Integrated Marketing Communication at Adidas

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Integrated Marketing Communication effectiveness of the Fortune 500 Company Adidas. There are multiple aspects to a business, and analyzing them can help other businesses to understand how a company is operated successfully. Examining the company also allows us to understand what strategies could help the company improve. Certain areas of marketing communication are vital in business, this paper will examine the communication process and tactics of the Adidas Company.

The analysis will contain the history of Adidas and how it has evolved their marketing communications strategies over the years. The paper will also analyze the direct marketing and personal sales of the company. The analysis of the Adidas communication campaigns and the reflection of their core values will also be discussed in the paper. Adidas is a global brand that is facing extreme competition from other brands such as Nike. The comparison of both companies will be discussed in the analysis.

The strengths weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the company will also be analyzed in the paper. The company’s financial growth regarding their new branding strategies over the years also will be discussed.

The Adidas Company started in 1949 when Adolf Adi Dassler at the age 49 set off to work with 47 employees in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Dassler submitted the original shoe that included the famous Adidas 3-Stripes. The notable shoes were screw-in-studs that were designed as lightweight football boots. The football boots, better known as soccer cleats, were first used by the German football team when they defeated Hungary in the 1954 FIFA World Cup final.

The game was believed to be a miracle because Hungary was an undefeated team at that time. Germany’s defeat of Hungary would later be heard across the world for decades. Adidas and Dassler then became household names on football fields around the world. The Adidas shoe would later become one of the most popular athletic shoes in the world.

The first piece of Adidas clothing apparel was created in 1967 when the Franz Beckenbauer tracksuit debuted. This original piece of apparel would open doors for Adidas in the future by allowing them to venture in the fashion world. The tracksuit opened a whole new apparel clothing segment to the company.

The three-stripe was a trademark that allowed the Adidas brand to be distinguished from all the rest. The brand became prominent in the athletic world as they began to evolve and gain trusts from world-class athletes. Adidas continued to produce innovative products for athletes performing in different sports. The athletes believed that the shoes allowed them to perform better. Dassler’s best marketing strategy was meeting with the athletes in personal , and asking them what could be improved or invented to support their athletic needs. The best athletes around the world gained trust in Adidas because they believed the company catered to them, and cared about their specific needs. The Adidas brand continues to excel today because of its consistent goal of meeting athletic needs.

According to the Adidas mission statement, the group continually aims to be the global leader in the sporting product industry with brands built for a sporting lifestyle. According to The Adidas group is dedicated to continuously strengthening their brands and products to enhance their competitive position.

Every rand strives to become the best in their product industry, but Adidas aims to be the best by constantly improving their sales strategies. The goals of the Adidas Company are rapidly changing as they continue to take on new ideas and business endeavors.  Adidas is merging into one of the most popular sporting brands in the world and being stagnant on product marketing is not one of their goals.

The Adidas group strategy is ‘Creating the New’ because they believe that they have the power to change lives through sports. Everything they strive to do is rooted in sport and lifestyle. As the health and fitness trends begin to reach their peaks sports are becoming a way of life. Sport is beginning to play a progressively significant role in people’s lives whether it be on or off the athletic fields.

As the Adidas group continues to operate highly in the sporting apparel industry, they are motivated to push the expansion of products. Adidas also strives to excel in customer experiences and services to influence product desire. They believe doing so will help to capitalize on the growth opportunities in sports, as well as in sporting casual and active wear.

The Adidas group believes that the sports are the central to almost every culture and society and is also the center to a person’s mental and physical health. Initially the Adidas brand strives to inspire and allow individuals to utilize the power of sport in their lives.

As time progresses the Adidas company has allowed their brand to advance into the fashion industry. Years ago, you could find Adidas sporting apparel being worn by the best athletes in the world. Today high fashion models such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are spotted wearing Adidas apparel on the runways of New York Fashion Week. Adidas has transcended their brand into more than just an athletic footwear company.

On February 8, the Adidas Company collaborated with an upcoming fashion designer Daniëlle Cathari.  Cathari’s collection for Adidas made its debut at the brand’s New York Fashion Week preview. After a month-long release schedule, her collection dropped in New York, London, Paris, and Shanghai.

Cathari mentioned that is was simple collaborating with Adidas because of their willingness to accept fresh innovative designs that would appeal to consumers. Cathari said “I had a lot of freedom. It was very naturally collaborative – 50% their DNA and 50% mine. It could have been so hard, but it was truly so easy to collaborate.”

