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Adidas hails analytics as a brand experience enabler

Adidas hails analytics as a brand experience enabler
Image: adidas.es
Wednesday July 9 2014

Sports giant adidas highlighted the influence of BI and analytics on its brand this week during a MicroStrategy conference. Monica Heck reports

German sports and fashion brand adidas took to the stage this week to outline the central role played by analytics and mobile in its worldwide branding strategy.

Speaking at business intelligence (BI) company MicroStrategy’s European user conference in Barcelona this week, Michael Voegele of adidas outlined how his company uses analytics to understand each and every one of its consumers, so that it can provide them with a great brand experience. 

“We want to be in tune with our customers and achieve this goal by using predictive models, social and competitor insights, agile development with visual insight, as well as mobile,” said Voegele.

Giving teams an edge

Voegele ran through a brief history of adidas, outlining the brand’s foundation in Adi Dassler’s mother’s kitchen as well as the famous Puma and Adidas brotherly split after the second world war. 

In what turned out to be an eerie preamble to Germany’s crushing semi-finals victory against Brazil that very night, Voegele also reminded the audience of the famous ‘Miracle of Bern’, where new adidas screw-in studs were partly credited with giving the West German team the boost it needed to win the 1954 world cup final.

The company is now a multinational with 50k employees, selling 650 million products a year, owning 2,700 retail doors, 10,200 franchise doors, 130,000 wholesale doors and serving a million consumers a day in 110 countries.

Single, centralised platform

“Actionable analytics is how we believe to get back to the root of the company, which is to focus on what is best for the consumer,” said Voegele.  “We looked at what we had from an IT perspective and decided to consolidate four separate data warehouses into a single platform, which we run today on an SAP HANA environment.

“We connected traditional databases to that platform but are also connecting Hadoop information and consumer information which we gain out of our customer CRM platform.”

Voegele notes that a company must be strategic about how it uses all this data. “You want to create business value, turning it into something meaningful for our business partners in the adidas group,” he noted. “So we put the MicroStrategy platform on top of the HANA platform as the strategic single front-end, which we deployed across the group worldwide.”

Predicting trends

Mobile also plays a role in the adidas roll-out. “We want to be anywhere anytime and to provide information for our consumers too out there in the world. We also want to create a faster approach in actually delivering those insights to our business partners.

“That’s why we want to use more and more BI self services to create our own dashboards and being capable of reacting to the changes out there. That’s also why we use visual insights to address time lag and more important, we want to get more social competitor insight from the web, combined with the information we gather through our backend system and other environments.”

Last but not least, the company was focused on how to convert its old financial reporting into something that allows adidas to predict what is going to happen in the marketplace and what consumers will like and to influence the consumer with regards to purchase decisions.

“We see our BI platform as the foundation to understand each and every one of our consumers. We don’t want to look at aggregates but look at a single consumer and ensure he gets great brand experience.”

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Tagged as: adidas | apparel | accessories | BI | branding | analytics | mobile | SAP | HANA | MicroStrategy