Sunday, April 12, 2009

Research Paper Outline

I. Introduction

a. Thesis: Nike has evolved the way it uses its unique ability to gauge insights from customers and incorporate them into its branding through communications and offerings through the years

i. Advertising

ii. Experience

iii. Product Customization

II. Body

a. Advertising

i. Changes over the years

1. Nike started moving towards television ads in the early 1980s

2. Back then the company focused more on track and other Olympic-geared American sports, however, its product line expanded towards many other sports throughout the world

3. Late 80s saw the creation of the slogan “Just Do It” as well as the Michael Jordan era of athlete endorsements

4. Nike has garnered a tremendous amount of athletes for sponsorship—most famously Pete Sampras, Tiger Woods, and now LeBron James

ii. Nike uses advertising to draw customers closer to the brand

1. Brand creates an image that resonates with a customer whether it’s through emotional appeal or by using one of the many endorsed athletes

2. Nike lures customers with a marketing strategy centering around a brand image which is accomplished by promoting a distinctive logo and its world-famous advertising slogan

b. Experience

i. Nike has made a point to utilize the experiential part of their offerings towards making a connection with customers and their feelings

1. Niketown is a place where true Nike fanatics can find just about any product offering they desire

2. In addition to finding just about any Nike product, they can talk to other Nike followers as well as employees and managers and get more acquainted with the brand spirit

3. Nike also promotes usage of products under different functionalities

a. EX: Air Nike Cole Haan dress shoes

b. This allows customers to fall in love with the brand and use it in all facets of life

c. Product Customization

i. Nike has now shifted towards a completely customizable line of products

1. Nike allows its customers to go online on their website and use NikeID in order to create their own product out of an existing one

2. This customization feature allows the user to choose colors, styles, and personalized inscriptions on their preference of Nike items

3. Such a product offering truly allows for company to gain understanding of what customers truly want in a shoe, shirt, jersey, or accessory

4. Nike has also teamed up with Apple to create a new technology called Nike+ which allows users to track the way that they run

III. Conclusion

a. Restate thesis and how it is addressed through the paper

b. Summarize main points as well as key research findings

c. Conclude with a detailed summary of the key insights Nike utilizes as well as how the paper applies towards customer insights issues


  1. Julian - This is looking really good. It looks like you're already doing this, but just be sure to be very specific in your examples. Also, in the section on advertising, I would talk about the insights associated with Nike's use of those celebrity athletes (why THOSE athletes) and the experience those advertisements create or reinforce for the customer. We can talk about this a little more in-person, if I'm not making sense. Looking really good!

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