agencyfaqs! News Bureau,
Apparel will be a key initiative $11-billion Nike's business strategy in India. "India has immense potential in apparel business, and we want to use this opportunity to increase our marketshare substantially," a company source told newsmen recently.
Since the time Nike entered India in 1996, the company had focused on understanding the Indian market, and adopted brand promotion exercises for creating demand. "Now that we have made our brand familiar to the Indian consumer, we are making this focused effort to let people know that Nike goes much beyond footwear," the official said.
Nike's focus has been to design and manufacture product engineered to meet the sporting needs of athletes across various sports - like running, tennis, basketball, soccer, golf, cross-training and all-condition gear, meant for the rugged outdoors and extreme weather conditions for sports like mountaineering, river-rafting, mountain-biking, among others.
However, the products available in each of these sports categories go beyond footwear to include performance-based apparel, accessories and equipment. "Therefore, as a key growth strategy, Nike plans to focus on making its consumers relate to the Nike brand outside of their regulated sports regimen. The idea is that they should be able to and embrace the brand in the larger context of their active or fitness oriented lifestyles," the official explained.
To extend the brand appeal beyond sports to youth and culture, Nike has evolved the Branded Athletics range or its Freestyle range of products with a higher accent on style and design innovation. The communication strategy for Branded Athletics emerges from the platform of positioning — high on attitude and lifestyle statements made in the context of sports and fitness.
The company has been launching an average of 30-40 new footwear and about 100 new apparel styles per annum. It currently operates in India through a licensee, Sierra Industrial Enterprises, with Nike managing the brand and Sierra handling distribution. Nike recently shifted its corporate headquarters to Bangalore, where it will have its marketing office, apparel export base and product design centre. It opened its largest Indian showroom in Bangalore recently on a 3,500-sq ft area.
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