There was a time when the idea of closely collaborating with a competitor brand would have sent shivers all the way down to your sneakers! Brands were inclined to keep themselves to themselves, focusing more on who they are, rather than who their customers actually are.

Strength of brand, and mass brand awareness, seemed to be king, and what all companies chased. In today’s landscape however, the consumer is very much the carrier of power. And markets with one brand dominance, are slowly being chipped away at by emerging brands offering a more holistic approach to both their product and services, and collaborative approach to marketing.

As consumers, we all have a diverse interest base, and brands are increasingly recognising this. By affiliating themselves with complimentary brands, particularly in today’s digital age where content marketing is crucial, consumers are being offered a lifestyle to buy into; not just a product.

BRAND FOCUS – SWEATY BETTY

Sweaty Betty co-founder Simon Hill-Norton believes peer advice and great partnerships have been vital for the British active wear company currently continuing its expansion into the US.

Last year, one of our favourite London boutique gyms, 1Rebel, offered Rumble classes for free in all UK Sweaty Betty retail stores. This was supported by Sweaty Betty dedicating an area on their website to 1Rebel, offering a free Rumble video workout, as well as curated content, suggested workout looks and interviews with 1Rebel instructors.

The root of the concept is pretty simple. People who go to gyms wear active wear, and people that wear active wear go to gyms! Although they are very both different in terms of product, the two markets are closely intertwined in terms of who buys into them, and therefore offer a prime opportunity to boost secondary spend from customers of each to the other.

1Rebel co-founder James Balfour commented to Health Club Management: “The fitness industry has traditionally seen retail as a secondary focus, but that’s because if you put fitness clothes in a Fitness First or a Virgin Active club, the market is only as big as the membership, and that’s why the retail side has never really worked. But the boutique sphere is different, as our market is as many people as we want to come through the door – there are no barriers to entry.”

This week Sweaty Betty have taken this concept to a new height the opening of their three-floor flagship store this month, to include a fitness studio, cafe, and blow dry bar. The studio will host workouts run by a number of boutique fitness partners, including Frame, Gymclass and Paola’s Bodybarre.

The company has even shifted into consumer events, running its Sweaty Betty Live event, offering speakers such as Tanya Burr, Hemsley & Hemsley, Alice Liveing and Tess Ward, covering a number of wellbeing topics and foodservice options. All under the strapline, ‘Fashion, fitness and food’.

Experiential retail is at the core of Sweaty Betty’s expansion strategy, and collaborative partnerships are playing a pivotal role in their growth.

For us PR’s, we are increasingly using brand partnerships for across a number of fitness pr and marketing platforms to support our client objectives. It’s an incredibly exciting landscape to be working in!

Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Wellbeing an Fitness PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.