The Impact of Nike Inc.’s Utilization of Sustainable Business Practices in Their Marketing Strategy on Brand Equity, Brand Image and Brand Loyalty

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Dupree, Alex R.
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The purpose of this study was to determine how impactful Nike’s use of social cause marketing, more importantly sustainability marketing was on Nike’s brand equity, brand image, brand loyalty. To analyze this impact, the researcher used Nike’s more recent, and very ambitious “Move to Zero” campaign that was announced in September of 2019. With this campaign making headlines across the world, and the internet, one would think that the campaign would have a relatively high recognition and even higher impact on brand equity. The variables tested in this study consisted of Brand Equity, Brand Image, Brand Loyalty, and Brand Trust. They were mainly tested with purchase history, initial reactions to the “Move to Zero” campaign, and product appeal rating, which was calculated by the respondent’s answers to multiple questions regarding their feelings for the Nike brand. An electronic, 37 question survey was administered to survey respondents 18+ years of age. After data was collected, responses were grouped into two different age groups of 18-36 and 37 and up. This was in an effort to try and understand what impact and relationships generational groupings might have on responses to questions in this research. There were 180 responses collected for this research, 80 respondents (44.4%) were of the millennial age group and the remaining 100 (55.6%) were of older generations. A total of five Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions were taken and analyzed at the .05 confidence level and tested further to the 0.01 confidence level if data was found to be significant at the 0.05 level. The null hypotheses predicted that age, and education level would both have large and positive relationships with the tested variables. In addition, subjects from the millennial groups were predicted to have a more positive relationship towards sustainable sportswear than the non-millennial generation. The results of the regressions analyzed have revealed several patterns. First, age was found to have a statistically significant and positive relationship between initial reactions towards sustainable initiatives, sustainable sportswear product appeal, and brand trust. Millennials were far more likely to have positive relationships with these variables than non-millennials. Second, gender was found to have a statistically significant and negative relationship with initial reactions towards sustainable initiatives, sustainable sportswear product appeal, and brand trust. Male identifying subjects were far more likely to have negative reactions towards the three tested variables than those who identified as female. Third, ethnicity was not found to have a huge impact on the study, only producing one statistically significant and negative relationship at the 0.05 confidence level with brand trust. Minorities are much more likely to trust the Nike brand than white subjects, but the remaining dependent variables presented no significant relationships with ethnicity. Fourth, surprisingly, athletic level had no statistically significant relationships to any tested variable in the study, including one that was hypothesized, brand trust, as athletes tend to grow fond of their preferred brand. Fifth, education level was found to have a statistically significant and positive relationship with both awareness and brand trust at the 0.05 and 0.01 confidence level, providing evidence in favor of one of the study’s hypotheses that education level had an impact on sustainable and beneficial initiatives that go beyond the aesthetic appeal of a product do add value to a brand. These results help partially show what kind of an impact Nike’s “Move to Zero” campaign and sustainable initiatives have on their Brand Equity, Brand Image, Brand Loyalty and Brand Trust.
57 p.
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