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Adidas miZX Flux app takes customization to new level

Sneaker maker adidas has launched a mobile application that allows users to customize their next sneaker order with a photo taken on their mobile device.

The miZX Flux app is an extension of adidas’ longstanding efforts in customization through its mi adidas program, which allows consumers to order sneakers that are specially created for them with colors they choose. MiZX Flux is an example of an app developed especially for a specific campaign to generate buzz around a brand.

“The main challenge is the same as it is for any app: acquiring users,” said Tom Cummings, director of account management for U.S. apps at Fiksu. “In addition, though, they may have a challenge around setting expectations for what the app will provide.

“The bigger opportunity for them — and one I think will become more and more common — is to leverage the app store as a channel for brand engagement and awareness as part of a larger campaign, and not a standalone business unit.”

Fiksu is not affiliated with the adidas campaign, by Mr. Cummings agreed to comment based on his expertise in mobile applications.

Adidas representatives could not be reached comment.

Breaking the mold
In a statement on its Web site, adidas said the miZX Flux app will allow users to take customization further than ever before.

While mi adidas has long been a popular way for consumers to personalize their kicks in more subtle ways, the miZX Flux app viortually ensures that no two pairs of sneakers will look alike.

The app follows by several months the launch of adidas’ ZX Flux shoe design, which has become known for its classic profile. It is one of nearly 100 adidas Originals products that can be customized by shoppers with individual color selections and other personal touches.

Fans of the customization capabilities took to Twitter on Friday with creations made using the miZX Flux app, which superimposes a photograph across the entire surface of a shoe.

While the app itself might have a long shelf life in the app store, it is also likely it will not be used frequently by shoppers.

“The question is, what is the app accomplishing during its lifespan? Is it trying to drive purchases of the shoe? Or trying to get people talking about the shoe, and sharing it with their friends, and generally making it cool — which is branding that will lead to purchases of this shoe and affinity for the adidas brand across other products,” Mr.Cummings said.

Mr. Cummings cited other apps that have been created for specific campaigns, including a McDonald’s app to promote a Filet of Fish sandwich campaign, a FritoLay Cheetos-specific app (App Of Mass Distraction, a Fiksu client) and Pop Secret’s PerfectPop app.

“None of these apps are designed to sell directly, or make revenue: They’re about branding and supporting advertising campaigns,” Mr. Cummings said.

“A top-five app right now is a Star Wars app from LucasArts. Is that a leading marketing campaign for the next Star Wars movie or is it a game designed to actually make money and pay for itself? Probably a little bit of both, but a decent part of the success for that app is probably generating buzz for the movie a year or more before the release.”

Mr. Cummings said he expects to see more of this type of activity in the app space, in which apps are used as part of promotions instead of apps being created as a revenue vehicle themselves.

“The app becomes the way to drive brand loyalty/affinity, instead of thinking about how to drive loyalty towards the app,” he said. “Promotion of the app becomes money spent on branding towards the promotion of the campaign, not just money spent trying to get positive ROI directly from the app.”

Final Take
Mark Hamstra is content director at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York