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Success of #HOMETEAMHERO shows adidas is in sync with consumer needs: Manish Sapra

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Sapra, Senior Brand Director, adidas India, speaks to e4m about the brand’s strategy to leverage the digital approach & e-retail amid the lockdown

Adidas has been recently in the limelight for its new digital campaign and challenge #HOMETEAMHERO.  Over the past several days, the brand has encouraged over a million people across the globe, including India to join the challenge that supports the WHO COVID19 Response Fund. adidas will be donating $1 for every hour of fitness activity clocked on the adidas Running and adidas Training apps till 7th June.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, brands have resorted to alternative ways and strategies to keep the momentum going during the lockdown. Amplification of the digital approach amid the pandemic has been the core strategy for adidas. The sportswear brand has also focused on its e-retail, which has shown gains in sales post relaxations in the lockdown. With e-commerce sale accounting to 30% in the pre-COVID times, the brand is optimistic about regaining the numbers soon.

In the presence of Manish Sapra, Senior Brand Director, adidas India, the brand, through a virtual press conference, announced Manushi Chillar, Former Miss World 2017 as a brand ambassador. She has joined a powerful roster of adidas ambassadors, including Ranveer Singh, Rohit Sharma, Hima Das, and over 20 other top athletes.

E4m interacted with Sapra on adidas’ strategy of leveraging digital approach, e-retail amid lockdown, its investment in sporting events and more.

Edited Excerpts:-

adidas has upped their spends on digital. The recent #HOMETEAMHERO campaign is doing well. What is the focus area for the brand to leverage the digital approach?

#HOMETEAMHERO has been one of the most successful campaigns for adidas globally. As people take to at-home fitness to keep physically and mentally fit, adidas has been at the forefront of inspiring people through this movement. It really shows the agility of the brand and how well it is in sync with consumer needs. Across digital platforms, the brand will look at each from the perspective of the consumer journey and focus on the platforms that would be needed to engage with the consumer at the right time of the journey.

How is adidas using the online shopping channel? What has been the percentage increase in e-retail since the lockdown?

Our website is the most important store for adidas, because it is open 24x7x365. We continue to better our consumer experience across our platform. It would be too early to comment on the exact percentage increase of online business since the lockdown, but it definitely has been the biggest area of focus for us during this period, especially as offline has remained closed. Having said this, we are excited to see offline starting to open up, and the early trends are extremely encouraging.

adidas has been an active endorser of sporting events. Since no physical event is happening, how will the brand associate with sports now? Where will adidas spend?

While physical stadiums and fields remain inaccessible as of now, home has become the new playing field for our consumers. Our #HOMETEAMHERO campaign has resonated extremely well with our consumers and fans globally who have engaged consistently with the campaign over the last 2 months and made it one of the most successful campaigns for adidas.

Shopping will change entirely now. With relaxations in lockdown, stores are opening back. What is the brand doing in terms of safety and adapting to the new situation?

As stores open, we continue to prioritise the health & safety of our consumers and employees. We are ensuring limits on the number of consumers in a store at any time, which at times has led to massive queues outside our stores on numerous occasions.

Across the whole experience of the consumer within the store, we are ensuring that utmost safety standards are maintained, starting with temperature checks, sanitizer stands, sanitisation of the trial rooms before and after use, and sanitising and quarantining the tried products for 24 hours. We have extensively trained our store teams to cater to consumer needs while maintaining social distancing and support contactless service.

From a technology point of view, also we have multiple projects like appointment-based store visits. One new project we have recently piloted is the self-check-out kiosk. It’s not something you wouldn’t expect in a sport retail environment. It involves minimal human touch/interaction and minimizes any risk of transfer.

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