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BUSINESS reSOURCES: a PESTEL analysis of Nike

A PESTEL analysis of NIKE: learn how the brand’s business is affected by the industry’s macro-environmental factors.

PESTEL business analysis is a framework for helping entrepreneurs and business people to understand the impact of macro-environmental factors on their business.

The PESTEL acronym stands for Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal. Learn about PESTEL and how this framework can help your business here.

NIKE is the world’s largest athletic shoe manufacturer. Industry experts estimate that the company currently has a 28% share of the market. In 2020, its global revenue amounted to about 37.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. If you want to know more about what contributed to the success of one of the most valuable brands in the world, read The story behind the brand: NIKE.

Let’s analyze Nike’s macro-environment by applying the PESTEL framework.

NIKE – Political factors

The political factors help the entrepreneur appraise the degree to which a government intervenes in the economy or a certain industry and how its decisions affect the present and the future of the company.

Overall, the US government has developed many initiatives centred on growth. The United States is a core market for Nike, with the company generating approximately 41% of its overall revenue there in 2019.

Nike shoes are manufactured in 36 factories in the US by 5151 workers. In order to expand to other markets and other business reasons, Nike has 517 manufacturing facilities in 41 countries.

The company has the most manufacturing sites in China and Vietnam (108) followed by Indonesia and Thailand. China is one of the largest markets for Nike with revenues growing 22% in 2019.

As an international company, Nike has to take into account the tariffs that its shoes and other goods are subject to. In the US, for example, the shoe companies pay as much as 25% in tariffs, one of the highest duties compared to other industries.

In 2019, the U.S.-China trade tensions had begun to escalate when Trump threatened to increase tariffs on Chinese goods — including all types of footwear, from sneakers to sandals by 10%. It was estimated that the tariffs would cost American customers an additional $7 billion per year.

In an open letter to Trump, Nike and other 173 footwear companies urged the former President to reconsider his tariffs on shoes made in China and “bring this trade war to an end.”

Industry experts argued that the company would have been affected by the increase in tariffs in a small degree since only 10% of Nike goods produced in China are exported to the American market.

Also, it has diversified its supply chain to include manufacturing sites spread in other countries on the Asian continent like Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. That was a good business decision that has shielded the giant shoe producer against the financial consequences of political power.

Nike’s solution: a geographically diverse supply chain.

NIKE – Economical factors

In PESTEL’s analysis, the economical factors determine the economy’s performance by examining economic growth, exchange rates, interest rates, unemployment rates, the state of the country’s infrastructure, taxes.

This factor affects the purchasing power of customers and could change the demand and supply dynamics of the market. Which, in turn, affects the prices of products and services.

Did the 2008 economical crisis affect the giant sportswear?

Yes, it did. Customers were struggling with job loss and falling incomes which lead to a 12% drop in sales. Also, the company’s stock lost as much as 28%.

Nike has adapted to the new environment, by undergoing a costly restructuring cutting costs and 5% of its workforce, in the biggest job reduction in the company’s history. While other businesses went bankrupt, Nike survived.

Once the recession was over, sales and stock recovered strongly. “During times of economic challenge, consumers will go to brands that they trust and can connect with. We have not seen the economy have a dramatic impact on the sales of our products, not just in the high end, but also in the mid-priced range,Chief Executive Mark Parker said at the time. “We’re able to accomplish this by staying focused on what we do best – deliver innovative products and experiences that serve athletes, inspire consumers and reward our shareholders.

It’s the same now, in 2020, when we are going through another economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company lost sales due to widespread physical store closures with global revenues for the fourth quarter dropping by 38%. This revealed the giant’s reliance on high-street shops and its influence on the business.

To balance out the negative consequences of shops closing down, Nike accelerated the efforts toward its eCommerce business.

The company’s digital sales rose to 30% of overall revenues during the pandemic. New membership registrations among Nike apps more than doubled to 25 million during the period, half of which belonged to women.

Nike realized as early as 2011 that going mobile was mandatory. Since then, the company developed the Nike and SNKRS apps. They are designed to increase the brand’s direct connections to consumers which translates into more sales.

