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Reebok lets consumers customize, buy shoes via mobile

Reebok has launched the very first shoe customization application, allowing users to customize and buy their uniquely designed trainers right from their mobile phones.

Inside Mobile and AgencyMobile worked to create the application. "Your Reebok" is now available in the iPhone App Store to trainer fans in Britain and the United States.

"The strategy was to develop a mobile service that embodied the theories of long-tail marketing - mass individualization - by delivering an application that was about people and not technology or marketing," said Dusan Hamlin, managing director of Inside Mobile.

The application combines iPhone features such as touch, motion and GPS to create an engaging consumer experience not seen before on mobile.

Inside Mobile worked with several specialist agencies to produce the application, including Agency Mobile.

The application offers three of Reebok's most iconic silhouettes: The Freestyle, the Classic Leather and the Ventilator.

The designer can change up to 23 different areas of the shoe with a choice of 19 colors, four material options and adding personalized text.

In another unique move, the designs can either be shared with friends or the whole world direct from the application.

Friends will be sent an email link to the design, which will be geo-tagged and added to the Your Reebok global community map. From there all the other shared designs can be viewed and either bought or used as a canvas for customization.

"Reebok has been quick to grasp the potential of iPhone apps as a compelling route to market that can fuse branding and direct response goals," Mr. Hamlin said.

"By marrying visually stunning design, personalised content and advertising, Inside Mobile has enabled Reebok to engage consumers as well as drive sales," he said.

Your Reebok launches initially in the U.S. and Britain but the service will go live in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Ireland in the coming months.

The application is very much about enabling the consumer to interact with the brand in a creative way and building a personal experience for the consumer.

The core target for the application is 18-34-year-olds but anyone that is interested in expressing their unique style and identity is a potential user, according to Reebok.

This isn't Reebok's first mobile initiative.

Reebok launched a mobile social networking campaign to promote its Freestyle Hi model by letting targeted consumers interact with the shoe design in December.

The campaign ran on Gofresh GmbH's mobile social network The campaign let consumers design their own shoe and send it in to, share it with friends and put it in the background of their page (see story).

Last July Reebok used mobile as part of an integrated campaign creating awareness around its sponsorship of the Boston Celtics player Rajon Rondo before, during and after the NBA Finals.

Reebok's goal was to establish authenticity and credibility in the basketball category through one of its hottest star athletes. Rondo and Celtic fans were encouraged to download and engage with the tagline "You got Rondo'd" through the WAP site at where they could download a promotional ringtone, wallpapers and video content (see story).

This time round, Reebok broke new ground as well.

"It is the first application of its kind," Mr. Hamlin said. "No other brand has a tool that enables the consumer to create their shoes via a mobile phone and then purchase them.

"It's totally unique with features that are made for mobile, such as shake the phone to add color and share your design with friends," he said. "There is nothing else in the market today offers such a service or this level of customization."