Reebok and how it uses Facebook to Communicate» Essay Example

  • Category:
    Business
  • Document type:
    Assignment
  • Level:
    Masters
  • Page:
    5
  • Words:
    3514

Insert Surname 15

SUBJECT: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

STUDENT NAME: ROSEMARY LI

UNIT CODE: MMH299

TOPICSELECTED: “Reebok and how it uses face book to Communicate”

TUTOR’S NAME: MRS. CHIA

to communicate with customers around the world.
OVERVIEW OF THE REPORT: To discuss how the Reebok uses Face book

Table of Contents

Title page………………………………………………………………………………..1

Table of contents………………………………………………………………………..2

Executive summary……………………………………………………………………..3

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..4

Back ground……………………………………………………………………………..5

Reebok’s Activities………………………………………………………………………5

How Reebok uses Face book…………………………………………………………….6

Promise keeper app………………………………………………………………………7

Security of face book……………………………………………………………………..8

Internal & external communication……………………………………………………10

Intercultural communication challenges……………………………………………….12

Cost of using face book…………………………………………………………………..12

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………..13

Executive summary

Reebok is a shoe company started back in the 1890s by a cobbler Robert Foster. It grew to become an international company but was later overtaken on the market by upcoming companies like Nike, and adidas. Reebok is involved in the designing, marketing and distributing sports, apparel, casual foot wear, fitness and equipment with the United States as well as the rest of the world Reebok was later to be purchased by adidas. Reebok has branches all over the world and has therefore gone on the internet to enhance its communication. Big companies of the size of Reebok are concerned with communication more than any other thing. Reebok makes use of face book in order to connect with clients, customers and other followers. Just like any other social media, face book is a tool of communication although it lacks a real internet marketing sales funnel through which Reebok can use to woo customers to its side. In order to facilitate better communication and to overcome the problems of communication across cultures, Reebok started the promise keeper app. The promise keeper app has GPS tracking and serves as a tool for planning. Face book is not that secure nut it is a useful way of enhancing the level of communication for a company. Private and personal information on face book can easily be accessed by other parties. Face book has given Reebok a personality and a face and has helped it to engage the community. Face book presents a challenge for intercultural communication since people of various cultures have different preferences but the promise keeper app created by Reebok is a remedy to this problem.

Introduction

Reebok is a Shoe Company started during the 1890s in the UK by a cobbler. It is a big company with branches all over the world and it holds the title of being the oldest Shoe Company in the world. The ancestor of Reebok in the United Kingdom was founded with the purpose of making shoes that can help athletes run faster. Joseph William Foster made the first shoes which had spikes in 1895. Reebok therefore laid the foundation for the sports wear we know today especially the shoes. Other sports wear companies were founded after Reebok and most likely they were copying the idea of Reebok. This is the reason for the investigation of Reebok, its communication and how it makes use of phase book. Reebok being an international shoe company, it has customers and branches all over the world. It makes use of phase book for advertising itself and its products. Its operations around the world can easily be known to people all over the world through face book.

Reebok international Limited is a private organization and a branch of adidas which is a company that produces athletics shoes, accessories and apparel. The name Reebok is coined from rhebok a word in the Afrikaans language meaning a gazelle. In a tiny village near Bolton in England, a cobbler Joseph Foster was making running shoes when he decided to try spikes shoes. After the progress of his ideas in 1895, he started working with his sons with whom he founded J.W Foster and sons, a shoe company that preceded Reebok. This report has the findings of an investigation carried out on the she company Reebok, its communication patterns and how face book is used in its communication activities. Information used in this report will be gathered through journal searches and retrieval of internet information about Reebok and its use of face book.

   Background

Among the shoe companies existing in the world Reebok is the oldest among them. It began in the 1890s from the idea of a cobbler Joseph William Foster. Its peak days were reached in the 1980s after Paul Fireman got selling rights in North America in 1979. Because of the foresight of Fireman into the aerobic craze, the dance craze and afterwards the coming of street basketball shoes, Reebok rose to become the company making the highest sales in running shoes. It beat and remained ahead of Nike which was 15 years old by then. Reebok lets ‘you be you’ (U.B.U), Reebok’s first brand campaign was launched in 1988. It was countering the campaign by Nike ‘just do it’.

