A New Design Strategy For Adidas


ReD began working for Adidas when they wanted to shift their focus from a company whose marketing was positioned around a pro athlete-inspired audience to one that more directly targeted fitness for the masses. ReD studied why people in different countries worked out in order to understand Adidas’ customers better. “ReD influenced our point of view on the fitness market overall, and changed our view of how we can play a role in that,” says James Carnes, VP of Design for Adidas.

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ReD learned that people needed help with motivation, and that Adidas’ splashy designs and saturated colors didn’t encourage the kinds of feelings that got people in workout mode. ReD recommended that Adidas use colors and materials that were softer and less agitating. This helped inspire a new design vision for Adidas. ReD also helped Adidas focus more on the women’s market and the ways regional preferences about body shape and clothing come into play: “The first study on women led us to collaborate with Stella McCartney,” says Carnes.

On each project they worked on they either had an affect on top-line growth or on the structure of our organization or on the culture of the team they worked with to approach things in a different way.
— James Carnes, VP of Design at Adidas

ReD has directed 20 workshops for Adidas and helped set the direction for innovation in teams within Adidas, including the famously secretive Adidas Innova­tion Team. ReD also created an early prototype for Adidas miCoach and created a specific DNA for women’s tennis apparel.

ReD recently created a kids’ strategy to encourage kids to get up and move, in order to develop a love for sports and athletes. The strategy, to be launched around the 2012 Olympics, blends a digital and com­munity-based initiative with Adidas’ miCoach interac­tive fitness monitor. In the works now is a study aimed at defining a comprehensive, long-term digital strategy.

Read the full article at The Economist' website

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