The Brand in the Hand: Mobile Marketing at Adidas

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1. What is Adidas’ position in the athletic shoe market? How does the brand seem to be doing in this market?  

Adidas was first positioned in the athletic shoe market as the leading supplier of soccer footwear worldwide.  In the athletic footwear market, Nike was the leader in the market with 40 percent market share, followed by Adidas and Reebok with 16 percent market share.   Adidas later expanded its performance footwear line, to incorporate fringe sports and most athletic sports in general, to pursue its goal in becoming the global leader in athletic footwear.  To support its positioning in the athletic shoe market and target market of 12-24 year old customers and athletes, Adidas used the motto “Impossible is Nothing”, to further demonstrate that the brand had the ability to let individuals go beyond their conventional limits for athletic performance.  Adidas also reinforced the brand’s value to its existing customers through its advertisements at sporting events and sports teams and players sponsorships.  By using sports icons and innovative ways of delivering its advertisements, Adidas hoped to be perceived as a brand that effectively harnessed “the emotional concepts of improvement, challenge and achievement, bringing them to life in an inspirational narrative”.  By directing its marketing efforts in digital media, personal mobile gateways, innovative advertisements, as well ‘intuitive marketing’, Adidas successfully acquired thousands of more sales and brand awareness among its target group.

2. What evidence does Adidas have that suggests the importance and potential success of digital interactive and mobile marketing? Adidas knows that the future is in technology and as technology improves mobile phones are becoming everyday life’s lifeline to the rest of the world.  The internet was getting more expensive with website takeovers costing up to $500,000 per day.  However, mobile advertising was cheaper and with statistics such as 70% of Europeans owned a cell phone it was obvious that this was the right fit for the future.  Coca Cola’s campaign with codes to download free mobile content had great success and reached over 6 million people.  This was a way for people to be engaged as well as promote Coca Cola’s products to their friends, family, and colleagues.  They saw a huge market and future potential for mobile media spending by the target market they were concentrating on.  They knew they had to jump in first to give them the edge against other competitors such as Nike and Reebok, especially in the U.S.  Having this information Adidas then proceeded to role out the test campaign with “Colours” in Sweden.  This was a success and gave executives confidence that this was the right direction.  Each launch thereafter, of the different application for the phone all exceeded their expectations drastically.  They had so much in one of them that their technology could not handle it and had to shut down.  Mobile marketing was the wave of the future and each time they tried something new that involved it they succeeded beyond anybodies expectations. People were moving to their phones like people moved computers.  They were spending money with them, and upgrading to have the most advanced and best they could get their hands on.  This can be seen in how fast they were trying to get everyone on the 3G network so that phones could do almost as much as computers could at close to the same speed.  Adidas also recognized that other forms of marketing had become very cluttered and with this new direct mobile marketing it was right in front of the customer in their hand at all times.  It was the future and Adidas needed to be the first one to realize this and take control of the opportunity.  

3. What is the Brand in the Hand concept? What does this mean to Adidas and its branding efforts? The Brand in Hand concept, initiated by Nick Drake, the Global Media manager for the Global media group, was a marketing strategy...
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