The North Face joins the training party
Weight training, cardio, cross-fit—these kinds of fitness programs are on the up-and-up these days. Reebok has embraced blood, sweat and tears in its "tough fitness" campaign, while Nike has created similarly-themed marketing campaigns, including the launch last week of "Better for it Together."
According to Editd, a consulting firm that uses big data to advise companies that sell online, the fitness ranges of the 19 top companies selling online in the United States and Great Britain (among the biggest markets) jumped by 203% in April as compared to the same period in 2013. Editd highlights the fact that while leggings sales in general grew by 5%, yoga leggings sales by these companies jumped by 270% during the quarter.
The thriving market is attracting many different kinds of brands. Retailers such as H&M, Mango and Zara have become involved in the segment. But now it’s also brands like The North Face that want to join the party in the US. The VF Corp-owned outdoors giant’s expertise should come in handy.
The North Face has just launched its "I train for" campaign, highlighting its new approach to Mountain Athletics. Its film begins with depictions of the famous outdoor brand’s specialties: hiking, running, mountain climbing and winter sports. But the second part of the ad takes place in a gym where athletes work out in order to prepare themselves for the outdoors. A complete product line has been created in order to meet the demands of this kind of training.
The North Face is launching an application and training programs to meet the needs of athletes, whether they are involved in running, climbing or backcountry skiing. Events are also planned for major US cities.
The packaging has been very successful. The question remains as to whether customers will pay for the content. According to Editd, activewear’s growth is real. But it could also be on a smaller scale than what the industry frenzy might suggest. For The North Face, the launch in the United States should allow it to confirm its range’s potential. The launch of the line in Europe is planned for summer 2016. However, there is nothing to indicate that it will be accompanied by a marketing campaign like the one created for the US.
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