PUMA – Creatively engaging with the consumer

According to Puma’s research, at least half of online consumers are multichannel shoppers, meaning that they go both online and in stores to make purchasing decisions, says Remi Carlioz, Puma’s newly installed senior head of digital marketing. Mobile is becoming an increasingly large player in the shopping process, he adds.

Carlioz admits that Puma was late to recognize social media’s marketing potential.

Indvik, L, 2012 <http://mashable.com/2012/02/06/shoe-footwear-brands-social-media-marketing/> Retrieved April, 20, 2015


Since recognizing their late involvement in social media, sports brand PUMA has gone heavily into the social media world. The brand utilizes a range of social platforms including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Tumblr
  • Foursquare
  • Instagram

Puma uses social media for two ends: to build the brand — which Carlioz describes as both performance-driven and modest — and to drive awareness around big product and campaign launches.

Indvik, L, 2012 <http://mashable.com/2012/02/06/shoe-footwear-brands-social-media-marketing/> Retrieved April, 20, 2015

Interestingly in response to their research, around 2010 PUMA took action to becoming more social, creative and engaging with customers by developing Puma Creative Factory. The concept – a customized application platform whereby in store (using ipads) customers can design their own shoes and share designs socially. A great video from the app designing company can be found here http://www.anthonymonahan.com/Puma-Creative-Factory

Further to this, PUMA developed a social platform of their own called Life Score Board as part of their digital strategy, which allows users to create competitions of their own and easily keep scores. This in addition to developing social clubs around the world has seen major price rises for PUMA.

I believe that giving customers a first hand opportunity to design their own products or patterns is a great way to discover potential trends in what consumers want. However, this is probably a costly exercise and would be only open to large corporations with capital behind them.

– Given that brands such as PUMA are turning to innovative ways to create social media to engage with customers, has anyone else seen new trends from brands?

– How effective do you think social media is as a means to market research?

– Do you believe that consumers are driving what makes ‘fashion’ these days?

– Are consumers being told/fed what is to be considered ‘fashion’ from designers/brands/retailers?

– What type of research strategies are best suited for upcoming SMEs?

It would be great to open some of these questions up for discussion.


20 thoughts on “PUMA – Creatively engaging with the consumer

  1. i think understanding customers needs is the most challenging and the most important aspect in today’s competitive business world. fulfilling the customer needs creates loyalty and belonging to a brand which makes a brand strong. i think the companies address to customer needs in a way which suits them. the companies very intelligently feed the customers of what is fashion, we can say they create a perception of fulfilling customer needs , they might be doing it partially but not fully.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Creating strong social networks for customers and directly engaging in such networks is certainly a great way to create intimate conversations with customers.

    Nike took a similar action when it launched Nike+, a social network dedicated to runners that use Nike+ products. Nike+ is essentially a virtual “Training Club” that is fully integrated with other Nike products (such as Nike+ GPS App and Nike+ Sportwatch) enabling users to track their running logs, health reports and to challenge themselves and other users to participate in competitions.

    Nike+ turned out to be a great success, in fact it grew so unexpectedly popular that the Nike+ site became malfunctioned in some stage, due to so many users! After overcoming the temporary technical issues, Nike+ is now enjoying the largest online community of runners ever assembled..


  3. I think that social media provides a fantastic opportunity for market research. Millions of potential customers engage on social media to directly interact with businesses, sharing both negative and positive experiences or feedback. These kinds of responses give you insight as to the markets attitudes and feelings towards the brand.
    Furthermore, social media gives businesses the opportunities to find out more about their customers. Information such as age, gender, location, interests, education background, job status, relationship status etc can easily be found on any individuals social media account. These kinds of information are incredibly helpful when trying to conduct market research.

    In response to another one of your questions, I also think that customers absolutely influence what is fashion these days. Everything you see in stores is created with the same purpose- to make money, and to be profitable. Customers must like what you sell in order to buy it, and without customer purchase, these stores would not exist.
    Fashion is driven by customer demand.
    Put very basically, in summer customers are not interested in buying a winter coat no matter how fashionable it may be, therefore stores do not stock coats in winter, they instead stock clothes that are likely to be purchased like shorts or singlets.


  4. It is interesting to read that PUMA developed a social platform of their own called Life Score Board as part of their digital strategy. I am very interested and normally follow up these brands but I have not come across this platform so far.
    Nike as one of the main competitors has developed a free app, called Nike training, that I use frequently when working out. The app allows to set up a personal training program, offers online exercises with famous personal trainers and helps to follow up training progresses. Of course, all the trainers in the video are wearing Nike clothes and look great in them 🙂
    The app also allows to set-up groups that enables you to set training goals and follow up together. In that way, Nike hopes to attract more users by mouth to mouth campaign.
    I think the app is a good example how a company can reach their (potential) customers and introduce products to them. Moreover, the company is able to further strengthen their brand as the lifestyle message they want to transport – Just do it!


