This might sound like a rather lofty notion, but when it comes to a brand like Adidas – whose core belief is to inspire individuals to harness the power of sport – it’s slightly more believable.
At Summit I also heard Adidas’s VP of digital strategy & delivery, Joseph Godsey, speak about how the brand uses digital to enable powerful experiences. Here are a few key points from what he said.
For Adidas, digital is the best way to build direct relationships with consumers. To be successful, it must create an experience that is premium, connected, and personalised.
So, what does this mean exactly? Premium is about inspiring love for the brand and a desire for the products. In other words, to create excitement and enthusiasm about sports, whether it’s on a small personal level – such as fitting in a spin class before work – or on a highly competitive or team-oriented basis, like professional football.
Connected means taking all the touchpoints that a consumer can interact with and making it consistent. So much so that it does not matter where they started or where they finish, but that they always have a seamless experience.
Lastly, personalised means connecting the consumer – taking into account their individual love of sports – with content that they want to hear about. By using data and customer insight, Adidas is able to deliver on its promise of this unified, multichannel and unique experience.
Engaging the ‘creator consumer’
According to Joseph, Adidas considers the customer as the starting point for everything it creates. Whether this involves focus groups or online reviews, customer feedback helps to inform and shape the entire brand.
Joseph also went so far as to say that it views this person as the ‘creator consumer’. Essentially, this is someone who wants to be given the tools to co-create with the brand – to be able to tell their own stories and connect with others – rather than simply be sold to.
So, who is this target consumer? Adidas considers digital natives – or Generation Z – to be its embodiment. After all, by 2020, this demographic will make up 40% of the world’s population and have the buying power of two trillion dollars.
With this generation typically viewing sport as intrinsic to culture – or as a mindset rather than an activity – a brand like Adidas has a real opportunity to connect with them in new and meaningful ways.
Using technology to fuse online and offline
This aim is all well and good, of course. But how exactly does Adidas reach customers? Taking into account the fact there is no longer a linear customer journey, the brand aims to interact with people on a one-to-one level across all touchpoints – including mobile, social, and physical retail.
It created Adidas Confirmed with this in mind – an app that allows customers to reserve products for pick-up in store. It also alerts them about new product launches and asks for feedback on purchases, allowing Adidas to create an experience that bridges the online and offline worlds.
Another example is Glitch – a football boot with a changeable inner and outer shoe. It’s also the first product built with an entirely digital business model, only being available to buy through a dedicated app. As well as facilitating the mobile experience, it also offers a premium one – allowing consumers to talk to others, arrange a customised fitting session, or get same day shipping.
By creating memorable experiences such as this – while Adidas might not be able to make consumers actually participate in sport – it’s hard not to feel inspired enough to want to.