Advances in digital communication offer significant opportunities for our brands to engage with consumers more frequently and enhance our opportunity to build long-lasting relationships and brand loyalty. The adidas Group constantly monitors latest developments and trends in communication technologies. The emergence of social media and social networks is one such example which is already helping our brands increase their consumer reach. A key advantage of these tools is that they allow our brands to engage in a direct dialogue with our consumers. For example, by offering consumers the opportunity to actively participate in brand campaigns or in the design and creation of new products, we can generate a far superior brand experience which resonates in particular with the young generation. In this regard, most of our divisions are investing considerable resources to present the adidas Group’s brands within different social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter. For example, the adidas Originals Facebook page has attracted more than 7 million followers.
The adidas Group is the market leader in numerous countries around the world. This strong competitive position offers us many advantages in terms of global brand visibility, market power and the ability to effectively expand our position in emerging markets. As a result of our strong partnership portfolio and marketing efforts, consumers around the globe are highly aware of our brands and are receptive to our brand messaging. This makes demand for our products more stable compared to smaller competitors. Hence, many retailers consider our products as core to their offering. The adidas Group can therefore compete more effectively for shelf space.
We believe there is a natural limit to the audience size a single brand can appeal to, given the diverse tastes and expectations of a highly fragmented consumer market. Our multi-brand approach provides us with the opportunity to leverage the power of our brands in a more precise and meaningful way see Group Strategy. We are able to utilise the combined strengths of each brand to compete for a higher percentage of the total market – covering a greater number of demographics, consumer needs and price points.
Today’s consumers are looking for choice and variety that go beyond choosing from a wide selection of products. We engage in developing unique and relevant products that fit specific functional and aesthetic requirements see Group Strategy. For example, the adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade brands all offer different personalisation and customisation platforms reflecting each brand’s strategy. Key concepts at adidas include mi adidas, miTeam and miCoach. For example, miCoach is a personalisation concept that combines product technologies with an intelligent web platform. It offers the consumer a personal and real-time audible training system. In August 2010, adidas introduced the miCoach app which allows smart phone users to turn their phone into a personal coach. With “Your Reebok”, consumers can design and order completely customised footwear online. At TaylorMade-adidas Golf, the myTPball online platform offers customers the opportunity to create and order their own golf balls, and our Centers of Excellence provide customised fitting sessions for golfers with expert fitters and technicians. We expect the market for personalised and customised footwear, apparel and hardware to grow strongly and evolve further in the coming years and we will therefore continue to invest in the space.
Exploiting the potential of emerging, fast-growing sports categories is another opportunity for our brands. Our brand teams conduct market research and engage in trend marketing to detect changes in lifestyle and consumer needs of their target audience as early as possible. Changes in lifestyle, habits and attitudes can potentially result in the emergence of new consumer needs that are not addressed by current market product offerings. For example, muscle toning has evolved into a meaningful category in less than two years. Having launched the Reebok EasyTone in 2009 as a walking shoe, the Reebok brand has successfully introduced additional styles and has extended the toning platform to other sports categories as well as to apparel. Similarly, a growing trend is the move by athletes and sports enthusiasts towards more minimalistic products that promote natural body movement. The demand for sports equipment that promotes natural body movement is seen as potentially a major future trend. In order to tap into this opportunity, we are expanding our efforts to bring to market more lightweight and flexible products that support the athlete’s natural course of motion.