brand has integrated Tiffany's signature Tiffany Blue with Air Force 1's and other products. This is something that is quite unique to Nike's brand as Tiffany and Co. rarely do collaborations, and when they have in the past, it has been with higher-end brands like Supreme and Fendi. Overall, the reaction to sneak peeks of the collaboration has been mixed. Many people were expecting more bling, while others liked the simplicity of the collection. The limited collection includes black Air Force 1's with a Tiffany Blue swoosh complete with silver metal ascents, a silver whistle, a silver shoe horn, and a silver shoe brush. The collaboration is set to release in March of this year, so we will just have to check back and see how it does!
In the past few years, Nike has kept up with world events and been quite outspoken about discrimination against women in the middle east. These ads included female boxer Zeina Nassar training and speaking about the struggles she faces as a female Middle Eastern athlete. The athleticwear brand paired these ads with a release of a collection of athletic hijabs and head coverings which was a product that was not widely seen on the market beforehand. It's not every day that you see such a massive company stand up for human rights, which is what makes Nike so different and appealing to consumers.
In addition, to staying on top of world events, the sportswear company also keeps up with streetwear trends and dominates the niche. Nike has embraced this niche culture and drops limited lines and collections along with collaborations with other streetwear brands like Stussy and Off-White. Nike has also done deals with high-end designers such as Virgil Abloh, Riccardo Tisci, Kim Jones, and Rei Kawakubo (pictured from left to right). These partnerships have made Nike a brand that is constantly featured on the runway, giving them a new status in the fashion world.
Besides ads, Nike has captivated audiences by using the idea of nostalgia to sell products. They have the ability to pull on customers' heartstrings by re-releasing retro clothing and shoes that were around when these consumers were growing up. This tactic has made many of their more retro products the most popular, including Air Force 1's, Air Jordan 1's, Nike Dunks, and the signature Nike sweatsuits. Although these products have been around for decades, they still receive massive hype and attention with every release of a different collaboration and colorway. Everyone seems to love these retro products, so they aren't leaving the shelves anytime soon.
Just because Nike has stayed at the top of the sportswear, activewear, and streetwear games does not mean that they are without fault.
Nike has stayed on top of the game because of its genius marketing. The combination of nostalgia, celebrity endorsements, and awareness of world events makes for marketing that has never been seen before outside of this one company. What Nike has done here is create profound brand loyalty in their customers, making it so that they will stay at the top of the athleticwear game for a long time to come. In short, hats off to the Nike marketing team!