Employer Branding Ideas
London, UK
Employer Branding Ideas
London, UK
Just Do It: Nike’s Employer Brand
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We’re all familiar with the one of the world’s biggest brands: Nike, Inc. Maybe you have one of their products, have seen the marketing campaigns or just recognise the famous swoosh on their gear. The Nike brand has a huge reputation, following and budget, but what about their employer brand?

They have built quite a name for themselves as a consumer brand, since they’re one of the world’s biggest brands after all, including viral content, campaigns, sponsorships and global ambassadors that really get people talking. But besides the consumer brand, we’re more interested in delving into Nike’s employer brand.

In short

Just to make sure you’re familiar with the company, we’ve summed up a few facts and figures:

  • Nike is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services.
  • The headquarter is based in the area of Beaverton, Oregon, United States of America.
  • The company was founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight as Blue Ribbon Sports, but officially turned into Nike, Inc. in 1972.
  • The most recent number of employees dates back to May 2017, with 70,700 employees.
  • According to Forbes, Nike reached a revenue of $33.82 billion in 2017. The corporation has products under its own brand, like Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, as well as subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse.

Mission & Ambition

The global brand has a clear mission, ambition and focus. As they mention on their website, sustainability has become a game-changer for Nike. They have a bold ambition to innovate, that fuels their creative design process which they call ‘Sustainable Innovation’.

“BRING INSPIRATION AND
INNOVATION TO EVERY
ATHLETE* IN THE WORLD
*IF YOU HAVE A BODY, YOU ARE AN ATHLETE.

Typical Nike ads are all about movement and exercise. People are pushing themselves and not giving up. The brand has an ideology that everyone is an athlete. Both professional athletes as well as “regular people” are shown in Nike’s advertising campaigns. Everyone is pushing their limits to reach their individual goals, whether that’s a world championship or a run around the neighbourhood. Comfort and style are second, but also important to the brand, since you have to be comfy and cool to be able to hit the gym.

Ambition: “DOUBLE OUR BUSINESS, WITH HALF THE IMPACT.”

What do they mean by that? This is a very broad ambition, but we’ll take a look at that in the next chapter, since this ambition also appears to be all about sustainability and environment.

Sustainability & Environment

On the Nike, Inc website, the current CEO made a bold statement about the way sustainability should be implemented not just once as a temporarily trending topic, but throughout the entire product chain of the brand.

“IF ALL WE DO IS CREATE A SINGLE LINE OF GREEN PRODUCTS, WE WILL HAVE FAILED. SUSTAINABILITY MUST BE A DESIGN ETHOS ACROSS ALL OUR PRODUCTS.”  – Mark Parker, President and CEO, NIKE, Inc.

Nike also released a Sustainable Business Report about the fiscal year 2014-2015. The most important goal is to eventually become 100% sustainable, with standards that are defined by Nike, Inc. themselves.

Community & Employees

Nike’s core values are creativity, diversity and continuous learning. And to bring out the best in their people, Nike, Inc. offers tons of resources to support career growth, health, wellbeing and safety, on top of competitive pay and benefits.

For example: Nike released a smartphone app in China, where employees get discounts at local shops, develop their skills and communicate with other employees. Nike, Inc. is constantly doing audits in the factories, with the following results.

At 56% of incidents overall, excessive hours was by far the top issue found in audits. Nike, Inc. is committed to prioritising sourcing from factories that have eliminated excessive overtime. In FY15, 96% of contract factories had no incidents of excessive overtime violations, as defined in NIKE’s Code of Conduct. The factories that reported excessive overtime violations were escalated to Global Sourcing and Manufacturing leadership review.

Nike, Inc. seems to be really strict when it comes to incidents that involve the well-being of their employees.

Employee Value Proposition

“WE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT DO. WE LEAD. WE INVENT. WE DELIVER. WE USE THE POWER OF SPORT TO MOVE THE WORLD.”

Nike, Inc Career site

Nike, Inc. is looking at this world as if everyone is an athlete, united in the joy of movement. Passion for sport and instincts for innovation come together as they aim to elevate human potential. Whether they’re designing the ultimate sneaker or coding an incredible application, the united mission remains the same: to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. Which is everyone, because Bill Bowerman (Nike’s co-founder) once said, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.”

Nike, Inc. is telling stories through their values in order to attract possible candidates. A side effect of this is that anyone could be attracted to these values. Consumers looking for a product can still identify themselves with the employee value proposition, mentioned on the career site. They’re constantly demanding a better future for themselves, their athletes and their communities. Protecting the planet where everyone can thrive and access sports are part of that too. According to Nike, diversity fosters creativity and accelerates innovation. Read all about Nike’s interpretation of diversity in the next chapter.

Diversity

Both Nike’s employer and consumer brand place major importance on diversity, and their most recent campaign is all about inclusion. Nike, Inc. introduced the Nike Pro Hijab, because sports are for everyone, and therefore the apparel Nike offers must be inclusive of all cultures.

Furthermore, Nike Women is also an important part of the Nike employer brand. All women come together in this community, where they support each other to push even further and inspire each other to keep on going.

Nike, Inc. has always been an inclusive employer, as they have won several awards and rankings for both diversity as well as LGBT Equality.

Conclusion

While Nike’s employer brand might differ from their consumer brand slightly in terms of execution and the outcomes they are trying to achieve, they mostly complement each other. Which is very important. Nike’s core values remain intact within both their employer brand and consumer brand, and whether you are a consumer or a potential candidate, you will want to become part of their journey because of those exact values.