Adidas just beat its personal best in sales. The brand reported a 7% jump last quarter to further secure a spot as the alpha in activewear, with much credit due to online sales. As rivals continue to sneak in and out of domination, here’s how the brand is making the best of a highly competitive environment.

After years of uninterrupted rule, Adidas ousted Nike from the sole number one spot in Gartner L2’s most recent digital ranking. One key way the brand kickstarted its come-up? Keeping an eye on engagement. The brand surpassed Nike in particular with double-digit growth across distribution channels, with especially strong support from owned e-commerce properties, for which revenue grew 66%. While Nike garnered the highest number of desktop site visits out of all tracked brands, Adidas better engaged customers with product-launch content in particular.

For its March 2018 release of the Deerupt sneaker, the brand upped the ante by designing the sneaker with Instagram in mind—the shoe features a silhouette optimized for the toe-down photos popularly used by sneakerhead influencers—and unveiling a mobile-first virtual unboxing site ahead of the product release. Additionally, Adidas mailed branded shoeboxes to Kendall Jenner and sneakerhead influencers that contained QR codes that linked to the site. Over the ensuing week, the influencers posted to their social media handles with #deerupt, resulting in a spike in searches for the term “adidas deerupt” on both Google and YouTube.

By treating the microsite release as a product drop in and of itself, Adidas was able to achieve the upper hand in sales and digital strategy. Specific product landing pages account for a third of page views on the Adidas site, and the brand’s product-launch content in email campaigns and on Instagram outperformed its other content according to Gartner L2’s study.

For Adidas, building buzz around a single product not only made an impression on the brand’s audience, but on its status overall. Brands looking to boost site traffic and become a more memorable brand should consider the power of one.

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