Puma increases global media spending as it embarks on US growth with Fifth Avenue flagship product



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The opening of Puma's immersive lighthouse, Manhattan, marks a confident "comeback" on the US market for the sports brand. But that does not mean that his budgets will necessarily go to live retail or experience – his main marketing specialist now plans to spend more money on traditional media and broadcasting.

The Fifth Avenue store, opened Wednesday, August 28, has been in development for two years. The streetwear collections, performance sports, exclusive fashion and children's clothing of the brand are displayed in low density on both floors.

But if the outlet will be judged primarily on its ability to change inventory, it has also been designed for brand immersion.

Guests are welcome to have a coffee at the barista located on the upper floor, to try out football drills in an immersive digital experience and to spend time with the rotating program of artists and entertainers. cult brands invited to organize events and personalization experiences in the space. .

Marketing and product development teams are also considering the store's capabilities as a real-world research center: a place to hold roundtables and conduct field research with central and peripheral customers in their retail environment natural.

"Over the past 10 years, we have been striving to engage consumers on our social platforms," ​​said Adam Petrick, global brand and marketing director at Puma. "But it's invaluable to have retail stores where you can interact one-on-one with consumers in a commercial environment: watch them buy your product and see what they do not like." .

Petrick, a marketing loyalist at Puma, described the flagship product as a symbol of Puma's focus on the US market – and "the return on" -.

"Our presence with wholesalers is growing and improving, which serves not only as a platform for passing a product, but also as a visualization or incarnation of our presence in this market, and in New York in particular, "he said.

Puma has shown promising growth in recent quarters. Year-over-year sales increased 17.6% at the end of February 2019, driven by double-digit growth in EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. The latter's turnover grew by 16.9% – a success partially attributed to its re-entry into the basketball area.

Still, the brand is still outpaced by Nike's dominance and continually rivals Adidas and Under Armor for what's left of the US market share.

So now, after several years devoted to building its popular authenticity on the street scene with several clever celebrity partnerships (Rihanna being the most notable), Petrick is gearing up to boost that "credibility" by increasing media spending.

"We have created good products and [inking] excellent partnerships with great ambassadors around the world, "he said. "What we need to do now is create brand awareness for our brand.

"Retail stores will be part of it, and they will help spread the word city by city. But if I look at our overall makeup, traditional media is probably the place where we will grow the fastest. As we grow and reach a larger market segment, we need to spend a little more on awareness and eye catching. "

He added, "What surprises me is that very few people know what Puma does. The awareness is great, but the real understanding of everything we do daily is not as good as I would like. "

It is precisely for this reason that Puma gave Havas its worldwide media account of $ 300 million at the end of 2018. The French holding company was charged with investing in the "infrastructure, procedures and policies" of the Paid brand media practice so market awareness, especially outside urban areas.

The agreement will also allow Puma to take advantage of Havas' relationship with sister companies owned by Vivendi, while aiming to exploit the "sports culture". Access to talent through partners such as Universal Music will remain essential for the brand's attention, regardless of the amount of money spent on the media.

"If we were to say," OK, this phase [of connecting with culture] It's done, now we're just going to market "it would be a disaster," said Petrick. "We would never do that.

"Instead, we will take the truth about what we have built over the past 10 years and we will communicate it to more people."

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