Breaking Down Puma x Davido's ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ Collab: Understanding Sales Challenges

Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collection yet to sell out on year after release | Credit: Instagram(pumanigeria)

Breaking Down Puma x Davido's ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ Collab: Understanding Sales Challenges

David Ben 06:04 - 27.02.2024

Over a year after its release, Puma and Davido’s inspirational collaboration has still not sold out.

Puma's collaboration with the multi-award-winning Nigerian music megastar David Adeleke popularly known as Davido, was a groundbreaking venture.

The project marked the first-ever partnership between the German multi-national sportswear giants and a prominent figure from Nigeria's entertainment industry.

However, despite Davido's massive influence on social media, coupled with Puma's established brand presence and the buzz surrounding the collaboration, the "We Rise By Lifting Others" collection seems to have struggled to achieve the expected success, more than a year after its release.

Davido x PUMA: We Rise By Lifting Others Collection

In this article, we will delve into the possible reasons behind its underwhelming performance and explore feasible solutions for the brand moving forward.

Puma x Davido’s “We Rise By Lifting Others” design raised some eyebrows

Puma x Davido
PUMA x Davido ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ Collaboration | Credit: Puma Nigeria

One of the primary reasons for the seemingly lackluster sales of the Puma-Davido collection could be attributed to design dissatisfaction among consumers.

While collaborations between sportswear brands and celebrities often thrive on innovative and eye-catching designs, this collection, in my opinion, may have fallen short in delivering unique and appealing products.

Many consumers found the designs to be uninspired and lacking the ‘wow factor’ expected from such a collaboration.

The absence of truly spectacular designs may have deterred potential buyers from making purchases, despite Davido's endorsement.

I mean it is comfortable to wear and possesses durable quality material…but that’s really it.

It isn’t as eye-catching as many would have expected.

Timing of release

Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collaboration
Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collaboration | Credit: Puma Nigeria

Timing is certainly crucial in the success of any product launch.

However, the timing of the "We Rise By Lifting Others" collection may not have been exactly perfect, hence, its inability to sell out even after a year of release.

Indeed, the release of the collection was initially slated for late Q3 in 2022, with Davido in high spirits as usual, having teased the collaboration a few times via his social media channels.

Following the tragic death of Davido's son, Ifeanyi, the company was compelled to postpone the release of the collaboration.

This unforeseen event cast a shadow of uncertainty over the project, affecting previously set timelines and leaving consumers who had pre-ordered on the site in limbo.

In response, Puma swiftly issued a statement confirming the delay and extending the option of refunds to consumers who may have reconsidered their purchase in light of the heartbreaking incident.

Shortly after, Puma also announced a release date for the “We Rise By Lifting Others” collection for early Q1 in 2023.

In late Q4, Davido made his triumphant return to the spotlight having completely disappeared from the limelight.

Firstly, he was slated to perform in the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, setting a record as the first African artiste to achieve this remarkable feat.

Nigerian music superstar Davido returned to the public eye at the closing ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup

It is widely acknowledged that consumer interest and purchasing decisions can be heavily influenced by a multitude of factors, including market saturation, competing product launches, and even prevailing economic conditions.

However, one compelling argument suggests that the underwhelming performance of the collection could be attributed to being overshadowed by Davido's return to the limelight.

Puma decided to officially release the collaboration  just weeks after the highly-anticipated release of his fourth studio album, TIMELESS.

It’s not hard to see the intent in dropping the collection as at the same time OBO dropped his landmark project due to the buzz surrounding the artiste.

However, the anticipated payoff from that move didn't materialize as expected.

Throughout the first three quarters of 2023, the spotlight was predominantly fixated on Davido's album, overshadowing the promotion efforts for the Puma collection and potentially diminishing its impact.

Purchasing Power of Davido’s fans amid economic challenges

Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collection yet to sell out on year after release
Davido is the most influential Nigerian celebrity on social media | Credit: Instagram

Let’s not kid ourselves. Davido indeed is the most influential Nigerian celebrity, and most influential African musician as far as social media is concerned.

