BusinessWeek reports on Nike’s new Tailwind brand, an attempt to go “downmarket” (read: cheap shoes for cheap people.)
Produced by the wholly owned Nike subsidiary, Exeter Brand Group, Tailwind, as the new brand is called, is a fashion-conscious line of footwear, officially launching in three Payless stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Tuesday. Initially, the line will be available in 400 stores in select markets, though by December it will be stocked in pretty much all of the retailer’s nearly 4,600 stores nationwide.
Nike has always, at least from an image standpoint, tried to be above average. So how will consumers respond to this? I mean, Old Navy’s clothes are a little flimsier than the ones you get at Banana Republic, and the Levi’s Signature jeans you can get at Target are a little flimsier than the classic 501’s. Are they diluting their brand, expanding their market, or both? It doesn’t matter what you call them, it’s still a Nike product.