Nike’s solution: an ongoing digital strategy.

NIKE – Social factors

According to PESTEL’s business analysis, by looking at social factors companies are able to analyze the behaviour patterns of customers and create a customer profile as accurate as possible.

Within the footwear market, an interesting culture has been growing since the late 1970s-early 1980s – the sneakerhead culture.

Nike knew who its customers were, what they were about and who they were looking up to. At the time, Michael Jordan was winning every game on the basketball court doing his iconic jump. Every kid around the world had a poster of Michael Jordan in his room.

Nike’s partnership with basketball all-time-star Michael Jordan has contributed to the sneakerhead culture rise and global development. Today the sneaker resale market is estimated to reach $2billion.

Nike is also well aware of the changes taking place in society and how the values of their most important customers transformed over the years. Launching its 2018 Dream Crazy ad, Nike knew it would run into controversy and possible backlash from a certain segment of its customer base. Which it did happen. The company was not concerned because this ad was targeted to a specific customer base with which the brand was looking to nurture and connect.

Nike: reflect your customers’ values and beliefs.

NIKE: Technological factors

Technology is one of the factors disrupting operations across almost every industry.

We’ve talked about how important is digital and mobile to Nike’s ecosystem of sales, marketing and community engagement.

Technological developments have been equally important to the company’s product design and manufacturing. The brand’s mission is to expand human potential. And to achieve that, Nike creates new products through game-changing innovations.

Most innovations come from the brand’s own lab, the Nike Sport Research Lab. The Nike Flywire support system, Lunarlite foam cushioning, Hyperdunk basketball shoe are among the most famous.

The latest innovation is Nike Fit, a foot-scanning solution designed to find every person’s best fit. Nike Fit uses a proprietary combination of computer vision, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence and recommendation algorithms to find your right fit.

Nike is no longer an athletic shoe manufacturer, it’s a tech company.

NIKE – Environmental factors

As with the technological factor, the environmental factor is today of growing importance. Businesses are now called to account for any negative impact their operations have on the environment. Companies big and small are expected to reduce their carbon footprint, take actions to reduce waste and pollution, and preserve the environment.

Not so long ago, Nike was synonymous with sweatshops and negative impact on the environment.

Over the past twenty years, Nike has made great strides in becoming environmentally conscious and sustainable.

Today Nike pledges to use only renewable energy and reduce its shipping emissions. The company designed a line of sports jerseys and sneakers crafted from recycled waste plastics and announced its commitment to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Also, by the end of 2021, Nike will completely eradicate single-use plastic bags in all its stores.

Nike: environmentally conscious and sustainable.

NIKE – Legal factors

The legal factor of PESTEL analysis looks into the laws and regulations of the industry.

Over the years, Nike has been in a number of legal battles.

In the late 1980s, the company has been taken to court for failing to disclose poor working conditions.

It also has a long legal history with Adidas over patent infringements.

Recently Nike filed recently filed a lawsuit against footwear rival Skechers for copying design patents.

The global athletic footwear industry is expected to rise to an estimated value of USD 96.10 billion by 2026 so the competition within the market is fierce.

Nike: protects its design patents in court.

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How to apply the PESTEL analysis to support your business vision

In this article:

  1. What is PESTEL business analysis?
  2. What does PESTEL acronym stand for?
  3. PESTEL factors explained
  4. When should you use PESTEL analysis for your business?

What is PESTEL business analysis?

PESTEL business analysis is a framework for helping entrepreneurs and business people to understand the impact of macro-environmental factors on their business.

What does PESTEL acronym stand for?

The PESTEL acronym stands for

hand-click Political

hand-click Economical

hand-click Social

hand-click Technological

hand-click Environmental

hand-click Legal

The PESTEL analysis was created in 1967 by Harvard Business School professor Francis J. Aguilar.

pestel-analysis-creator

Francis J. Aguilar

PESTEL/PESTLE/STEEPLE – are they the same thing?