The Afrobeats royalty and iconic superstar boasts well over 53 million followers across major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and X) - which is what Puma must have heavily relied on.

For a fact, no other African celebrity asides Mohamed Salah, Khaby Lame, and Tamer Hosny earn higher than the 31-year-old Atlanta-born superstar from sponsored posts on Instagram.

Davido is the most followed Nigerian celebritu on Instagram
Davido is the most followed Nigerian celebritu on Instagram by some distance | Illustration by David Ben/PulseSportsNG

But while Davido commands a vast and loyal 30BG fan base, it is essential to consider the economic realities of his followers, particularly in Nigeria (who contribute to 88% of his core fanbase on social media).

Although, Spotify previously revealed his fans in the U.S contribute largely to his streaming numbers on the platform, with his 30BG fan base in Nigeria the biggest in Africa.

It’s hard to put a number or even estimate how much Puma loyalists are there in Nigeria, seeing as the West African country barely contribute to majority of its sales even in Africa, as per data provided by Statista.

Despite their admiration for the artist, it is safe to assume many of his fans may face financial constraints that limit their ability to splurge on ‘luxury’ items like those in the Puma collaboration.

Some have argued that the collection further widened the gap between the rich and the poor as it was already considered a “class” symbol to own a piece off the collection.

Nigerians make up 88% of Davido’s mammoth 30BG fanbase on social media | Credit: Instagram

While I personally do not agree to this narrative or even  in the slightest, believe the pricing of the collection is overboard, we can’t also rule out the possibility that low purchasing power played a role in the slow sales.

What is also evident, is that ‘Stanship’ on social media, does not automatically translate to what the outcome of sales will be.

Ultimately, understanding the purchasing power of the target demographic is always crucial in crafting pricing strategies that align with consumer’s budget, as well as what they really want, irrespective of the brand's core objective of driving sales and revenue.

Competitive Landscape of the sportswear market

Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collection yet to sell out on year after release
Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collaboration | Credit: Instagram(davido)

Make no mistake, sportswear market is highly competitive, with numerous brands vying for consumers' attention and loyalty.

In such a saturated landscape, standing out requires more than just celebrity endorsements - it demands innovation, quality, and a strong value proposition.

The Puma-Davido collaboration may have faced stiff competition from other high-profile partnerships and collections, making it challenging to capture market share and drive sales.

So what next for Puma?

Revamp Design Strategy

Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collaboration
Puma x Davido: ‘We Rise By Lifting Others’ collaboration | Credit: Puma Nigeria

While it’s not all gloom and doom, Puma can revisit its design strategy for future collaborations, placing greater emphasis on innovation, uniqueness, and cultural relevance than on who(m) they would want to collaborate with.

To do that, the brand needs to incorporate elements that resonate with the target audience while pushing creative boundaries.

It is 100% possible for Puma to create collections that both capture consumer attention and drive demand at the same time.

A first-look should be able to compel the consumer to be willing to spend regardless of the price or who is endorsing it.

Aim for Strategic Timing and Marketing

Primarily, timing is key, and Puma must carefully plan the release of future collaborations to maximize visibility and impact.

By being more strategic about their launches with relevant cultural moments, holidays, or events, and also taking note of the implications, Puma can generate buzz and excitement around its products.

Additionally, credit has to be given to the brand’s strategy so far, having invested in targeted marketing campaigns across various channels to help increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience.

Diversify Product Range and Pricing

Taking into consideration the diverse preferences and budgets of consumers, Puma can diversify its product range and pricing options to cater to a broader demographic.

Introducing a range of products at different price points ensures accessibility for consumers across various income levels - what this does, is simply  expanding the potential customer base and driving sales.

No matter how you want to look at it…it’s a win-win situation on the long run.

While collaborations between sportswear brands and celebrities hold immense potential, success relies far more on factors beyond just star power due to the highly-competitive landscape.

Moving forward, brands must carefully consider design aesthetics, brand alignment, and marketing strategies to ensure the success of such partnerships in the future.

By addressing the shortcomings of the past and implementing strategic solutions for the future, Puma can reinvigorate its brand and forge successful partnerships that resonate with consumers worldwide.