When you think of the sportswear manufacturing industry and brands that dominate the scene, a few brands come to mind. Ranging from Adidas, Nike, Puma, Asics, Reebok, amongst a host of others. Each has maintained its spot at the top of the sportswear chain. These brands have consciously and unconsciously etched their footprints and uniqueness in the hearts and minds of users over time. And they are not slowing down anytime soon.
Top brands like Puma and Nike have been at the forefront of the industry while also being a benchmark for upcoming designers. They have both created pieces that can be worn in our ever-changing urban world, termed luxury, and said to be comfortable and durable. They have created timeless designs that are still worn and revered up to this day. Puma and Nike have checked all the boxes of comfort and luxury, and like every force and brand thriving in the economy and the world, comparisons will always be a thing. A motivating factor to do better and understand their weakness and capitalize on their strength.
We would pitch Puma vs Nike against each other, a healthy comparison to better understand the two brands.
- History – Creation and inception of Puma and Nike
- Individual selling points
- Similarities and differences
- Target market, Luxury, and Comfort
- Puma vs Nike – Who is the better Creative Sports Manufacturer with a higher sports inclusivity rate.
- Puma vs Nike – Net Worth and Growth Rate since its inception
History – Creation and Inception Of Puma and Nike
The Emergence of Puma
With its headquarter in Herzogenaurach, Germany. It’s currently known as the 3rd largest sportswear manufacturer. Puma was born due to a family feud between the founding fathers of Adidas (Adi Dassler) and his brother (Rudolph Dassler). They both worked together for 20 years before they went their separate ways.
The feud created a split that birthed Puma by Rudolph Dassler.
Rudolph Dassler, one of the brothers from the defunct duo, began to gain prominence after his successful contracts with professional athletes. As of 1962, he had started shipping to countries worldwide, and Olympians and athletes wore his shoes at World Cups.
Puma has retained its reputation for creating stylish products that have more urban looks, positioning the brand as one that’s invested in younger generations due to how fashionable they appear.
In 1996, Puma recorded significant success in its apparel and footwear products. It began influencing other aspects of the sport with the help of Linford Christie, who wore a creative contact lens with the White Puma cat on his pupils during a press conference at the Olympics in games in Atlanta.
Puma diversified by entering into the fashion industry, creating and retaining its spot at the top of the chain.
The Emergence of Nike
Situated in Beaverton, Oregon, United States. Nike was once called the “winged goddess of victory.” It is a sportswear brand that has stood the test of time with its sheer determination, commitment for comfort, creative innovation, and putting sports lovers at the forefront of its designs.
Nike inc wasn’t always known as Nike at its inception, but it was initially called “Blue Ribbon Sport ” when it was founded in 1962 by Phillip Knight, a Stanford University Graduate and a Former Track Runner. With the help of his former coach Bill Bowerman who sold shoes for Onitsuka Tiger Co, who are presently known as Asics, in 1965 from the trunk of a car.
Bill designed the first Nike Waffle Outsole with the help of his wife’s waffle iron. This birthed the sole that changed the trajectory of the brand. This design had less weight and better traction, which was perfect for athletes.
With this, Nike inc. was born. The sole, which was called “chicken and waffle waffle,” gained ground, and this increased the demand of the footwear by football lovers; helping them move from the back of their trunk to their first retail space in 1996 while parting ways with their former employment with Onitsuka Tiger Co (Asics). Nike has stayed through to its sporty, and ever-changing, and groundbreaking creativity over the years.
Individual Unique Selling Points
- Puma’s unique selling point is its affordability; Puma breaks the myth that luxury should be expensive. They provide value at an affordable price.
- Puma sells durability and longevity.
- Nike is innovative with technology, creating stylish and quality products.
- The brand also boasts of its inclusion and celebration in sport. Nike does their marketing by sponsoring European football clubs like Arsenal and Barcelona.
Puma vs Nike Target Market
Nike targets consumers within the range of 15-45 years. It targets both men and women athletes and equally targets teenagers. This is in a bid to build long-term relationships between sellers and end consumers.
Nike targets their consumers through their personality, interests, and appeals to their fashion sense by creating ever-evolving designs fitting their demographic and sporting interests. The brand is more of a luxury brand that appeals to high-income earners. Nike has adopted the geographic segment in a bid to enter developing markets in the world, thereby driving sales in exchange for customer satisfaction and selling quality products.