The Adidas Company has generated a massive amount of idolization from consumers in the high fashion industry because of their desire to expand beyond their original designs. The Adidas Company has also collaborated with hip-hop rapper Kanye West. The “Yeezy Boost” are the official collaboration sneaker by Kanye West and Adidas.

Kanye West has released twelve sneaker designs with Adidas within the past four years. The shoes have further allowed Adidas to expand their brand passed the street wear classic 3-stripe sneaker. Although the Yeezy Boost are an Adidas collaboration, the sneaker has allowed Adidas to push pass Nike in their variety of footwear.

Strategies such as collaborations, will allow the Adidas Company to become successful while gaining consumer attention around the world.

Other successful strategies of the Adidas Company are gaining a strong social media presence. In order to have an effective business a strong social media presence is required. According to Growth Gorus, social networks are the fastest growing industries in the world. Social media marketing also expands the brand’s identification and awareness. Today, about 78 percent of small businesses use social media apps to lure in new customers. The remaining, 33 percent of customers recognized social media as how they view new brands and products.

Overall a strong social media presence helps with marketing to consumers while validating the company’s brand.  The company’s social media presence allows consumers to know the specific brand is always present, and focused on advancing in communication with them. According to The Marketing Insider Group, 63 percent of consumers who search for businesses online will most likely use ones with the strongest social media platforms. The Adidas Company’s social media platform allows them to connect with their consumers while increasing awareness about their brand products. This specific strategy allows them to boost their leads and sales using social media platforms.

The Adidas Company uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook to advertise their products. They also use social media to connect with their audiences globally. The Adidas Company thrives on all social media platforms because of their favored content. Each of their channels use a relevant and specific campaign focused featured video.

The Adidas twitter account has over 3.54 million followers. This account retweets other brands affiliated with Adidas, while combining the entire Adidas brand as a whole. The retweets posted by the brand accounts are mainly of videos and images of Adidas clothing, shoes, and fitness products being promoted. Adidas uses real-life sporting events to promote their products. For example, at the UEFA Champions League Final, athletes such as Luis Suarez and Alvaro Morata who used Adidas equipment during the match were tweeted on the account. Under the Adidas hashtag their pictures were tweeted on the accounts page. This is a strategy of Adidas marketing that Twitter uses for global branding.

The Adidas Facebook account is similar, where they have an exceedingly large fan base. Adidas remains one of the most dominant companies on social media because their process of integrating their brand channels into existing channels. By liking and sharing content of other company pages such as Nike or Puma, the Adidas brand also gets their content shared on these brand pages .

The Adidas YouTube account has 851,238 subscribers and 55 videos. There YouTube account features seven other Adidas brand channels. The account also features several Adidas campaigns such as the most recent ‘See Creativity’ campaign. This new ‘See Creativity ‘campaign is one of the latest chapters of Adidas. This campaign is told through the lens of female athletes from all over the world. The campaign builds on the company’s belief that hard work can only get you so far. The ‘See Creativity ‘campaign includes a multi-athlete video that appreciates creators from around the world who are confident and courageous.

The Adidas Instagram account has 22.3 million followers, and is primarily used to generate brand and product awareness. Consumers are highly influenced by the visual content posted on the account page. The Adidas Company’s effective advertising techniques on Instagram has allowed them to market to consumers globally. For example, Adidas supplied the match balls in the FIFA Women’s World Cup played in Montreal. The company posted an image of the final match ball with a view of the stadium while using the location Montreal so that people searching for this location would find the content posted. This is an example of how the company’s strong social media presence allows them to advertise without hashtags.

Adidas has created several memorable campaigns using their social media platforms. One of the most memorable campaigns was the “Calling All Creators” created in 2017. The campaign invited athletes from around the world to find creativity within themselves. The campaign believes that all athletes should be identified for their creativity, not only for their athletic abilities. The final result of the campaign is a celebration of athletes across multiple sports who choose to use their creativity to change the world.

The “Calling All Creators” campaign has reached multiple media surfaces because of the brand’s choice identifiable creators from sports, music, fashion and entertainment. The campaign featured the biggest names in pop culture and sports today. The campaign cast included stars such as James Harden, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Von Miller, Pharrell Williams, Kris Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins, Pusha T, Damian Lillard, David Beckham, and Alexander Wang.

In 2017, the “Unleash Your Creativity” campaign was created to show how individuals should take an extra step to creatively make a difference in the world of fitness.  In this process, Adidas recorded influential women in culture, and female athletes to explain how they constantly challenge themselves mentally to make a physical difference. The campaign reads that “Hard work only gets you so far.” “To make a real difference, you need something more powerful. Your creativity. Unleash it and see how far you can go.”