However Reebok lost many sales in the campaign to Nike’s advantage. ‘Reebok started vacillating between messages to women about fashion and performance.’ This resulted in its lack of brand identity and gradual decline to the second position, third position and later fourth position in volume of sales. A head of it was Nike in the first position, adidas and New Balance in the second and third positions respectively. Even though in the 2000s Reebok launched the greatest global campaign ‘I am who I am’ which made it sound as the brand for the individual, it remained in its fourth selling position. In 2006 adidas Group a sports giant from Germany purchased Reebok at $ 3.8 billion. This was meant to overcome Nike. Reebok within adidas is expected to serve the needs of recreational runners McDonald, & Milne (1999).


   Reebok’s activities

Reebok is involved with designing, marketing and distributing sports, apparel, casual foot wear, fitness and equipment with the United States as well as the rest of the world. Products from the company are made in women, fitness and sport categories. Others are for running, basketball, baseball, soccer, football, track and field among other sports. It also provides skates for hockey, sticks and apparel used for hockey. The company was earlier called Reebok USA Limited Inc before its name was changed to Reebok International Limited in 1985 June McDonald, & Milne (1999).

How Reebok uses face book

(1999).McDonald, & Milne
Face book is being used by many businesses and Reebok is one of them. Using face book for communication by a company such as Reebok is not that hard. The social network of face book is active and therefore ideal for the business of Reebok. The people that Reebok targets happen to be those who participate on daily basis by logging into face book. It is easier to Reebok to use face book because face book makes the process of reaching the targeted market friendlier and easier. For it to be easier to make better use of face book, Reebok makes use of certain steps outlined below

 When the Reebok page is produced on face book the logo of the company is put on the face book page. This space does not have a lot of people using it although more use should be made of it if the company is interested in building its brand. It is easier to use face book if the business log is used and not just the picture related to the niche. The full space of the page is used fully in the placement of the Reebok logo. The face book page allows the size of the logo to have a width of 200px and a length of 600px. The logo should never be small and crammed up in a corner. That does not give the best use of the page. It also does not help in brand building Wood, (2009).

 The company logo must be experienced by any person visiting the web page. Creation of targeted apps is important. Reebok has already launched its promise keeper app which will help it is communicating with the world. The app is customized for the fun page whereby various things are obtained from each of the applications Wood, (2009).

(1999).McDonald, & Milne
You can easily customize these for your fan page and get different things from each application. Visitors find these interactive applications to be highly entertaining and engaging. If there isn’t one you want already you can outsource the expertise to have one built for you. The kind of apps you use on your page completely depends on your business type

 Steel and Fowler, (2010).
Once the static FBML application is downloaded it is only the imagination of the user that can limit him. So many things can be creatively applied on this. These steps are normally very useful in the use of Face book especially by Reebok. It reaches the audience by a strategy on face book which give it victory and more ability to access a bigger clientele. Reebok is already seeing a lot of benefit by its decision to use face book in connecting to its target market”This can be a dedicated page for an offer or mini site living in face book.“
Nguyen, L. 2004.Personalized tabs are created which are done using HTML. By default, Reebok has tabs for wall and info. By use of static FBML tabs can be created with any type of content necessary

Promise keeper app

The promise keeper app belong to Reebok was released Apple and android users. It is basically a tool for planning which has GPS tracking. It was released for the promotion of new ZigTech trainers. The app carries an ‘extra social dimension’ since a user has to commit his running plans to his friends and followers on face book. This creates social motivation because followers and friends get information on the days when the promise keeper is not following through according to their plan. The promise keeper by Reebok creates a link between social media and scheduling and time. It operates the same way as geo-localized apps. This makes the brand to gain more relevance to the daily activities of a consumer Steel and Fowler, (2010). 

