Usain Bolt outdoor advertising, NYC, September 2012
PUMA has a new CEO, Bjoern Gulden. Mr. Gulden gets it. Lesson number one about performance sports shoe companys: do what you are good at. PUMA has a long tradition in making fine running shoes and soccer boots. But, every brand that I have observed over the past thirty-five years goes through a crisis of faith: someone thinks that they can expand the business by making something close to a performance running shoe, and they get shocked when the shoes don’t sell.
PUMA has had the most visible athlete in track and field for nearly the seven years and yet, has not made a consistent approach to use him for footwear sales. Perhaps, Mr. Gulden will see that the history of PUMA in athletics and football is a good place to start improving PUMA’s bottom line.
Wanna-be athletes know what authentic is. They want brands to provide them with great product, with striking colors and at good pricing. If it was easy, anyone could do it.
What gets me is that why do companies, who are doing well, change things that work?
HERZOGENAURACH (GER): Puma’s new CEO Bjoern Gulden, who took over in July, has revealed plans to turnaround the company after its profits dropped by 70% last year, reports Reuters. Gulden said that the brand would go back to its roots in football and athletics in an effort to return to being a sports company rather than a fashion-led sports lifestyle company. One of Gulden’s priorities is to improve sales of the company’s footwear, which will now be more performance based. Gulden, 48, is a former professional football player and has held positions as CEO and president of Danish jewellery manufacturer Pandora (2012-2013) and as Managing Director of footwear retailer Deichmann (2000-2011).