A Brand Insight from your classmate Aaron:
The article above discusses the release of a rather amazing product in the sports community. Nike has announced that it will start to a sell a branded hijab that Muslim women can wear when they work out. This story is twofold: while the United States is currently being run by a rather racist leader who has just banned several Muslim countries from traveling to the US, Nike, a massive American company, has ultimately just given the president a middle finger towards his policies and beliefs by celebrating female Muslim athletes.
The release of this sports garment contains a huge statement being made by Nike – saying that they do not condone the current behavior and they want to support all people from every part of the world. From a market/brand standpoint, this act is absolutely brilliant in my opinion. For one, for millions of Muslim consumers, Nike has potentially just upgraded from having possible brand salience to attaining resonance. There is not one company I know of that makes this sort of sportswear and I’m sure that female Muslim athletes can really appreciate it. This product release also shows all consumers the compassion and true dedication Nike has with the products they make. It allows consumers from all walks of life to develop feelings and judgments about the brand, and maybe even convince them to buy/switch to it. Overall, I think the Nike hijab product is a fantastic idea, and I’m happy about all of the positive publicity it is getting on social media and news.
Aaron’s commentary celebrates the new Nike hijab, but the article he cites reflects the ambivalence that consumers have had about it. For some non-Muslim North Americans, having women cover themselves is a form of oppression which Nike is supporting.
What do you think? Was Nike’s move sympathetic and responsive, or naive?