According to an analysis by Wave Metrix, the promise keeper app was received well bi its users who derive enjoyment from sharing their routines for exercise with other users online. The app also registered success in fetching a positive response from consumers to the new ZigTech trainers by Reebok which are made with special soles which are destined to give an energy boost to the runner. More so, the promise keeper app comes with a positive impact on the fun image of the brand. 50% of the promise keeper app sent positive reactions saying that the app was necessary for them to get the motivation for exercise. The promise keeper app helps people to discuss about exercise on general terms Kirkpatrick (2006). 

Security of face book

, (1999).McDonald, & Milne
The security of company information on face book has been a source of worry for some people. On this aspect face book might not be the best place for communication as far as Reebok is concerned. Some companies in the past have opted to quit face book because of the low level of privacy. The reason for the migration is the change of rules by face book which has exposed a lot of personal profile and company information to the public. Information such as people’s formers schools, their favourite music, and information about internal matters of companies can now become public by default

 Certain parts of the information are shared between companies that hold special partnership with face book such as micro soft, Pandora and Yelp. However cynics claim that it is hard to use the available ways of dialling back on some of the information. One can tinker with his privacy setting in order to dial back. There is a fear that companies and even people are rushing to face book with the expectation of increased business communication, fun and free services but they are oblivious of the price they have to pay by much of their private information being given up. Face book attaches monetary value on the data of other companies by selling it out to advertisers who may want to send messages with a target. Many people who use face book are not aware that such things happen. Even those who are very ‘tech-savvy’ and are aware what the company is trying to do they might still not have an idea of what they pay for because many people are not aware of the value of their private or personal data Kirkpatrick (2006).

 One major problem with face book as far as the security of other company’s and people data is concerned is that it keeps changing rules. At the beginning everything could simply be kept private. This was wonderful and companies had all the confidence in it. It was possible for a company to create its small private network. Rules have been changed so that information belonging to companies or people can by default be shared by people who log on the internet. Although it is possible to change things back and make them private, some people do not bother. Face book Inc, has even taken things further and insists that some information must be mad public or else it should not be posted at all Steel and Fowler, (2010).

, (1999).However Elliot Schrage the vice president of private policy and communications on face book said that people were just misunderstanding face book’s new rules. He claimed that the company was just in the process of changing in order to improve its service to users through provision of more control on what they are sharing. He claimed that people complain of an experience that is less satisfying if they do not share information McDonald, & Milne

 However since the original business model of face book which included putting ads on the page and selling them failed to work out, some people have the feeling that face book is doing this in order to get more money. Nevertheless some users have no problem with their information becoming publicised and that is why the company is still doing business. With low security levels though, Reebok makes use of face book in order to expand its scope of communication. The promise keeper app is an important development in its efforts to facilitate information dissemination between and to its customers Steel and Fowler, (2010).

Internal/external communication uses

Big companies of the size of Reebok are concerned with communication more than any other thing. They offer free tolls on the internet which can make it more possible for System Management Buses (SMBs) to reach out to and keep track of their customers. SMBs are used for monitoring the feed back of customers, responding to complaints and helping in the answering of questions on a number of websites. ‘It creates a rapport with the customers of the company.’ Reebok has the advantage of improved and expanded communication inside the company and a better chance to build a culture that is centered on the customers. New ideas have no need being passed through meetings or the legal department Kirkpatrick (2006). 

The use of face book by Reebok has given it a face and a personality. The community has been engaged through face book and there is an opportunity for personalization of the business. Communication and proper communication for that matter is very critical for the survival of a company of the size of Reebok. Face book is a juggernaut since it has been valued at $ 10 billion and on the internet it is the most traveled place. As a result for the past many years there has been a scramble for businesses to get a place on the face book platform. The biggest challenge that Reebok has is not to set up a fan page on face book but to deploy a measurable and viable strategy which can make visitors become its customers McDonald, & Milne, (1999).