  5. Investing in app development is obviously a smart move for companies.
    The cynic in me thinks the ‘design-your-own’ product is a way for companies to tap into some great (unpaid) innovation, yet it’s a clever way to give consumers a sense of ownership of the brand.


  6. This is really the only way forward for marketers. You need a mature social platform to build an effective brand and many consumers today (even those who follow the brand and purchase the products) will go to the website to look over the product specifications and gain interest. They could decide to purchase online or move through the store to purchase direct. The key thing for me here is that the marketing research has been done and by way of PUMA is continuously researching and scanning the market. The Life Score Board is really about extending the brand and social platform for end user engagement while cleverly developing interest and also researching internet hits and visits, tracking momentum and involvement. I think more than ever consumers are having a say in the design of products such as these because organisations are building social platforms and emphasizing the importance of connection with consumers.


  7. Puma’s use of social media is a smart way of doing their market research because these days there is a large number of people who are using social media to share idea about all sorts of things including their likes and dislikes about certain products. Getting information about what different people like through social media will definitely enable Puma to properly cater for the needs of their current and potential customers. Regarding whether consumers are driving fashion these days, I feel that the answer is both yes and no. Yes, because consumers are dictating what products they want to use or what cloths they want to wear, and no because the fashion that we see around is designed by someone else and then consumers buy it because they see that that is what everyone is wearing so it becomes trendy.


  8. PUMA is doing well on the research..
    However, nowadays one of the most important and required for companies is searching, finding, understanding and satisfying customers’ needs in order to gain such a successful competitive business. In this term, as an effective alternative strategy, PUMA truly maximizes the use of social media platform as an online tool to grab all their customer target’s wants. Beautifully, this way makes “positive feedback” from people, as huge number of people at the moment are using social media such as Facebook ,Twitter, etc. This way also links people’s retention to the brand. Furthermore, if the customers are being satisfied by the products quality and value, so then it will build customers’ brand loyalty.
    One more way that i really like is what PUMA does, is giving customers a first hand opportunity to design their own products or patterns. Obviously, this really influences and delivers big positive impact for the company in order to satisfy consumers’ want.


  9. Social media and online consumer activities are a great way to find out what the customer wants. I was reading an article recently about one of the large retail chains in Europe analysing their customer trends using a range on online data sources (social media, feedback, product sales). They are able to determine what is trending well and get the product designed and on the shelves within a matter of weeks (as opposed to the usual turn around of 6 months). This gives the organisation a clear competitive advantage.


  10. Interesting post.
    Social media gives out a strong impact on both perspective for the brand. A set of consumers giving positive feedback improvises the brand value or could deteriorate otherwise. Then why do the brands take such a big risk on posting public feedbacks or review on their products. Can this method also be followed by the SME population too? It has to be of real concern to them as they lack one of the largest sectors of Internet Marketing when it comes to SME’s. How do they react to the strategies applied upon by the bigger companies in a whole? SME plays upon the tactical advantage of low costs. The bigger brands have their own confidence upon their products hence make their feedback as public to increase the brand value. That is what PUMA, NIKE or ADIDAS does. Social Network as a whole generally affects the bigger brands, but yes SME’s also get benefited, when they give a similar quality alongside as a cheaper rate. They know it right, not everyone can handle brands, so they are ought to sell their products.


  11. Social media is certainly the new way of connecting with customers of many age groups, particularly I guess the younger age groups. I would agree it would be an avenue of driving innovation in product design through customer feedback – the only issue then is the company having to filter that feedback into developing products the majority of their customers are likely to want.

    As for fashion – I think there is a mix of both the fashion industry trying to sway what is considered to be in fashion as much as answering the desires of customers. Maybe that is changing now with companies having more access to social media-driven customer feedback, but can recall some years ago the “brown is the new black” campaign was very persuasive.


  12. In recent years, Social Media has become an effective tool for companies with fast access to many customers. It is both a communication channel to help promote the brand, both as a way for businesses to collect customer feedbacks. Social media monitoring tools that allow marketers to search, track, and analyse conversation on the web about their brand or about topics of interest.This can be useful in PR management and campaign tracking, allowing the user to measure return on investment, competitor-auditing, and general public engagement. Tools range from free, basic applications to subscription-based, more in-depth tools. I see the same trend of product creating in New Balance. People could design their own shoes on website. This is a good way to help loyal customers get involved with their favourite brand. However company should drive them on right track.


  13. How effective do you think social media is as a means to market research? – I believe that social media is a really useful and effective source of market research depending on your target audience. Of course brands like Puma who have a younger target audience would be mad not to utilise social media. Would a product aimed at the elderly see the same results using social media a market research tool? Probably not at this stage but in the future possibly.