Puma has two target groups: the primary within the age range of 15-30 years and the secondary, which is within the age of 7-35 years.
Puma uses three segmentation tactics, namely;
- Demographic: This refers to the age, gender, religion, income, and nationality of the end-user.
- Geographic: This refers to the language, beliefs, ideals, and location of the end-user.
- Psychographic: This segment deals with the lifestyle, interests, and behavioral patterns of the end-user.
When pitching Puma vs Nike against each other for comparison in the area of who creates luxury products, Nike easily comes out as the brand that sells sportswear at a higher price irrespective of location, language, or person (athletic or not), while still giving value and being lightweight and durable. On the other hand, Puma is more income friendly, gives value despite being cheaper than Nike, and offers durability and affordability.
When you speak of comfort and durability, both shoes are comfortable and durable.
Puma Vs Nike Similarities and Differences
- Nike gives discounts to only military personnel, while Puma is famed for giving discounts and promotions. Thus, the latter is more commonly worn by all.
- According to buyers, Puma has more reasonable prices for its quality, unlike Nike, which is more expensive than its actual value.
- Nike shoes are best for sports due to their Air Technology and lightweight sole, while Puma highlights its versatility by combining sports and fashion in one mix.
- Nike offers various kinds of shoes that meet different outdoor needs and maintains its spot as the brand with the most creative collection of shoes. While on the other hand, Puma is limited with how versatile they are, with an impressionable collection, but it’s said to be nowhere near Nike’s collection over the years.
- Puma and Nike both have relatively similar shoe sizing to other shoe sportswear brands.
- You can use both Puma and Nike for sporting activities.
- They are both open to using technology in creating more modern designs, although Nike is ahead in that aspect of innovation.
- Nike and Puma both create apparel, footwear, accessories, sportswear, and sports equipment.
- They have both diversified into fashion, sponsored footballers, and supported change as it comes.
Who is the Better Creative Sport Manufacturer
Due to their seamless track record over the years, Nike is the better creative manufacturer. The one that creates luxurious and innovative sportswear that is both functional and sports-ready because they have been able to leverage technology and evolve with the times.
In 2010, Nike reduced its carbon monoxide footprints and began recycling old shoes and making use of plastic, helping to decongest the ecosystem, making them an environmentally conscious brand.
On the other hand, Puma is more of a brand that panders to the daily life of individuals. It combines comfort and fashion with technology but at a more relaxed and slower pace.
Due to its affordability, In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, 11 countries out of 32 countries wore Puma jerseys. Making it a brand that’s more in tune with demand and the end-users income than creating luxury.
Puma vs Nike: Networth, and Growth Rate Since Inception
Although shrouded in luxury, Nike has done the work to get to the top. It leverages both good and bad press while publicizing the brand.
Nike has been able to grow with its strategic marketing. Targeting big wigs in the sports industry as ambassadors, thereby gaining the trust of their fans, which in turn creates a demand and increases the revenue of their brand.
Nike sponsors over 150 professional football teams while sponsoring top footballers like Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney.
As of October 2019, Nike was valued at $116 billion.
On the other hand, Puma is a household brand due to its affordability and stylish urban look, as earlier mentioned. And it remained so while retaining its spot on the top of the sportswear chain. 2019 was recorded as the best year of Puma with revenue of €5.5billion (+18.4%) and an EBIT of €440 million (+30%). Puma grew in strength and profitability despite its steep competition.
Puma started partnerships with influencers that incredibly turned around the face of the business. Ranging from its fashion contribution with Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne. Launching their first ever smartwatch with Fossil Group. Announcing their esports partnership with esports team cloud9. These, amongst a host of many other successful collaborations in other areas, have shown the rapid growth of Puma.
Puma vs Nike is such an interesting conversation. Learning the history and importance of being consistent. Holding on to a name, applying change when necessary to suit the ever-growing clientele and fan base, building a successful brand around that name constantly for over 50-70years isn’t an easy feat.
These two brands have been at the forefront of every change spanning over 9 decades. They have innovated and evolved with the times. Giving customers a reason to trust them despite their differences in target markets, delivery, design, and ever-changing technology.
Both brands have given their utmost best for years. They have contributed immensely to the growth in the sportswear and fashion industry.