Consistency and risk management is key
As late as the start of the last decade, the adidas Copa Mundial was still one of the top selling boots in the world. Because of this fact, adidas was able to take a lot of risks with their football boot line without worrying (too much) about whether or not they would have problems making a profit. The other boot that always consistently allowed adidas to achieve excellent sales was the Predator. By 2015, the Predator had taken so many hits to its name that adidas came to the decision to kill the line. During this time the Copa Mundial was also seeing a sales decrease over time. The issue was that adidas took too little risk at times and too much risk at others.
With the launch of the new Predators, and their popularity, adidas seems to have found a successful formula to make them once again stand out in the marketplace. By finally producing something different from other boots, adidas have been able to once more establish themselves as a brand that one goes to if they want a certain experience. In the case of the new Predator, this means proper grip and striking elements. Since the Predator is so unabashedly leaning into the grip story, it oozes confidence. Such confidence leads to better sales. These better sales can allow adidas to once again take more risks with their product.
For some years now, adidas has been the go-to brand if you wanted laceless boots. However, the price point and the way that a lot of these boots stayed out of the reach of most people sometimes hurt the sales of these types of boots. The first risk adidas should take as part of their new-found confidence is to kill the laceless category for at least the X and Nemeziz. This would allow the brand to be more maneuverable with product since there won’t be as many SKUs sitting on shelves. It would also help with sell-through since the laceless boots will no longer cannibalize the sales of the laced models.
By killing the laceless models, it should free up adidas to once again make a killer speed boot. Don’t forget that at one point, the adidas F50 dominated the Vapor in terms of sales. Though admittedly this was also because Nike had the Superfly eating some of those Vapor sales. But again, adidas can make a leading speed boot once again. Kill the Nemeziz maybe, since the sales aren’t as strong as the X and use that time and material saved to come up with a true X factor type boot.
All of this is easier to achieve as long as adidas stays coherent with the Predator silo. One of the best ways to make sure the Predator is stable is by evolving the grip pattern as time goes on. Given the popularity of all of the spikes on the upper of the Predator, that should be the starting point for a new Predator design on every model going forward. Another way for adidas to keep the Predator popular is to look at elements on older models that were prevalent, such as the PowerSpine. Figure out a way to incorporate that into a modern Predator. After all, since most boots are fairly light these days, something that is a little heavier in the forefoot will also stand out.
But these are just some thoughts that came into mind while thinking about the popularity of the new Predator.
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