2019 The Running Event Diary: How to kill a brand...


So, one of the things I do at TRE most years is to settle down, with my iced Americano in a paper cup, and solve the world of running's problems, with a few fellow prognosticators. I have given these alleged key players the protection of anonymity, and asked them to tell us one brand killer each....

Here it goes.....this, is a rant...

il_340x270.1615620689_fiim.jpgSoviet era track spikes, courtesy of Vintagdrims

Always remember: Running is simple, keep it that way.

1. Change your shoes way too much.

So many brands stop listening to retail, and the consumer, and want to make the best shoe ever. Make great shoes, and change them, little by little. That is what ASICS used to do, and now others do. Look at the brands that are successful and growing, and notice how much they change shoes.

2. Sell Everywhere.

Want to get everyone annoyed at you? Open too many doors. Allow anyone online to sell your shoes. That is a time proven way to kill your brand.

3. Ignore Retail complaints.

Every shoe you sell in a local running store affects ten shoe sales. Think about it. Key influencers purchase 5-7 pairs of shoes a year. Many of them purchase at least half their shoes in a local running store. Local running stores know your brand is in trouble, on the average, six months before you do. And when they're really pissed, they call me.

4. "Running is small"

Recently, I was asked to discuss the running biz with two global ad agencies. Now, understand, I have worked with agencies since the 1980s, and even consulted with Saatchi back in the ICI days in 1988. I just had 2 agencies send me data claiming that "running is small." I began to thik of comedian Steve Martin, who used to do a "small" routine way back in the 1980s.

Running is huge. 50 million in US, 200 million in China alone. And those who get into running influence the newbies. Find an agency that gets running, and if you have to, find a couple of running geeks, who get marketing and give them a chance.

5. Stop marketing to local runners...

When digital world came on, everyone became a brand expert. Total bullshit. Here's a secret. Start small, and build. Support the local retailerr's newsletter by making a deal with local running magazine, and as part of the deal, get content to share and build the local running stores' website, newsletter by setting up a conduit for daily content.

And also. Digital is good. Print, digital, social, email blasts are BEST.

Runners are cerebral, well healed, well educated and read digital, print, social, podcast.

Make a deal with running media so you get all. Take the money you waste paying for some consultant to tell you what you already know, and find a local running magazine and make a deal with them. If you do not, you are givng business away to Amazon.

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