Globalization has led to many manufacturers focusing on increasing their revenues and profitability. However, there are a few global organizations like Nike that believe without sustainability efforts no business can grow and become successful. In fact, Nike has gone on record to say sustainability is one of the key components of success and no forward-thinking company can survive without sustainability efforts.
These beliefs have guided Nike from its inception until today. It takes CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) very seriously and is continually striving to reduce the negative impact its manufacturing practices have on the environment.
Nike has revised its environmental strategy and this was explained in-depth in the company’s annual sustainability report. The company’s vision is to reduce its environmental impact by sustainable use of resources, such as materials, water and energy. So, they have joined hands with their material vendors and contract manufacturers to reduce the negative impact on the environment and they hope to achieve a goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals into the environment by 2020. Nike has established a new Manufacturing Index, a rating system to evaluate its contract manufacturers worldwide and select the ones that conform to its sustainability efforts.
Nike’s Marketing Approach
Nike has realized its customers are gradually becoming more environmentally conscious and are questioning retailers who do not have sound sustainability practices in place. Nike has always put its customers’ interest first and this has been the basis of all its marketing strategies. This time too the company is doing the same.
It does not leave any stone unturned to speak about the changes it is bringing in its manufacturing practices. Just like when the company introduced Nike Moon shoes when consumers were beginning to understand and digest jogging was good for health. Now that consumers realize saving precious resources and reducing (or doing away) with hazardous discharges are a must, Nike has gone beyond CSR to highlight its endeavors.
When Bill Bowerman, one of the co-founders of Nike, wanted to promote jogging as a sport, he believed in this idea completely. This laid the foundation for all the company’s marketing efforts. In modern times, the company once more realized the importance of protecting and saving the environment and fully believes in this. So, efforts are ongoing to make its manufacturing partners and vendors compliant to its sustainability practices.
By clubbing its sustainability efforts and marketing, Nike has broken the shackles most sports shoe and apparel manufacturers face. The company is all set to explore sustainable business practices and has not made any attempts to hide it. This has further endeared the brand and consumers are more than willing to shell out money to own a lightweight pair of Nikes with waffle tread.
The Bottom Line
The “Just Do It” tagline and Air Jordan may be imprinted in most consumers’ mind, but Nike is more than just a brand. It takes its responsibilities towards environment quite seriously and this has become a focal point in the company’s marketing approach. The company is focusing less on compliance to standards, though it is still important, and paying more attention to rewarding factors for continuous improvement, management practices and having the right performance controls in place. By taking these steps, Nike is seeking locations and manufacturing partners who can offer higher quality, which, in turn, will yield higher sales.