Product Development and Design
Product philosophy and strategy
PUMA is one of the world’s leading Sports Brands, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories in our Performance and Sportstyle categories. In Performance, we focus on lightweight, comfortable and dynamic product concepts, while our Sportstyle lines are inspired by our roots in sports. Product responsibility is organized within our global business units and regional design centers, with PUMA’s design language for all collections defined by our creative director Torsten Hochstetter. To improve our product engine, in 2015 we initiated key projects to enhance our product designs, develop more innovative technologies and increase the commerciality of our product range.
Following the introduction of our latest running innovation, IGNITE, in New York’s Times Square by the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, sales of our new running shoe technology got off to a strong start – both with our retail partners and through Puma’s own retail stores. IGNITE’s innovative shock-absorbing technology improves energy recovery when running and, with the best figures in this area among our competitors, the shoe embodies our mission statement “Forever Faster”.
In our Spring/Summer collection, we expanded our successful IGNITE product program to include the IGNITE PWRCOOL. PWRCOOL is PUMA’s technology for cooling which maintains optimum body temperature and thus saves energy. The apparel and shoes in the PWRCOOL collection are made of CoolCELL materials: advanced materials that transport perspiration to the outside and allow optimal temperature regulation through the use of anatomically positioned mesh panels on the body’s heat zones.
In the Team Sports category, we once again underscored our strong position and achieved a high brand presence both at the Copa América in Chile and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The two tournaments provided a perfect platform for introducing the innovative PUMA football shoe evoSPEED SL. The new model’s light, almost transparent outer textile material makes it our lightest football shoe yet. The PUMA SPEEDFRAME contributes to minimizing weight while providing the necessary stability.
In addition, we continued to accelerate the improvement of our product range for women and our more targeted consumer approach in this area. Building on a strong history and the high credibility we enjoy among our female consumers, we will continue to focus on the growth potential in this segment. A key element in this strategy is our partnership with the international star Rihanna. In 2015, we introduced the first shoe models and apparel inspired by Rihanna in her role as brand ambassador in our Forever Faster brand campaign. The Creeper model is Rihanna’s first sneaker under her FENTY label. It is a blend of PUMA’s classic Suede with a “creeper” platform sole inspired by the New York punk rock scene and Rihanna’s trademark. The first limited edition of the Creeper in black and white attracted a great deal of attention on social media and in the press, and was sold out within a few hours. In November, the boxing-inspired Eskiva shoe followed, giving a small taste of the complete women’s collection of shoes and apparel which we will introduce in 2016.
2015 has shown that we are on the right path with respect to improving our product offering. The strong sales performance, especially in the shoe business, underscores the extremely high profile of our products. Our successful product initiatives are an affirmation of our objective of being the fastest sports brand in the world. In the coming seasons we will continue our efforts to further improve our product range – especially for women. The continuous optimization in our close cooperation with major retail partners is an essential component of our strategy for new product introductions.