The campaign featured high fashion supermodel Karlie Kloss, professional kickboxer Ruqsana Begum, and social media figure Hannah Bronfman. Several other influential women featured in the campaign show how they go beyond average as they use their creativity to discover the fitness world in their own innovative ways.

In 2016, the “I’m Here to Create” campaign was created to redefine the true meaning of sports. The advertisement featured several female athletes such as WNBA player Candace Parker, tennis icon Caroline Wozniacki, street athlete Robin Arzon and DJ Hannah Bronfman. The campaign consisted of a series of films of female athletes showing how they add creativity to their sport. The unscripted series was created to show how each of the female athletes bring their own perspective on creativity to sports. At the time, the new Adidas brand footwear PureBOOST X was advertised in the campaign. The series was broadcast in over 50 countries during events such as the Grammys, UEFA Champions League matches, the BRIT Awards, and the Oscars.

Overall these campaigns have been effective, and have received many positive responses from audiences over the world.  Over the years, these campaigns have empowered people to thrive through their creativity whether they are a professional athlete or not. These campaigns also inspire women globally to challenge themselves to explore their creativity through athletics. These campaigns have become favorited by female audiences because they have allowed women to interrupt the preconceived notions that come along with them in the athletic world.

The Adidas Company’s Global Brand Marketing is ran by Eric Liedtke. Liedtke is responsible for all communications, marketing research, and public relations. He has worked with the Adidas Company for over 12 years. With his leadership skills he has managed to progress the brand’s communication efforts in the North American market. Liedtke continues to strengthen the brand because he knows its weaknesses. He has worked and operated with the Global Communications team and agency network.

The global primary agency for Adidas’ sports is 72andSunny. The agency was founded by John Boiler, Glenn Cole, and Robert Nakata in 2004. The advertising agency also has offices in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York City. This advertising and marketing agency creates global brand campaigns such as “Unleash Your Creativity”, and “Calling All Creators”.

The agency is responsible for creating campaigns for basketball, soccer, and running efforts. 72andSunny has made outstanding campaigns that have received positive reviews globally. While the Adidas Company plans to be aggressive in their marketing campaigns, their intent is to continuously go big.

The Adidas Company remains dominant in marketing through their sporting campaigns. The “Adidas All In” marketing campaign was the largest in their history.

The brand displayed their presence amongst different lifestyles and cultures that combine the sports world. It captured the passion of athletes, artists, and musicians who love what they do. This campaign allowed the brand to create a powerful relationship with audiences and consumers by inspiring and recognizing a blend of interests and passion that brought all creators together.

Adidas marketing strategies have allowed them to remain dominant as one of the best sporting brands in the world. Their unique marketing strategies have allowed them to inspire while reaching consumers.

Besides their dominance in marketing campaign efforts, the company struggles in premium price ranging, outsourced manufacturing, and their limited product line. According to Marketing91, the high price range due to new technology and production procedures have made Adidas difficult to purchase for consumers in third world countries. The Adidas brand also has only two brands under their group, which means that there is more range for a product line expansion in the future.

Opportunities for the company come in different ranges such as market development, expansion in product line, backward integration, and increasing demand of premium products.  As a global brand, the Adidas Company faces threats from their competition from the Nike Company that remains one above Adidas.  Other threats include supplier dominance and government regulations in other countries. Because a majority of the Adidas productions are outsourced, the company does not have as much bargaining power as the suppliers. Import regulations in China and Asia also play unfavorable roles with pricing and affluence of the brand.

Overall, the Adidas Company is ranked number five in the apparel industry, and 61 for the World’s Most Valuable Brands. Over the years, the company has positioned itself as powerful leaders in the world market. Its drive by innovation and fuel for creativity has set them apart from other apparel brands in the apparel industry. As they continue to assist athletes in making a difference in their performance they continue to grow as a brand. The Adidas brand believes they have the power to change lives through sports and creativity.

The brand will continue to excel by creating the best products and services for their consumers around the world, while allowing them to explore and create new dimensions of sports and athletics.

REFERENCES

https://www.marketing91.com/adidas-swot-analysis/

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14091819/1/adidas-is-latest-major-brand-to-have-a-serious-pr-nightmare.html

https://lbbonline.com/news/adidas-2018-brand-campaign-invites-the-world-to-see-creativity-in-sport/

https://www.72andsunny.com/

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