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Nike Sprints Ahead of the Competition, Yet Has a Long Way to Run

1. Marketing research can help Nike understand the composition of the market, and determine
the best way of segmenting the market. It can shed light on the decision making process of
the consumers for athletic shoes. It can provide answers to questions such as: To what extent
are consumers influenced by brand image and how important are celebrities in fostering an
image? To what extent are consumers influenced by product characteristics and who are the
consumers that consider the product characteristics as very important? Exploratory research
should be conducted first to gain a basic understanding of such issues. This should be
followed by descriptive research in the form of a single cross-sectional survey.

2. There appear to be two segments in the market, one that is primarily concerned with image
and the other that focuses on product characteristics. The image segment is greatly
influenced by celebrity endorsements. The other segment considers the products
characteristics as very important and likes high performance athletic shoes.

3. What should Nike do to keep growing and protect its leadership position as the number one
U.S. athletic footwear company?

4. The marketing research problem is to determine the role that product characteristics, image,
and other factors play in influencing consumers’ choice of athletic shoe brands?

Specific components of the problem are:

a) What criteria are used by consumers in choosing athletic footwear?

b) How do consumers evaluate Nike and its competitors on these criteria?

c) What is the market share of Nike and its competitors in athletic footwear?

d) What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of consumers who are
concerned primarily with the image?

e) What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of consumers who are
concerned primarily with the product characteristics of athletic footwear?

5. Research Question
RQ: What is the lifestyle of consumers who purchase athletic footwear based on image?

Hypotheses:
H1: Consumers who purchase athletic footwear based on image are young and active.
H2: Consumers who purchase athletic footwear based on image are not price sensitive.

Research Question
RQ: What is the lifestyle of the typical Nike consumer?

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Hypotheses:
H1: The typical Nike consumer is young, and independent.
H2: The typical Nike consumer watches sports on television.

6. The Internet can be useful in conducting marketing research. Nike can use it to collect
background information on the industry, specific competitors, and other forms of secondary
data. The Internet can be used to conduct focus groups, depth interviews, and other forms of
qualitative research. Finally, the Internet can be used to conduct quantitative research using
surveys and experiments.

The Internet can also help Nike sell its products. The various products can be advertised and
displayed on the Internet. Consumers can purchase these products online by using a credit
card.

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