Deeply cultivating the Chinese market, Adidas is building up its strength to win back growth

Deeply cultivating the Chinese market, Adidas is building up its strength to win back growth

On March 8, the global sporting goods giant Adidas released its fourth quarter and full-year performance report for the 2022 fiscal year. On the earnings conference call, Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden (Bjorn Gulden), who took over on January 1 this year, said when talking about the Chinese market, “The Chinese market plays a very important strategic role. China’s consumption At the same time, there are also many excellent Chinese talents in Adidas, who play a very important role in both creativity and commercial contribution.”

Regarding the future planning of the Chinese market, Gulden said, “We have a localized management team in China, and they have full autonomy to make decisions for the local market. We trust and support them to do the right thing and support them Respond faster and more flexibly.”

He pointed out that Adidas will always adhere to the concept of “in China, for China”. As far as products are concerned, Adidas has been committed to providing customized products for Chinese consumers. In the future, Adidas will have more products specially designed for Chinese consumers, and at the same time respond more quickly to the needs of Chinese consumers.

In fact, since entering the Chinese market, Adidas has always adhered to the concept of “in China, for China”. In recent years, Adidas has increased its investment in China and continued to cultivate the Chinese market: the Asia-Pacific Creative Center located in Shanghai has continuously explored local original design capabilities, increased member construction to create unique consumer experiences, continued to promote the goal of zero carbon emissions, and joined hands with Chinese literature and art The foundation tells the “Chinese story” to the world…all of these are gaining value for growth.

Profession is the core competitiveness, technological innovation is fundamental

In the view of Xiao Jiale, managing director of Adidas Greater China, the most critical factor to win the favor of consumers is “professionalism”. “We know that professionalism is the core competitiveness of an enterprise, and innovative technology is the basis for us to be favored by consumers.”

As a world-renowned sporting goods brand with a profound history, Adidas has always been a firm supporter of “professionalism”. The Boost running shoe midsole technology it pioneered is a typical case. In 2013, Adidas launched Boost technology, which combined the two characteristics of “soft cushioning” and “sharp responsiveness” that had been contradictory in the past, bringing a new experience to runners. The launch of BOOST also established Adidas’ leading position in the midsole technology of running shoes.

Since then, Adidas has continued to invest in research and development on the basis of innovative midsole technology, providing consumers with a better wearing experience with BOOST foam with different performances. Adidas has also developed different midsole technologies to meet the needs of different consumers. For example, the ULTRABOOST LIGHT series, a new generation of Boost’s 10th anniversary running shoes released on February 23 this year, applied the revolutionary innovative material LIGHT BOOST for the first time to create a new version of BOOST midsole, which reduced the weight of the midsole by 30% compared with the previous generation.

While adhering to “professionalism” in products and technology and innovating the consumption experience of Chinese consumers, Adidas also continues to deepen cooperation with China’s top sports events, teams, athletes, etc., providing them with all-round support including professional equipment. A series of measures have not only provided assistance for the development of China’s elite athletes and sports, but also further strengthened the brand’s professional sports image. As of 2022, Adidas has cooperated with the Chinese women’s volleyball team for 18 years, with the Beijing Marathon for 13 years, as a top partner in the Guangzhou Marathon for 5 years, and with the Shanghai International Half Marathon for 7 years.

In addition to focusing on product technology innovation and developing professional sports events, Adidas has also continuously explored China’s local original design strength, endowing brand reputation with more sense of experience and culture. As early as 2019, Adidas Asia Creative Center settled in Shanghai, aiming to meet the needs of young consumers through local innovation. It is reported that the Asia Creative Center can provide support for all core products, and it only takes 4-7 months to turn initial ideas into products. Thousands of products are continuously exported from here every year.

With the cooperation and support of the Asian Creative Center, Chinese designers and local artists, Adidas’ creative products that ingeniously incorporate Chinese elements have exploded in recent years. In recent years, Adidas has cooperated with ceramic artist Yi Ran and contemporary avant-garde artist Zhang Quan to launch the “Ran Guzi Down the Mountain” series and the “Puppet” series; extracting ideas from the customs and customs of Northwest China and the elements of local nomads, Adidas launched “Wanwu Xun”. “Zong” plans the first season of the “Sudden” series. When the Lunar New Year is approaching in 2023, Adidas has joined hands with Han Meilin, the designer of the “Fuwa” series for the Beijing Olympics, to launch a special joint series of “Zodiac” with Chinese traditional cultural characteristics.

“In the next 2-3 years, products created in China will account for one-third of Adidas’ Chinese market volume, and Adidas will use more localized innovations to narrow the gap with young Chinese consumers.” Xiao Jiale express.

Focus on members to create the ultimate experience

Impressing consumers requires not only a good brand reputation, but also a good consumer experience. In Adidas’ view, consumers expect personalized products, brands and shopping experiences whether on e-commerce platforms or physical stores. To this end, Adidas is transforming into a member-centric business model led by direct sales with the help of a sales network composed of physical stores and e-commerce platforms.

On the one hand, Adidas has created a CONFIRMED APP for members in recent years. Different from the adidas APP, another local application of Adidas, the CONFIRMED APP takes the community as the core, and provides sneaker lovers with a new digital experience through limited products and creative content. At the same time, Adidas makes full use of the new release mechanism and digital security technology to ensure that consumers can purchase products in a fair, fast and safe way, and build a harmonious community atmosphere.

