ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Adidas kicks product customization into high gear via mobile app

Adidas is taking its customized sneaker program to the next level via a new mobile application enabling users to apply a photographic image to create their own ZX Fluxshoe and have it delivered.

The sportswear brand has offered the mi adidas sneaker customization program for several years but in the past it entailed enabling customers to pick from a variety of available materials, colors and prints as well as being able to add their name, a country flag for team logo. With the help of the mobile app, customers will have significantly more creative freedom to design their sneakers.

?This is a genius idea from Adidas,? said Philip Ryan, global trends and foresight lead at Vivaldi Partners Group, New York. ?Step 1.0 of customization was the ability to choose the colors of your sneakers, but, if you think about it, that?s kind of limiting. 

?For a next step, Adidas could have allowed people free reign on the design of their shoe,? he said. ?The problem with that is that most people will struggle to look at a blank canvas and then create something that they love. 

?With this initiative, Adidas are on to a winner because it?s really easy to find images you love and that you feel represent you.   In fact, we do this on Instagram every day.  This initiative will allow people to not just share their photos but actually let their feet do the talking about their favorite ones.?

In Flux
The new app will roll out for the iPhone and Android devices in August, when Adidas relaunches its sneaker customization program mi adidas.

The high resolution photo print app was designed to Adidas to kick start its customization program by enabling users to make a statement with the ZX Flux shoe, which Adidas has been positioning as a creative line.

Earlier this year, Adidas launched the ZX Flux Photo Print collection of three sneakers, each featuring a unique digital-print pattern, including city scapes, prism shapes and ocean waves.

By taking the concept a step further and enabling customers to choose their own digital print to apply to the shoe, Adidas is empowering customers play an important role for the brand.

?This is a bold move because it actually lets customers become their own dominant brand with Adidas serving as a supporting cast member,? Mr. Ryan said. ?If you think about someone who isn?t currently an adidas customer, they may now become one, without necessarily feeling like they?re wearing adidas ? they?re wearing themselves. 

?Adidas is enabling this, and that?s a powerful idea,? he said

Mass customization
The trend toward greater customization has been building for several years with many products across a wide variety of categories offering interactive, personalized, built-to-order shopping experiences.

While tapping into the consumer?s desire for individuality and creative expression is one of the factors driving the trend, the growth of mobile is also playing a role.

This is because mobile apps can be designed to make product design experiences that are fun, easy and intuitive by taking advantage of the a smartphone?s built in camera and touch capabilities. At the same time, mobile makes it easy for consumers to share their designs with others via social media, helping brands spread the word.

?Mobile is going to play an increasing role towards product customization,? Mr. Ryan said.

?As 3D printing takes center stage, there are already a range of apps out there that let you take a 3D scan of an object and then play with that image to either give you a perfect fit, or a product that truly represents who you are,? he said. ?Or even both.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York