Organizations Name: The Adidas Group
Industry: Sporting and apparel products
Name of Contact: Herbert Heiner CEO
Adidas has created an extraordinary app that allows customers to create their own shoes with their own ideas, not only letting clients to buy what they want, but also empowering Adidas’ creative team by learning about what people want. They are also learning from their own customer’s creativity, getting feedback, ideas and new trends without having to do much research or spend too much money.
Letting your customers do what they want it is like having an unlimited team of creators or designers in your own studio or factory without having to spend on talent. Customers will also be buying that product from the company because it is exactly what they need, without hesitating about the style or features that may not be as accurate as the ones they have in mind.
Adidas customers are able to download an app for free on their iOS and Android devices since August 2014. The app is a very easy to use tool that allows you to take a picture or upload it from your camera roll. You can place and mirror the image. Then the app maps your photo onto your ZX Flux design shoes. ZX Flux is one of the models of Adidas where you can apply your photos and change colour and features of your future shoes. Once your image is uploaded, you can turn from a 2D view to a 360 degrees 3D animation. You can review your shoe, play around with it and see the final product. Then you can purchase it.
-“Customization is a very important topic for us this year” says Torben Schumacher, business unit director at Adidas Group. – We looked at the collection and our goal was to fascinate people with new ideas, new materials and new models. From the very beginning, photos were an exciting object and have been of high interest for us. We wanted to use it in a new context and relate this topic to footwear. Our consumers search for opportunities to express themselves and to show their creativity – this project is the ultimate form of individual expression. He added.
With ZX Flux and the new photo app, we have the unique possibility to generate everyone’s creativity. The positive feedback we’ve received at the beginning of the year, concerning the photo prints especially, encouraged us to continue on this path. We knew that we were on the right track. When we saw the reactions and how everyone started to come up with ideas, we decided to bring this to life.
The following images show how in few second you can create your own design. Some other components like photos, images or other designs may be uploaded as part of your creation by using the special app on an iOS or an Android.
Adidas received many requests about guidelines and posted a FAQ to the app.
This is only one of the models that Adidas offer as customizable, but there are many on their website where you can play with colours and designs in order to create the product that you want. The Daily Street published an interview with Torben Shumacher and Sam Handy where you can see some interesting points about the importance of crowdsourcing.
There is a phrase in one of the interviews that really captures my attention: “it starts to feel like we’ve found the recipe for evolving the archive models.”
In my personal opinion, that recipe should not be considered a new fantastic design that they use as a pattern. The great side of the recipe is the fact that anyone, anywhere in the world, who has a device and downloads the app, can become a Adidas designer in few minutes and create an extraordinary shoe model exactly as they want it to be.
If in the future other companies find the way to allow customers to apply these rules in few minutes, soon the market will be a customized market full of happy clients. I am not saying that all products we want to buy have to be exactly as we have them in mind, but it tells us how important is to be able to use Social Media as a way to convey our products to their final destination; our customers.
Social Media could make innovation in new product development as stunning as possible, and based on the current low usage of this tool by companies, I would say that we have not seen much yet.
Submitted by: Fernando Gomez, University of Waterloo
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References Adidas Group, Youtube, Adidas Originals.