A road to success through localisation: Nike case study

Nike started as a sports shoes, apparel, and equipment selling company, but now it does much more. Founded in 1964 in Oregon, United States, it now sells its products in 170 countries. The famous swoosh logo and the tagline “Just Do It,” are recognised almost everywhere in the world. From making shoes for a Japanese shoe brand to having dozens of brands working under it, Nike has had a long and successful journey.

How Nike became a globally renowned brand- Market Strategy.

Nike and Sports

First of all, Nike associated itself with sports on a global level. Whether it be football, basketball, cricket, track, or tennis, Nike was sponsoring it all. Nike partnered with the most celebrated athletes such as Christiano Ronaldo, Rafel Nadal, Lebron James, Neymar, and recently signed a deal with Naomi Osaka. Nike has also sponsored the Indian Cricket Team since 2005. It makes kits, gears, uniforms, and equipment for teams all around the world. The reason Nike became a global name is that it cashed on the fame of athletes, after all, people would want what their idols are wearing.

source: footyheadlines.com

Creating Deep Customer Relationship

Unlike Adidas who entered the market of selling Jordans or Sneakers late, Nike was quick to adapt to the preferences of customers with a shift in fashion trend and tastes. It did not make the mistake of labelling itself as a sports fashion brand but instead, the message of aspiring individuals to utilise their athletic ability worked perfectly in sync with setting trends and be updated with the fashion streets.

3. Various Brands of Nike: Nike didn’t change its products much to fit into the local market because sports transcend the barriers of culture, region, and language. However, their slogan “if you have a body, you’re an athlete,” do not just target athletes, it targets people from the sports-loving community and those who are not into sports and fitness as well.

Nike always studies what their consumers want. They create not only products, but brands such as Jordans, Converse, and Hurley International, still targeting a specific set of consumers, i.e., youth. Although, when they expanded to China, they did create limited edition shoe-range for Shanghai consumers, the rest of the product line remained the same.

Alongside this, the infamous Nike’s Swoosh and the tagline ‘Just do it’ stands out the most within the sports apparel market than any other brand possibly can not because of the simplicity of these items but because Nike has aligned its reputation to the message they impart to their audiences. Targetting emotional sentiments of the general public unlike its competitors, Nike inculcates the log and the tagline EVERYWHERE and anywhere possible. with a clear message (disregarding any doubts to their stand) Nike sails very smoothly with millennials and Gen Z who prefer straightforward brand message than complicated/ conflicted attitudes. And since most of the sports celebrities sail with the same mindset, it was very easy for this brand to rise above its competitors.

Key components for its global success

Nike mostly thrives on innovation, product quality, its R&D department (Nike Sports Research Lab), and the marketing team. Nike knew even earlier that the future would belong to sustainable products and so they designed their products accordingly. They also have their category teams who speak the local language, see the world through their eyes, and are entirely at home since Nike put a lot of effort into customer relationships. The company believes that knowing their consumer gives them the ability to create compelling products.

Nike Official Website Localization

Nike has also localized its website according to regions; it incorporates the location button on its homepage; from that, it instantly gives the country options to choose. Most of the countries have the local language while some of them still use English, such as Japan and UAE.

source: translationroyale.com

Nike Localization across national offices

During a 2019 conference, Senior Global Localization Manager to Nike Merelo said that they see Localization as a value-add. He said that they had already developed ‘a global team of language specialists.’ The localization isn’t to connect with customers. Still, the company’s teams, which are spreading throughout various countries indicate very fewer communication barriers. Merelo says that their delivery time is short which is an important factor to keep customers happy. He also mentioned the localization of SEO glossaries, but it can only take you so far and is much more complicated than it seems.

Nike Social Media Presence

Nike has a strong Social media presence with 35 million followers on Nike Facebook, 8.2 million followers on Nike Twitter,1.47 million followers on Youtube, and 118 million followers on Instagram. Nike is more active on Twitter and Instagram, sharing its stance on social causes around the world.

source: https://www.instagram.com/nike/

The main Nike accounts aren’t divided by regions or countries, which makes up for a global Nike community, and that’s what Nike wants to give to its customer-a sense of togetherness through its brand. However, Nike does have multiple accounts based on sports such as Nike Basketball, Nike Football, Nike Golf, etc. which brings all fans of a particular sport together to increase social interaction and helps the brand gain collective feedback from its customers.


The company’s strategy is to go global, not by targeting the audience via region but via their different needs. It says that its primary source of innovation is what its customer wants or needs; that’s why it has multiple brands to suit every type of customer. As for localizing, the company didn’t embrace it, fearing it would look like it has come out of google translation and hamper the company’s brand image. Still, now it is understanding the process and have a global team working together for seamless communication across many national headquarters and using localization to create a localized website.

By Pooja Srivastav
Team Loc-N-Apps
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Localisation is the Future!