Yes, PESTEL, PESTEL and STEEPLE refer to the same business framework. The only difference is that the letters are switched between them. In the case of STEEPLE, the additional E stands for Ethics.

PESTEL factors explained

PESTEL is the second strategic tool for decision-making we are highlighting on the BRAND MINDS blog.

Our mission is to help you acquire relevant knowledge that will support you to make good business decisions. Learn how to grow your business with PORTER’S 5 Forces framework.

The factors analyzed by the PESTEL framework refer to the macro-environment of your business. Not to be confused with the external factors of your business.

Let’s think of your business as the Earth.

The Earth is made up of four layers: the inner core, the outer core, the mantle and the crust.

The inner core of your business is comprised of your business’s organizational structure, culture, employees, management and operations. They are the internal factors.

The next layer surrounding your business is the outer core: competitors, suppliers, distributors, customers and partners. They are the external factors. These factors and your business are in a two-way relationship – they influence each other. If you want to assess how much power your competitors or your buyers have on your business, apply PORTER’S 5 Forces framework. You will get a map of the industry your business operates in as well as the structural underlining drivers of profitability and competition.

The third layer of your business comes over the external factors and it’s called the macro-environment. The macro-environment includes the factors listed earlier in the article: political, economical, social, technological, environmental, legal.

Unlike the external factors, which your business can influence, the macro-environmental factors are outside the influence range of your business. But they do have the power to effect change on your business.

hand-click PESTEL analysis – Political factor

The political factor helps you appraise the degree to which a government intervenes in the economy or a certain industry.

Look at how current, past, and future regulations currently affect the market in which your business operates.

Also, take into account whether or not there is political stability and what are the consequences of political instability over your business.

Is there corruption? What are foreign trade and tax policies?

hand-click PESTEL analysis – Economical factor

The economical factor is the determinant of the economy’s performance.

Examine the economic growth, exchange rates, interest rates, unemployment rates, the state of the country’s infrastructure, taxes.

This factor affects the purchasing power of your customers and could change the demand and supply dynamics of the market. This, in turn, affects how your business prices its products and services.

hand-click PESTEL analysis – Social factor

The social factor analyzes the profile and behaviour patterns of your customers. In marketing, it’s called a buyer persona.

Gather as much information on the social aspect of your market as possible from standard demographics (age, sex, family status, professional background, education) to psychographics (pain points, dreams, goals, interests and hobbies).

Become aware of cultural differences between generations.

Is there a cultural movement that your customers are supporting? What are their values, customs and lifestyle choices? Which social media platform do they use the most?

hand-click PESTEL analysis – Technological factor

Fifty-three years ago, when PESTEL was created, technology didn’t have the essential impact on the business and our world as a whole as it does today. But there were early signs. In 1967, the first message was sent over the internet and the GPS became available for commercial use.

Taking into account the way technology has been disrupting industries and changing business models in the last decade, this factor is one of the most important to look into.

Put together a list of the technologies impacting your industry.

Check the regulations surrounding technology in your market. Are they favourable or not favourable?

What is the rate of technological change and innovation? Is the industry dominated by automation? How costly is it?

hand-click PESTEL analysis – Environmental factor

As with the technological factor, the environmental factor is today of growing importance.

Businesses are now called to account for any negative impact their operations have on the environment.

Companies big and small are expected to reduce their carbon footprint, take actions to reduce waste and pollution, and preserve the environment.

How is your business affecting the environment? What can you change to make sure your business is sustainable and environmentally responsible?

hand-click PESTEL analysis – Legal factor

The legal factor of PESTEL analysis looks into the laws and regulations of your industry.

Is your market regulated by a specific set of laws? How do they influence your business?

Also take into account other laws like discrimination, antitrust, employment, consumer protection and copyright laws.

When should you use PESTEL analysis for your business?

If you’re thinking about launching a new business, entering a foreign market or a different industry, PESTEL analysis framework is especially useful because it gives you an accurate overview of the macro-environment and how it affects your business.

Join the Conversation

We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Get in touch with us on our LinkedIn PageFacebook Page, Twitter or TikTok.

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