Apollo Brands Pty Ltd, the official distributor of Under Armour in South Africa, recently launched its new trainer, the UA Flex To Flow. Lee-Ann Caboz, brand and communications manager, Apollo Brands explains that launching a new trainer into the market requires a different approach depending on the audience you are targeting.
Image supplied. Lee-Ann Caboz, brand and communications manager, Apollo Brands says Under Armour strives to be a loved brand
With the availability of athletic equipment and technology, fitness consumption has grown in popularity, with a greater consumer buy-in.
“At Under Armour, we focus our efforts on driving technology to make athletes better – our USP is that we don’t try to be everything to everyone, but we know who we are, and we support that narrative,” explains Caboz.
“So we are the sports performance company that inspires performance solutions you didn’t know you needed and can’t live without. We provide you with the opportunity to be 1% better in your field through our product, because it is that 1% that can elevate an athlete from good to great,” she adds.
An authentic message
The brand approach is about landing an authentic message, rather than driving the ‘sell’ narrative.
“When we launched the Under Armour’s new UA Flex To Flow trainer, we were not marking a shoe brand, but a sports performance brand that encompasses all equipment to aid the ‘focused performer ‘on their journey to compete,” she says.
The keywords for the brand are ‘focused performer. She explains that being a ‘focused performer’ has evolved from being a top-ranking athlete to more of a mindset. “Anyone can be a ‘focused performer’ depending on how they perceive and approach their arena.”
A loved brand
One of her personal passions is communicating the differences in brand behaviour and how to adapt your tactics to the playing field.
“It starts with understanding the difference between a price and product brand, and a loved brand. I use the word ‘love’ specifically because there are several boxes that must be checked to be a ‘loved brand.
“The price and product brand approach is very common in FMCG spaces, as these brands build their narrative around a human need, and do not build a relationship with the consumer,” she explains.
“Instead it is about communicating the right products at the right price through mass audience consumption. While a slightly less nuanced tactic, it can be appropriate for certain product markets,” she adds.
Creating a loved brand, such as Under Armour, begins with intrigue, progresses to like, and through a process of repetition in storytelling, guides the emotive connection between brand and consumer.
“To do this, a brand must invest in the storytelling process and part of this storytelling is sharing the brand’s vision, mission and value centre.”
Right audience at the right time in the right channel
She explains: “As a marketing team, we did the due diligence to research big brand behaviour in this space so that we could utilise digital trends, new spaces, and traditional avenues in adventurous ways that remain relevant in the consumer’s mind.”
She adds: “The brand has to find the right audience at the right time.”
For her community; digital funnel communication, PR, influencers, and tactful CRM communication are all key areas in this regard. “When making these choices, the brand image must be top of mind.”
She adds that the brand image has to be considered in these choices, to protect the brand. “I am a firm believer in quality vs quantity.”
Landing an international brand locally
“We understand the importance of authentically resonating with the local landscape as a team,” says Cobaz.
Localisation is an important psychology for creating a relatable space, technological proof, and, most importantly, trust.
“Hence landing a global brand locally should also be at the forefront of your tactics and ambition. We accomplish this by partnering with the right influencers, athletes, and entities who can tell our story credibly – by living our values,” she says.