April 30, 2012
As a personal definition, marketing is a strategy to promote consumer awareness and positive feelings towards a brand or product in order to encourage the consumer to purchase or use that product. In more specific terms, the American Marketing Association (2012) defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” A simpler definition of marketing, as identified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (2012), are the activities and strategies that result in making products available that satisfy customers while making profits for the companies that offer those products. The key factor that all three definitions have in common is that the overall purpose of marketing is to appeal to consumers by showing them how a product or service can meet their needs and to influence them to purchase that product or service. A successful marketing strategy can catch a consumer’s attention and make the product or service stand out in a crowd of competitors who offer similar products.
Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign was able to build off of the fitness craze of the 1980s. Their main competitor, Reebok, had already successfully tapped into this market and controlled a sizeable portion of the sneaker business. Nike used celebrity endorsements in their marketing to appeal to consumers and ensure them that if their product was good enough for celebrities that it was good enough for them. The “Just Do It” campaign and celebrity endorsements made wearing Nikes the hip thing to do for both the athletic and non-athletic consumers alike. As a result of the company’s marketing, Nike saw their market share jump from 18% to 43% in the 1990s, and their sales increase from $800 million a year in 1988 to upwards of $9.2 billion in 1998 (D. Drew Design,...