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Puma Expands Digital Community
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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As we have talked about before, there are few communities more interconnected than the fitness community. As runners, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts can attest, those in the fitness community can relate immediately. Runners wave as they pass each other on a path or trail, weightlifters readily provide spots when another is struggling to put up weight, and athletes share stories about their favorite brands...or when they are trading in their "lucky shoes" for something better because the lucky shoe is barely a shoe anymore.

Puma knows this, and by capturing that experience with some good old-fashioned cause marketing, Puma is hoping its "Puma Bring Me Back" campaign is a success.

The Puma Bring Me Back campaign is a way for people to toss out their slightly used materials and for Puma to recycle and use the material so, as the company says, "it doesn't have to steal from nature." Puma is familiar with its customer base and realizes that it might be difficult for some to part ways with certain materials, so people are able to take pictures of their throw-aways and write up an obituary that will appear online.

Not only does this provide incentive for people to get involved and help Puma use recycled material, but it gives people a chance to share their stories and learn from others who are throwing their stuff away. One person wrote about sharing long jogs with their old pair of sneakers. Another person said goodbye to their high heels. 

Yes, high heels. The Puma program is accepting all non-Puma gear as well. Why? Well, people have to venture into Puma to donate their stuff, so accepting non-Puma gear is a way to attract socially conscious consumers who probably don't regularly visit Puma stores. It's a good move to broaden its consumer base.

In recap: Puma looks more environmentally conscious for using recycled material, consumers get to recycle their old stuff and share their stories with a like-minded community, and Puma exposes its brand to new eyeballs by accepting non-Puma gear. Looking good, Puma, looking good.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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