An analysis of Adidas and the design of their marketing campaigns

Introduction

Tehrani (2011, p. 1) states that consistency is the most essential factor for successful marketing communications. This article will state an analysis on how Adidas have been able to use their pricing, product, distribution and communications strategies in order to support this theory. The consistency between these strategies enables Adidas to increase their brand awareness, brand resonance and strengthen their brand image (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 197).

An analysis of the design of Adidas’s marketing campaigns

Academic researchers found that price is often seen as an extrinsic cue to consumers to portray quality (Yoo, Donthu and Lee, 2000, p. 198). This is supported by further academic literature which states that premium priced brands are often perceived to be of higher quality. Adidas could be seen to use this theory as their premium pricing portrays the high quality of their brand, which is justified by the performance of their products (Adidas Group, 2014). Their pricing strategy could also be found to use value pricing as their consumers perceptions of value could be found to be taken into account, in order to match the brand’s premium prices (Adidas Group, 2014). This could allow consumer expectations to be met and create customer satisfaction (Yoo, Donthu and Lee, 2000, p. 198).

Product strategy is crucial for building brand equity as academic literature states that it is the primary influence on a customer’s experience and the associations they make towards a brand (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 208). The attributes of Adidas products previously mentioned are used consistently to enable potential customers to have pre-existing perceptions of the brand, and allowing a positive influence on consumer attitudes and behaviour towards the brand (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 209). Academic researchers have found that intangible benefits help to retain customers through a fuller customer experience (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 212). Palmatier (2007, p. 210) states that relationship benefits strengthen the consumers buying relationship with the brand, creating brand loyalty. Adidas have taken this approach through incorporating consumer accounts on their online website, where exclusive discounts are tailored to an individual for a personalised service. The brand’s functional benefits include its unique product designs, implemented through their research and development projects which further allow the brand to be recognised for their innovation for sports products (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 212). Adidas process benefits include their user friendly website, quick delivery service and convenience of purchases, both in store and online (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 212).The proficiency of these services allows the brand to build consumer loyalty.

Cespedes (1988, p. 99) states that selective distribution should be used by retailers whose consumers seek to purchase a particular brand. This approach has been undertaken by Adidas as their products are sold through selected direct and indirect channels allowing an integrated shopping experience. Their direct channels include their online website, whereas its indirect channels include retailers such as JD Sports and Foot Locker. A pull strategy is often used in selective distribution in which consumers use their buying power in order to pull products through the distribution channel (Keller, Aperia and Georgson, 2012, p. 234). Adidas could be seen to use this strategy as their marketing efforts are focused on the end consumer, rather than incentivising retailers to stock their products. This causes end consumers to show demand, appealing retailers to stock the brand’s products (Adidas Group, 2014).

Academic researchers have found that repetitive advertising can be utilised to convey positive brand associations, create brand awareness and narrow brand choice for consumers (Yoo, Donthu and Lee, 2000, p. 200). This is a communication strategy which the brand could be seen to have incorporated as they have implemented a consistent message through all of their campaigns, allowing a brand preference towards Adidas (Adidas Group, 2014).

Conclusion

Overall, the consistency between the brands pricing, product, distribution and communications strategies have enabled the company to strengthen their brand equity and to be ranked amongst the world’s top 70 most valuable brands (Forbes, 2014).

Zhorna Sylvia Ali

References

Adidas Group (2014) Global brands strategy. Available at: http://www.adidas-group.com/en/investors/strategy/global-brands-strategy/#/adidas-strategic-positioning/ (Accessed: 19 November 2014).

Cespedes, F. (1988) ‘Channel management is general management’, California Management Review, 31(1), pp. 98-120.

Forbes (2014) Forbes.  Available at: http://www.forbes.com/companies/adidas/ (Accessed: 10 December 2014).

Keller, K. L., Aperia, T. and Georgson, M. (2012) Strategic Brand Management. 2nd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Palmatier, R., Scheer, L., Houston, M., Evans, K. and Gopalakrishna, S. (2007) ‘Use of relationship marketing programs in building customer-salesperson and customer-firm relationships: Differential influences on financial outcomes’, International Journal of Research in  Marketing, 24(1), pp. 210-223.

Tehrani, R. (2011) ‘Marketing consistency is key in building brand, business’, Customer Interaction Solutions, 30(6), pp. 1-1.

Yoo, B., Donthu, N. and Lee, S. (2000) ‘An examination of selected marketing mix elements and brand equity’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(2), pp. 195-211.

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