Online Custom «Cross-Cultural Perspectives » Essay Sample
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Nike is the world brand company that manufactures sportswear and distributes its products to many countries all over the world. Today Nike is considered to be one of the most successful sportswear companies and it is a top producer among other sportswear companies. Nike produces multiple sports equipment, especially the great variety of shoes. The company has established its headquarters in every corner of the world. Moreover, Nike has a strong partnership with China with annual revenue of 2 billion dollars. As it is mentioned in one of the articles, “many companies in the past and likely most in the future will be targeting China’s large market” (Zhang, 2012). The company views China as a very promising partner and predicts the rising of revenue on 100 percent in the next few years. Nevertheless, these plans fell short of expectations, when China decreased its demands in Nike’s products.
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In fact, the problems with China were a predictable result of cultural differences between Nike’s manufacture orientation and China’s preferences. According to this fact, one may outline the following aspects that were the core aspects of Nike’s China problem:
- Nike manufactures its products mostly for basketball or running activities. Hence, the appearing of the company in the United States that could satisfy the demand of its residents was the right decision. When Nike started growing, it expanded its influence into Europe, where people are also interested in basketball very much; thus, they required the quality and comfortable shoes. However, when Nike wanted to establish a new headquarters in China, the company did not take into account several important factors (Wakefield, 2010). First, the sports that Nike promotes are not as popular in China as they are in Europe or in the United States. Second, there is a limited place, where these activities could be developed; the urban areas do not have much space, where people could play basketball. For instance, in the United States one can find many basketball courts; hence the popularity of this game is high, but in China the lack of basketball courts does not give a chance to popularize this sport among average citizens.
- Nike produces sportswear for training and running. In the United States an average citizen can visit a fitness club, but in China the situation is different. Health clubs are traditionally viewed as a privilege of rich people. Moreover, those people who do this sport, prefer mostly the street clothes rather than spandex.
- In order to advertise its products, Nike invites famous iconic sport stars, whose role is to motivate people to do sport and, as a result, to buy sportswear. In China, people focus more on culture and traditions; it means that the parents’ influence is higher than the authority of sport stars. Moreover, in China the academic achievements are more important than the sport’s victories; thus, this Nike’s strategy failed in this region.
Nike chose the wrong strategy of its products’ promotion in China. For instance, in 2009, Nike started a campaign that had to increase its visibility and popularity in China. The goal of this campaign was to raise the interest among average citizens in Nike’s products. The company started opening different stores in Shanghai, which specialized in selling snowboards and skateboards’ equipment. In this way, Nike tried to create conditions, which would stimulate customers to buy these products (Zhang, 2012). Moreover, Nike had plans to promote school athletic programs improving the partnership with the Chinese government. This campaign also predetermined to attract female consumers by creating special training classes for women. Nevertheless, none of these strategies were successfully implemented. Nike’s promotion of these strategies gave poor results; hence, the popularization of Nike’s products was still low comparing to Europe and the United States.
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Ethical and Social Responsibility
Nike’s fail in China can be explained by the fact that the company was ignoring its social and ethical responsibility. The company that claims to be one with the world name should take into account that being global means obeying ethical and social demands of its customers. China is a good example, when Nike ignored these main principles and tried to dictate its own preferences. In other words, Nike did not take into account the cultural features of China; its historical development, traditions and principles of life. Moreover, the company did not pay enough attention to the Chinese’ preferences in sport. Nike tried promoting those products that have already received the support at home; but the company used the same strategies.
Accordingly, Nike should change its strategy in China and pay especial attention to cultural aspect of this region. First, it is necessary to analyze the interests of Chinese in sport. After that, the company should provide specific product range that would be oriented mostly on Chinese consumer. China brings about 2 billion dollars for Nike every year; hence, the company should respect the preferences of such an important partner (Zhang, 2012).
Ethical responsibility predetermines that the company’s direction does not contradict particular nations’ way of development. In the case of China, Nike tried to integrate the values that were not common for the Chinese culture. Social responsibility means that a company must make the social environment better. No doubts, Nike promotes sport and healthy way of life; it sells sportswear as the essential attribute, which is necessary for doing sport. However, the Chine’s case showed that Nike’s strategy did not support the national ideas. For instance, Chinese people are more oriented at the academic achievements rather than the sport victories; hence, promoting of sport products did not cause the expected result.