Branding and Gender: How Adidas Communicates Gender Values (Management Project)

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This study discusses how adidas differentiate their communication to reach women and make the adidas brand more appealing to females. The adidas brand has always had their main focus on sportswear for men.

This has led to the brand being perceived as masculine and it makes it hard for the female consumer to identify with adidas. We have analysed six adidas adverts from the last five years to see what adidas have communicated to women. The main purpose of this study is to understand why adidas have not succeeded in communicating with women in the last five years.

The theoretical chapter is divided into three parts; Brands, Communication and Consumer Behaviour. The first part describes what a brand is, how it is built and continues with how a brand can be gendered.

A brand is not very likely to keep a strong position if the values connected with the brand are not reinforced through communication. When forming a communication strategy, companies have to understand how consumers behave. When selling a gendered product, companies have to understand the distinction between men and women and how they differ in consumption.

Our discussion is based on the qualitative method of collecting data. The qualitative method was carried out through two panel interviews and one personal interview, and we also performed picture analysis on adidas’ advertisements. Ten open-individual interviews with ten different women were conducted; to get their opinions on the six adverts.

Adidas have presented five different identities over five years, each with diverse focus and with different brand associations. This has led to a lack of consistency and therein lies a part of the reason why adidas have not been successful in appealing to women.

Since 2005 adidas have a collaboration with Stella McCartney. This is an attempt to add design to adidas functional clothes and to make their brand more appealing to women. This collaboration will continue until 2010 and this could provide adidas with the uniformity they need.
Source: Karlstad University
Author: Berntson, Annie | Jarnemo, Christina | Philipson, Minna

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