Breaking the Rules

Our analysis showed we were playing by the category rules—and losing. We were seen as “credible,” “cool,” and “for sports,” but at significantly lower levels than the rest of the category. The white space opportunity was to focus our efforts on owning “individuality,” “character,” “innovation,” and “creativity”—the traits of an “original” that the rest of the category was ignoring.

The 7 Tenets of Original

In addition to delivering a new north star mission for adidas Originals, we developed seven tenets to help guide every decision they made.

1)   Own the intersection of sport x street.
2)   Treat Originals as its own brand.
3)   Compete in culture, not in the category.
4)   Make collective memory a springboard to the future.
5)   Do fewer things bigger and better.
6)   Utilize the entire brand infrastructure to “propel culture from the street up.”
7)   Demonstrate originality, don’t just claim it.