Adidas’ and Puma’s Timeless Brand Identities

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Both companies compete with the number one winner Nike.
Adidas Puma Brand History
Also See: Adidas Ads in Print Magazines and The Company’s Marketing Strategy
Adolf registered Adidas’ name in 1948.
Nobody knows exactly what happened between the two brothers to cause the family feud and separation.
However, all those changes featured the famous three stripes which allowed the company to retain a coherent and familiar brand identity for its customers.

Dassler Brothers Adidas Puma

The logo continued the use of, already iconic, three stripes.
The takeover allowed the company to increase its sales in North America and become a direct competitor of Nike.
Apart from the existing footwear products, the company additionally entered the leisure and apparel markets.
Nike’s name relates to the Greek Goddess, Adidas to its founder and Puma to, again, the animal.
It was called too simple and boring as well as visually unappealing due to its asymmetry.

Not jumping too far into the analysis, let’s only look at the Nike logo design history.

The separation and family feud

Adi refers to his nickname whereas Das comes from the first letters of his surname.
At first, the three stripes were used by a different brand.
Even then, despite being lied down on the same cemetery, the distance between their graves was kept as long as possible.
Puma’s first logo was an upside down diamond-shaped illustration.
The first leaf is for the North and South Americas, middle leaf for Europe and Africa and the third one for Asia.
Did you know… Up until this day, both Adidas and Puma are still headquartered in their hometown in Germany, Herzogenaurach, on the opposite sides of the river.
The brothers, at first, specialised in making spiked running shoes.
Did you know… The mountain logo was at first widely criticised.
Currently, Puma uses mostly red and white colour scheme.
Nike with already mentioned Swoosh, Adidas with the climbing mountain reference in the performance logo and Puma, naturally, with the animal.
However, sports clothing was in need of a separate logo.
Since then, Adidas and Puma agreed to be healthy competitors, not enemies.
Inside it, there was a beast image similar to a cat jumping through a letter D. (D coming from Dassler.)
Throughout all these years Adidas took risky actions to change its logo thrice.
However, now they have been shaped into a mountain.

Adolf and Rudolf Dassler remained enemies until their death.

Adidas’ and Puma’s brand identity creation

Puma was registered the same year.
The rivalry became so feisty that the town became divided with the river splitting the two, since now, competitors.
Despite all three trying to differentiate themselves from each other, there are plenty of similarities found between the companies.
Both of them are very well known for their sports goods, but only a few of us know about the complex history behind these huge corporations.
However, later it became very problematic, primarily when there was political talk involved.
There were over one hundred logo designs presented to the team, among them was the trefoil the company uses until today.
Secondly, it translates very well across many languages.
New Adidas Logo Design
Despite Puma changing its name once and updated its logo into a simplified one, it also managed to keep a strong brand identity.

It was a great success in the range of fashion products.

The feud officially declared a truce in 2009 when the two opposing football teams played a friendly match.
At one point his brother, Rudolf Dassler, decided to join him and the two started making shoes in their mother’s laundry room.
After the war, Rudolf was approached by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the SS.
Moreover, the two football clubs in the area were sponsored by either Adolf or Rudolf.
Despite that, all brand identities relate to some living reference with relatable personality.
One of the theories is that both Adolf and Rudolf were members of the Nazi party, with Rudolf being way more involved.

Puma’s animal logo design

Author Bio: Natalia Raben is an International Business student taking care of marketing @ DesignBro. A lover of design, photography and the arts.

In 2005 Adidas introduced a ‘new’ wordmark.
‘New’ because the combination of the word and icon had not been introduced before.
At first, it was beneficial as the brothers complemented each other in their work.

Adidas Nike Puma Kits

Moreover, thirdly, Puma, the animal, represents the values the company tries to share: speed and power.
Did you know… It was already in 1962 when Adidas introduced to the market the famous full body tracksuit with three stripes on the side.
The two – Nike and Adidas – are now the most prominent sports shoemakers in the world.
Adolf and Rudolf had very different characters.

