Puma is a German brand. It is a public limited company and functions under Puma SE. The brand offers footwear, apparel, accessories, sportswear, sports equipment, etc. It is one of the most famous sports brands in the world. The brand is the 3rd largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. The brand has global recognition and distributes its products in more than 120 countries. Many renowned athletes and teams have partnered with Puma giving it the status of the most admired entity of the world. It offers products for Training and Fitness, Motorsports, Football, Basketball, Running, Golf, etc. The brand has incorporated strength and credibility from its heritage in sports.
This article highlights the historical background of this brand, its unique characteristics, branding and marketing strategy, etc. The article will also provide various stats and the reasons for the success of this brand.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF PUMA BRAND
It is a German sportswear company. The headquarters of the company is in Herzogenaurach, Germany. It was founded by Rudolf Dassler in 1948. He started from his own house with his brother in 1919 Adolph Dassler by manufacturing shoes. Later, Adolph parted ways with him and formed “Adidas”. Rudolph named his entity “Ruda” and, registered his business as “Sportschuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler (RUDA)” in January 1948. The company formally commenced its operations on June 01st, 1948. After four months, “PUMA” was registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office. The company was later renamed and re-registered as “PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler” in December 1948.
Who would have thought that the company will announce itself so soon as the leading sports shoe manufacturer? The company formally launched its product “ATOM” and it was used by many members of the German national football team in 1950.
In 1952, Rudolf Dassler developed the world’s first boot with screw-in studs. He collaborated with experts, such as West Germany’s national coach Sepp Herberger for these shoes. It marked the beginning of the brand’s football heritage.
In 1958, the second patent of the company was registered. The shoes of the company became a highlight after the win of Brazilian team in the world cup final.
During the 1960s, the brand introduced modern technology for making advancements in its products. It used the most advanced vulcanization production to allow the bonding of sole and shaft of the boot. This was highly appreciated by top-performing athletes. In 1962, legend Pele brought glory for his country by winning the world cup for Brazil. The whole team of Brazil was using Puma’s shoes. In 1964, gold medalists like Belgium’s Gaston Roelants, Great Britain’s Mary Rand and, Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (marathon), were using Puma shoes.
MODERN EVOLUTION OF PUMA
In 1966, the company launched its new logo.
It became a public listed company in 1986. The company introduced its new product RS-Computer shoe, with “RS” standing for “running system,”. It functioned as an integrated device that measured runner’s speed, pace, and caloric use. The sales were not encouraging of this product. Later in 1989, Rudolf’s sons Armin and Gerd Dassler sold their 72 percent stake in PUMA to Swiss business Cosa Liebermann SA.
PUMA AND INNOVATION
In 1990, Germany became the new world football champion. The whole team was using sponsored products of Puma. The company launched the game-changing PUMA Disc technology on a running shoe replacing lacing. This time the product stunned the world when Heike Drechsler (long jump), Dieter Baumann (5.000m), and Linford Christie (100m) all clinched Gold medals at the Olympics in Barcelona wearing PUMA DISC spikes.
It launched its new product Mostro. Madonna, In 2002, she wore a pair of PUMA Mostro shoes throughout her entire tour and set a global trend.
In 2004, Puma and Ferrari announced a partnership making PUMA the official supplier of Scuderia Ferrari, the most successful Formula One team of all time.
In 2011, it completed a conversion from an Aktiengesellschaft (German public limited company) to a Societas Europaea, the European Union-wide equivalent, changing its name from PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport to PUMA SE. It got another feather in its cap in 2012, when at the Olympics in London, Usain Bolt won three gold medals using Puma shoes.
Puma had been a partner with:
Arsenal in 2014
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in 2015
RED BULL RACING Formula One team in 2016.
The company achieved a historical revenue of more than four billion euro in 2017.
CURRENT BRAND IDENTITY OF PUMA
It has more than 700 stores worldwide and a presence in more than 120 countries at present. The brand has a logo featuring an image of a leaping Puma. It is also called a cougar, a panther that is active both day and night and jumps up to 20 feet high.
The company aims to become one of the fastest and most advancing sports and lifestyle brands. The brand also aims to create innovative, advancing products with a sustainable focus and a desire to contribute to a better world.
MARKETING STRATEGY OF PUMA
By using a mix of geographic, demographic, and psychographic segmentation the brand has effectively positioned itself to be the first choice for customers when it comes to chose sports shoes and clothing. The marketing strategy of the brand can be analyzed effectively by understanding its SWOT model. It includes:
- Strong marketing and sponsorships
- Strong growth rate.
- Massive expenditure on research and development.
- Healthy brand equity.
- Tough Competiton
- It has been earning less than its competitors prompting it to spend less on advertisement campaigns as compared to its competitors.
- It still holds a low market share as compared to its competitors like Nike, Adidas, and, Reebok.
- It can traget markets like Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Colombia and then Mexico.
- It can opt for new ventures to grow into customer market and develop competition
- The economic condition of different emerging and developed economies.
- It must keep a check on b-grade products using PUMA’s name.
Founded: 1948 by Rudolf Dassler
CEO: Bjørn Gulden
Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Brand revenue: 5.5 billion EUR
There is always room for growth in this competitive age. For the clothing and sportswear industry, it becomes more important to challenge current trends and, innovate new ones to attract new customers and retain current customers. It’s obvious that PUMA can do far better as compared to its present portfolio and performance. It can overcome certain issues that can improve the financial outlook of the company.
By taking a look at the past splendid achievements by the brand, it becomes easy to comment that Puma is still one of the most famous selling sports brands in the world.