In Salt Lake City, the Summer Outdoor Retailer (July 31-August 4), was the location for a fascinating launch of a new shoe for Brooks. In one of their most ambitious media launches yet, Brooks marketing Heather Snavely built a fun evening, with a gospel singing group, a short presentation, great food and adult beverages, to launch the Brooks Transcend, a new direction for Brooks Running.
Preceeding that, Brooks PR sent out a report detailing the research that they had done on the need for this shoe.
Brooks launches their products well. While other brands can outspend performance running brands such as Brooks, in most cases, they are just not as effective. Brooks invited the most serious running geeks as well as the fashionistas, not concerned that serious reviewers of the product might ask them questions that they a) were not ready for, b) did not want asked. In allowing the healthy discussion of ideas and product, Brooks has a relationship with running media that does not exist with some of their larger competitors.
Brooks Runnings’ Heather Snavely gets it: keep it fun, keep the geek stuff short, but provide it for the media to read at their leisure. Run Happy, one of the smartest branding programs ever for a running brand, continues to breathe life into an expanding Brooks Running brand.
What should other running brands learn from Brooks? Focus on human capital, focus on great product, and make sure that the consumer, run specialty and running media understand your message. Encourage questions and criticism, and learn and evolve. If the consumer, run specialty and running media understand that your success is their success, then you have won the battle.