On the other hand, as early as April 2021, Adidas opened an official mall on Douyin, becoming the first global sports brand to open an official mall on Douyin. At the same time, Adidas also embraces the most IN digital social way of generation Z. Whether it is the “OZ Future Concert” opened by adidas Originals in May last year together with Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s first virtual music carnival TMELAND, or the “Super Unblue Dimension” Tmall Super Brand Day held by Adidas in July last year, The creation of virtual blocks through the concept of the metaverse is a manifestation of its commitment to creating the ultimate experience.

Offline, Adidas has opened up more specialty stores. Located in Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li, Chengdu, adidas Originals is the world’s first customized clover flagship store, which perfectly integrates tradition and trend, technology and culture; Adidas’ second a3 store in China is its first RFID store successfully built in China and the Asia-Pacific region. It can bring customers a high level of retail innovation and digital service experience. In 2022, Adidas also restarted its global flagship store in Sanlitun, Beijing, where innovative interactive digital technology, sustainable development, and diverse and inclusive brand genes and original culture and art blend together, bringing consumers an innovative, pioneering, and immersive sports shopping experience.

At the same time, Adidas has accelerated the realization of the digital transformation of self-operated stores, and worked with dealer partners to improve the digital level to ensure that consumers can obtain a consistent high-quality brand experience in any sales channel.

In addition, Adidas also held the China Athletics Street Tournament, organized Frisbee, cycling, hiking and other emerging sports activities that are popular among young people, and played flexible offline flash activities, hoping that more people who love life and sports People can participate in and enjoy a variety of sports. For example, in 2022, Adidas sponsored the Chinese Frisbee League throughout; during the 2022 World Cup, Adidas launched the Shanghai Football Rave Party Flash Mob, creating an iron cage football arena for young fans, allowing fans to compete in iron cages where confrontation and skills are staged in turn. Enjoy the joy of football in the intersection of football arena and dynamic electronic music.

Changing Lives Through Movement, Accelerating Sustainability

In addition to valuing brand reputation and brand experience, using brand consumption to express personality and attitude has become a new consumption concept for more and more local consumers, especially the rapidly emerging Generation Z. In the face of increasingly clear new consumption trends, Adidas has also continued to increase its sustainable development in order to win the trust of Generation Z who prefer green and environmentally friendly brands.

It is understood that sustainable development has always been an integral part of Adidas’ business model, and it is rooted in the company’s goal: to change lives through sports. In the coming years, adidas will continue to vigorously advance its sustainable commitment, translate it into a comprehensive plan for consumers, and expand the scale of sustainable products. Currently, 60% of Adidas products are made from sustainable materials. Adidas will increase this proportion to 90% by 2025, achieve carbon neutrality in its own business, and achieve carbon neutrality in its overall business by 2050.

In China, Adidas also continues to move towards “zero carbon emissions”. In Adidas’ view, China is different from other markets in that it has a high level of e-commerce development. Based on the characteristics of this vast market, Adidas has carried out a series of sustainable attempts. For example, in 2021, the packaging required for Adidas logistics has been replaced with recyclable materials; the packaging of shoes is no longer made of plastic tape, but zippered cartons; the shipping boxes are also made of recyclable materials and reused. According to statistics, only in the packaging process, Adidas will reduce a total of 470 tons of carbon emissions in China in 2021.

At the same time, Adidas and the marine environmental protection organization Parley for the Oceans cooperated with the global theme activity of “running out of the blue” and also received good response in China. Participants pick up litter during the run, and Adidas will clean up the corresponding amount of plastic waste according to the number of kilometers the participants run. After the epidemic, Adidas adjusted the plan to record the running time of the participants, redeem a plastic bottle every ten minutes, and promised to work with Parley to clean up the corresponding amount of plastic waste.

The above-mentioned activities have been held for 5 consecutive years, and a total of 15 million people around the world have participated. Among them, the number of participants and running time in the Chinese market contributed more than 50% of the global total. In the 2022 “Run Out of the Blue” event, about 4.3 million Chinese participants ran about 390 million minutes in total, and Adidas cleaned up correspondingly more than 39 million plastic bottles as promised.

In addition, adidas uses public welfare and education as a window to give full play to its strengths and aims to do its best to help more people change their lives through sports. In the 26 years since entering China, Adidas has joined hands with like-minded partners such as the China Youth Development Foundation, China Poverty Alleviation Foundation, Suzhou Industrial Park Charity Federation, etc., to pay attention to and support the development of community and youth sports, and launched the “Happy Sports” and “Special Youth Counseling Programs” “, “Migrant Workers’ Children Support Program”, daily clothing donation and disaster relief support and a series of public welfare projects and actions.

It is worth mentioning that in 2022, Adidas signed a memorandum of strategic cooperation with the China Literature and Art Foundation, and plans to cooperate in three aspects in the next three years, focusing on paying tribute to the sportsmanship of century-old masters, spreading the power of youth, and depicting the charm of China. The first documentary of the cooperation between the two parties, “Century Masters·Education: Tan Kah Kee Chapter”, has recently held a launching ceremony at Xiamen University.

“Adidas’ development in the Chinese market is a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint.” Xiao Jiale said in an interview with the media at the beginning of this year. Based on “in China, for China”, from brand reputation, to brand experience, to sustainable development, Adidas is constantly saving strength and preparing for another sprint.

Source link