At the end of 2014, adidas launched three new women’s stores in China just weeks apart from each other. The first women’s store debuted in Beijing and two more stores were launched in Chengdu. The women’s store is a new segmented retail format which offers the best of women’s performance products from all key categories including running, training and yoga as well as adidas by Stella McCartney.
The store design features warm colours, light wood and a bright and spacious interior. It is a sports-branded retail environment that is truly attractive and inviting.
adidas – the leading sports brand
And as per the adidas Group’s strategy for Greater China, we planned to open numerous segmented retail stores to capture the widely diverse Chinese consumer market. Segmented retail stores and rebranded store concepts are important as they offer fresh branded retail environments that give consumers the opportunity to see the breadth and the depth of the adidas brand – from Sport Performance to Originals to Neo.
According to research, adidas has become the leading sports brand for women in China. Not only that, the company has inspired a whole new generation of women to take up exercise and sport. How did we get here? First, we need to rewind to March 1, 2013, when adidas launched its first locally developed women’s marketing campaign in China.
Inspiring a new generation of sports lovers
For adidas, a leading sports brand in China, one of the challenges it faced was that Chinese women felt alienated by the masculine image presented by sports brands. As much of sports communications was driven vertically through key categories such as basketball, football and running, women didn’t feel a proper connection with a sports brand.
In 2013, adidas launched its first-ever local campaign targeting Chinese women. The campaign’s mission was to inspire Chinese girls to develop a passion for exercise and sport and, of course, to turn to adidas for all of their sports apparel and footwear needs.
Through qualitative and quantitative research, adidas uncovered the insight that, for Chinese girls, sport is about social bonding. Girls believe they can gain happiness and build friendships through sport. Tapping into the importance of friendship, adidas created the “all in for #mygirls” campaign, which showed the fun and bonding girls can have when they come together to do sports.
Successful women´s campaign increases brand awareness
The 2013 adidas women’s campaign was recognized with the prestigious Gold Effie Award. Launched in 1968, the Effie Award is one of the leading industry awards for the most effective marketing communication ideas and campaigns. The follow-up 2014 adidas women’s campaign was also recognized with a Silver Effie Award. In 2014, the Silver Effie was the highest award given out.
As a result of this successful marketing campaign, we’ve seen significant growth in the women’s category, one of our fastest-growing categories in China. Additionally, according to post-campaign research, we’ve seen an uptick in sports participation among women and have also made significant progress in brand awareness and purchase intention among our target audience.
As a leading sports brand, one of our goals has been to develop sport in China and encourage more people to participate in sports. It has been extremely gratifying to see a new generation of women discover a healthy love for exercise as a result of our campaign.
Looking to the future
The market is maturing and as more women in China develop a passion for fitness and sport, they are looking for products that will maximize their performance. We’re proud to offer the best selection of innovative and technologically advanced sports apparel, footwear and accessories for women but equally proud to have an experiential and engaging series of segmented retail stores in which to offer them to our increasingly sophisticated women consumers.