A couple of years ago, Under Armour was under pressure. The fitness brand was lagging behind brand leaders like Nike and Adidas, and even new competitors were overtaking. But now, revenue is up, and exceeding expectations – all thanks to a bold, coherent brand strategy.
Under Armour has developed a brand ecosystem: a whole environment of different products, experiences and more. And these go well beyond the core product range of fitness wear. For instance, Under Armour has taken its place as a thought leader thanks to its annual Future Show: an event that brings together great fitness, apparel and technology startups. The company draws on the strength of other brands too, partnering with the likes of Garmin, Pebble and Misfit to develop fitness devices – one of them, the UA band, even connects with other devices like heart rate monitors and earbuds.
The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in development and acquisitions, creating a ‘connected fitness and nutrition strategy’ that not only helps users live a healthier lifestyle but also gathers their data – essential for future product development. They’ve even partnered with IBM to create the Internet of Athletes: a ‘cognitive coaching system’ to help users with sleep, fitness, activity and nutrition.
This way, the brand doesn’t just become part of the customer’s workout – it becomes part of their lifestyle. And that makes for a very healthy ecosystem indeed.