  14. cial media plays an important part in market research. Most brands have started to use social media for this market research. There are many people that use social media to show their fashion statement by uploading their pictures. When people see the clothes they wear are good, they will start to wonder where to get the same clothes. This can give product marketing for free. If you see in the Instagram, fashion bloggers receive lots of endorsement products for them to endorse and their viewers will see and interest to buy the products. These fashion bloggers can also give reviews to the products they are wearing or buying.
    It is also easy to get customer feedback from social media. People can give lots of reviews easily to the products. There are many online shopping website do this. If you check this shopping website: http://www.choies.com, there are many customers provide reviews to the products either good or bad. When the items received lots of reviews, they can rate the products to be top seller which will make other customer interested to buy the products.


  15. I think consumers have always driven fashion, as have designers and celebrities and manufactures to name a few. I agree with some of the previous comments about the use of social media being useful in some segments, and perhaps not so much in other segments…. horses for courses I think.


  16. Almost every big brand is trying to make their presence felt on the internet but the competition on internet is really stiff as the platform is almost free and the distribution network on internet is next to zero. The marketing, promotion, distribution and selling competition on internet is not among big corporation but among every organization irrespective of their size. Amazon which has become a global giant today, it started in garage and the office desk was made of a broken door of the house, it was internet which transformed it into global corporation.
    Due to information overload on internet, Corporation has to come up with innovative idea to make their presence felt over the internet one such example was created by the West jet airlines. It gave up their customers an exceptional experience and posted the video on youtube created a buzz in internet. Have a look https://youtu.be/zIEIvi2MuEk .
    Social media definately is an effective media today every person on the world today is somehow effected by the internet, Internet is used at work, for socializing , for learning, for house hold, for leisure, it has entered in almost every aspect of the lifestyle.


  17. There are a lot of evidences supporting the power of social media for brands. Consumers are much more likely to recommend a particular brand after interacting with it on social media. That is because as a mass communication device, social media allows companies to promote their products and services and helps them to discover what customers really want and how to service them better.
    In today’s world, consumers expect access. They expect companies to serve them through the media channels that they choose. If companies fail to do that, they will miss out not only on new sales prospects but also on tremendous opportunities to improve brand loyalty through better service of existing customers. Obviously satisfied customers are considered to be their best advertisements. Thus, whether a small family-owned shop in rural area or an international sports brand with hundreds of products such as Puma, brand loyalty is critical to success, and improving interactions with customers by using social media is likely to drive future purchases and increase sales.
    Although social media exposes a certain amount of information that can be visible to friends or families, it can also create an inappropriate conduit for information to pass between personal and business contacts. Therefore, security, privacy and bandwidth concerns are the top risks of social media that warrant IT involvement. Companies should define a strategy that illustrates appropriate conduit for content, time wastage, and brand image concerns.


  18. Very interesting blog about how Puma does research. I think it’s definitely the good way being in dialogue with your customers in today’s “social media society”. Because this is exactly that what customers expect. At first there are less costs than doing research by conducting traditional surveys and you can give customers a directly feedback. Furthermore, customers feel more integrated in a company’s process and so there can be a more personal basis. Giving customers a first hand opportunity to design for example their own shoes is a perfect way to discover potential trends in what consumers want. Hereby PUMA could also achieve competitive advantages because they know customer’s wants and needs and give them the chance to create their perfect shoes. I think communicating with customers on social media is absolutely necessary in today’s dynamic and ambitious markets. As it can be read above, companies just have to think about an adequate strategy that fits to their brand image, vision or mission. Because social media management isn’t as easy as it seems. It can have strong impacts on the company’s image. Thus, for example social media guidelines could be useful.


  19. Its a positive side that Puma have understood why its so important to be connected with the social media. In today’s world where there is such a strong competition, companies have to stay connected with the social media as its the fastest growing industry and people seeks more information about products. Its great that they have come up with a good strategy of designing your own shoes. It must have grabbed an attention of few.
    Also, social media has played an important role when it comes to market research. Today, the social media directly guides to such webpages where people can get all the knowledge or information they want. Now a days with the help of the internet market research has become easy.. Within a fraction of few minutes people can able to know the information they are looking for.


  20. While there are many ways to perform market research, most businesses use one or more of five basic methods: surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, observation, and field trials.

    1. Surveys. With concise and straightforward questionnaires, you can analyze a sample group that represents your target market. The larger the sample, the more reliable your results will be.

    2. Focus groups. In focus groups, a moderator uses a scripted series of questions or topics to lead a discussion among a group of people.

    3. Personal interviews. Like focus groups, personal interviews include unstructured, open-ended questions. They usually last for about an hour and are typically recorded. Focus groups and interviews yield valuable insights into customer attitudes and are excellent ways to uncover issues related to new products or service development.

    4. Observation. Individual responses to surveys and focus groups are sometimes at odds with people’s actual behavior. When you observe consumers in action by videotaping them in stores, at work, or at home, you can observe how they buy or use a product. This gives you a more accurate picture of customers’ usage habits and shopping patterns.

    5. Field trials. Placing a new product in selected stores to test customer response under real-life selling conditions can help you make product modifications, adjust prices, or improve packaging. Small business owners should try to establish rapport with local store owners and Web sites that can help them test their products.


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