Personalizing shoe design


Custom sneakers on demand? Check.

Adidas had just developed a new way of making shoes, known as the Speedfactory – where consumers can personalize the design of their shoe, on demand. But it was a new, not fully functional concept when the brand decided they wanted to push for a global launch. Adidas wanted to own the market and retain its position as an innovator, so getting the story out was a priority.

How do you design a space that is deeply human but also technologically advanced? We started by unravelling the concept itself. Speedfactory isn’t a typical factory, it was always in beta. This formed the crux of our idea: “Always in Beta” – a singular retail environment that redefines itself based on the visitor, city and time.

We created a series of immersive and engaging retail installations at adidas flagship stores worldwide. Everything was controlled by the shopper in real-time, and consumers could interact with the brand at every touch point using movements. Audiences outside were enticed with biometric scanning screens that digitally mimicked passerby movements. Once inside, the Speedfactory story unfolded and shoppers were led to an area to explore the brand’s new shoe, the AM4, and make a purchase.  Each experience was tailored to the location, factoring in the color of the streets, average weather and local language. The first installations were rolled out in Paris and London and other locations followed suit.

Speedfactory resulted in a boost in adidas’ brand perception as an innovator. It also helped engage conversations about sportswear manufacturing and the will of adidas to re-localize its global output. And the sneaker it used as a prototype? AM4s around the world were trending and sales rose.

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