Puma is one of the biggest international shoe brands in the world in the leagues of Nike, Reebok and Adidas. Puma India was set up in 2005 and this was an advantage for it as the German brand became one of the first international shoe brands in the country. But then in the last 5 years, how many times have you seen a Puma commercial or huge billboard advertisement or heard a jingle? I am sure you can count on your fingers. But that would surely not be the case with say a Reebok or a Nike!
What’s the difference with Puma?
Puma has always gone for a subtle branding and communication strategy to target its customers in the age groups 16-25 years – the ones who use their products the highest
Rather than go overboard with TV, Billboard or print advertising, Puma has always concentrated on digital as well as in – store branding and retailing. Positive word of mouth from satisfied customers is what Puma has always tried to achieve as its main communication strategy as this purchase is a high involvement category.
Puma’s strategy is built on left brained communication as it explains the concept of the brand at a level from which one can form opinions and conclusions. This gives an option for a person to be judgemental / non – judgemental.
So why such a narrow communication strategy?
Puma desires to be the brand for people who want something to show off as a status symbol or to satisfy their esteem needs. Early adopters would leave a brand they consider as desirable if it starts appearing anywhere and everywhere.
Rather than specially placing a product by its name in a movie, Puma India concentrates on building attention or awareness about the brand without mentioning the name. Since the brand appeals to fashion as well as sports conscious individuals, it strongly relies on digital advertising.
Future of Puma India?
Puma has tied up with Rajasthan Royals and Deccan Chargers and is also the official kit supplier for the IPL. After starting many digital campaigns this year, Puma India plans to go for special TV innovations during the IPL next year.
What is most important in the long run for Puma is to communicate the legacy of the brand to the customers / prospective customers. Without that it would be really difficult for the brand to sustain itself and it may force it to go the conventional above the line advertising route!
Do you think such a narrow communication strategy for Puma India can work?