Just like any other social media, face book is a tool of communication although it lacks a real internet marketing sales funnel through which Reebok can use to woo customers to its side. The conversion platform of Reebok is its website and this has the slaves funnels reserved for it. Reebok can work properly and make better gains by going the way some of the companies are doing Steel and Fowler, (2010). This is encouraging the visitors on its face book fan page to jump from face book to the company’s website in order to see what has been posted there.

Face book is a great place where Reebok builds the awareness for its brand, builds relationship and grows the SOV. As a platform for conversion face book does not show flexibility and is known to break conversion conventions that are openly known. Tab site face book application launched by Digital Hill Multimedia Inc provided Reebok with an opportunity to build a website on its ‘face book fan page’ Steel and Fowler, (2010). 

The website may have many pages together with a contact form and can also create room for flash animation. Reebok has the opportunity for deploying a strong conversion strategy on its face book fan page the same way it can do on its website. With the development of Tab Site on Face book, face book has moved from a social media networking and communication tool to a strong conversion platform which can be taken advantage of by businesses Kirkpatrick (2006). 

Intercultural communication challenges

 thing Steel and Fowler, (2010).
Face book allows people from different cultures to communicate based on their common interest. Overlapping interests could arise in this kind of communication between online communities. However, communication across cultures is never easy because of cultural and language barriers. This is a source of frustration for the company seeking to get customers all over. The move by Reebok to develop the promise keeper app is advantageous since it can help in making cross cultural communication a lesser burden and a more understandable Communication on face book can become a challenge since people from various cultures are accustomed to different styles and types of communication. According to studies for example, Hispanics are kinaesthetic. African Americans tend to be more auditory while people of Asian origin like charts, graphs and pictures. People who interact on face book are strangers who have never been in contact with one another Kirkpatrick (2006).

Cost of using face book

 Kirkpatrick (2006). Face book use by companies such as Reebok may not be too costly in the area of finances. However bigger companies such as Reebok are thought not have a bigger chance of gaining from it when compared to smaller companies. The cost of communicating to customers, people and potential customers may not be high compared to the benefits expected. The costly part of the venture may come in where the company’s information is exposed to the public. Private information when released into the wrong hands may prove to be too costly to the company. Face book has been suspected to attach some monetary value on information belonging to some companies by selling it off to other companies

Conclusion

Reebok is a shoe company started in the 1890s by a cobbler. It is involved in the design, marketing and the distribution of apparel, sports wear and fitness equipment in the whole world. Reebok makes use of face book for its communication needs. Face book has over 4 million people using it and Reebok has taken the decision to try to bring some of these people to be its customers. This is one of the things that prompted its use of face book. Face book is easy to use although it presents some technicalities because users have to switch to the company website. The security of company information is not guaranteed on face book since online users can access private information belonging to others. Face book may also do business with this information. Face book facilitate both external and internal uses. People within the company can communicate to each other and at the same time release information to outsiders. Since various cultures have different preferences, communication on face book may be challenging especially if people form all the cultures of the world are to be reached by the same message.

   References

McDonald, M., & Milne, G 1999. Cases in sport marketing; Sudbury, Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Kirkpatrick, D, 2006 Why face book matters; it is not just for arranging dates. And it is not just another social network. Facebook offers sophisticated tools for maintaining social relationships. , Fortune magazine, October 6, 2006

Steel, E. and Fowler, G. A. 2010. Face book in privacy Breach. The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones). Retrieved May 8, 2011.

Wood, C. Keeping pace with mainstream social media. DMNews. Haymarket Media. Retrieved May 7, 2011.

Nguyen, L. 2004. «Online network created by Harvard students flourishes».The Tufts Daily (Medford, MA). Retrieved May 7, 2011

Beech, J; Chadwick, S. (2006). Beech, John; Chadwick, Simon. eds. The marketing of Sport. Prentice Hall and Financial Times. pp. 592

 «EU Approves Adidas-Reebok Merger | Business | Deutsche Welle | 25.01.2006» Dw-world.de. Retrieved 2011-05-06.

http://reebok.co.za/Home.aspx

http://www.facebook.com/

http://www.scripophily.net/reinltma.html