Mizuno Running: The Mezamashii Run Project
Walt Barron and Swapnil Patel
Brand owner: Mizuno USA
Brand: Mizuno Running
This case study demonstrates how Mizuno, with almost no media budget, set out to convince runners to give their running shoes a chance. Given that the shoes' benefits were only felt when out on the road rather than when tried on in the shop, runners needed to be encouraged not simply to try the shoes on, but to try the shoes out. By embracing the challenge, the Mizuno team reinvented the trial experience, and propelled a brand with 1% share of voice to its most successful sales year ever, and into the centre of the running world's conversation about shoes.
The situation facing Mizuno in 2012 wasn't ideal. Their expensive, high-quality running shoes felt stiff and hard compared to other brands in the category, and although Mizuno had a small group of brand loyalists, many had been angered by recent changes to one of its most popular shoe models: the Wave Rider.