Adidas’ trefoil logo design

Puma Logo Design History

The next generations, however, didn’t perceive the rivalry as serious and became mostly tired of the division in the town.
Dassler Logo Design
Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory
The three-leaf shape is meant to imitate a global map, representing continents were Adidas is present.
Adidas’ and Puma’s Timeless Brand Identities – A Logo Design History
The purpose was to tie together all of the company’s clothing lines and logos or word marks.
It’s said that Karhu sold the three stripes trademark to Adidas for around €1600 and two bottles of whiskey.
Later on, still years before founding Adidas, Adi and Rudolf opened a shoe factory.
As you probably know, the trefoil features the three iconic stripes in the lower part of the logo.

Adidas’ performance logo design

In 1972, Adidas introduced the trefoil logo.

Moreover, all three companies put effort to reflect movement in their logos.
Adidas is the second biggest sportswear manufacturer in the world whereas Puma stands right next to on the podium.
Seven years after its creation, the logo was assigned as the company’s primary logo.
The performance logo was created in 1990 by Peter Moore, and it was dedicated to the equipment products only.
Now the aim was to present them unified to the sports clothing interested customer.
So how did it all begin?
The name change from Ruda to Puma had multiple reasons.
In 1948 Rudolf packed himself and moved his part of the factory to the other side of the river.

The 2005 Adidas wordmark

Adidas And Puma History

Adolf Dassler, also known as ‘Adi’, started making shoes in 1924.
It was developed the moment Adidas expanded its product portfolio.
Despite Puma giving an impression to be doing worse, it is the third largest sportswear manufacturer in the world.
Adidas and Puma, the two German multinational footwear and sportswear giants, do not need to be extensively introduced, do they?
Quite naturally, its origin comes from his name.
Puma Logo Design
With World War II developing at a rapid speed and decreased demand on the sports shoe market, stress and suspicion rose steadily.
The logo remained unchanged until today.
It was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971 for which the designer got paid a grand sum of, already famous, .
He was sure it was his brother who turned him in.

Adidas and Puma vs Nike

Adidas Logo Design History

Currently, the two are healthy competitors on a global scale.
One was very focused on production; another gave more emphasis on sales.
It was called the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.
Nike Logo Designer
The logo is commonly referred to as Swoosh, and its primary purpose is to symbolise movement.

Firstly, it is very similar to Ruda.

In 1971 Puma had introduced its new logo design of a simplified wordmark with a cleaner image of puma jumping on top of it.
However, at first, it was called Ruda, following the same logic the Adidas name was formed, from the first letters of the owner’s name.
It was a Finish sportswear company called Karhu.
In the past, the logo mostly appeared in black and white.
It is meant to represent all the difficulties faced by sportsmen and athletes as well as overcoming challenges.
Still, to this day, it is highly popular and worn by many, especially young people.
Previously used one, the trefoil, was repurposed to appear only on ‘heritage’ products like the Originals clothing line.
First, it was changed to align it with the company goals, later showing more modern and simplistic design to keep up with the rapidly changing environment.

The end of the feud

Adidas Trefoil Logo Design

Previously Adidas marketed lines such as Adidas Originals and Adidas Performance separately.
It was also the time brand loyalty became very noticeable.
Their company reached a milestone when sprint runner Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics, all-time wearing Dassler spikes.
The only altered thing is the colour palette of the company.
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In 2011, Adidas launched a global marketing campaign with a slogan ‘Adidas is all in’.
Additionally, the Swoosh wing is said to refer to the wing of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, and the source of the company’s name.

However, it features the three well-known stripes and the Adidas name in the same colour and font as before, keeping the company’s brand identity consistent.

It was also their first sponsorship for an African American which, at those times, was a great deal.
It started with the town’s residents who looked down at each other’s feet to see who supports which brother.
Nike’s logo, similarly to Adidas’ and Puma’s, went through changes throughout the years.
Adidas Puma Feud Adidas started to use three stripes to brand its footwear in 1967.

Adidas seriously entered the global market after the acquisition of Reebok in 2006.