A new era of shopping experience has come with the rise of the fitness industry. Top brands are enticing the ever growing market to buy into their products, mission, and stories as their consumer markets develop.
How are they achieving this?
Shopping has become much more than pretty shop fronts: it has become an experience and a journey in which the brand becomes a part of your healthy lifestyle.
This is achieved through offering more than just clothes or food. Instead they’re also offering opportunities such as workout classes, events or challenges.
These companies are known as concept brands, because they cover more than one specific area of our daily lives.
Great examples of this are big names such as Sweaty Betty, Nike or Reebok and their ability to promote many areas while bringing them all under one roof.
For example, Sweaty Betty just launched a flagship store in London and word has spread. It is one of their biggest stores yet and offers fashion, fitness, food, and beauty all within one establishment.
The founder, Tamara Hill-Norton, said she has “handpicked all of the partners to ensure they had a similar value and ethos to the Sweaty Betty brand, to live a balanced life that goes beyond fitness.” This is significant, because rather than just covering several different areas with her products, she is also employing like-minded people who believe in more than just fitness and can promote the wider range of products on offer.
Another activewear brand which has successfully become a concept brand, is Nike.
Nike began by only selling active wear. However they currently offer events across London such as the Nike+ local run and skateboarding at BaySixty6. As well as the goods that Nike offers, their brand goes deeper and takes time to cover further areas such as researching physiology, sensory/perception, and data science. As a result, they are allowing themselves to go beyond normal active wear and are instead applying themselves to creating activewear fit for athletes. This contributes to them being a concept brand because they are utilising their resources in order to cover a larger market.
Of course, this is a benefit for the consumer, as we get to wear both practical and appealing clothing. I would often wear activewear rather than my jeans!
But why are brands encouraging their consumers to “live a balanced life that goes beyond fitness”?
Social media goes hand-in-hand with this health revolution, as every day that we scroll through our feeds, stories or tweets, we are shown the lives of thousands of influencers all leading lives that we aspire to. It is likely that they show themselves to be well rounded and knowledgeable in bases including the key areas: fitness, fashion, food and beauty.
Within a couple of posts, a follower can see the influencers fitness regime, nutritious breakfast, skin care routines and outfit of the day and often aspire to achieve the same standards.
As a result, we look for brands to provide us with an easy way to reach these standards. If a brand covers all bases, why does the consumer have to go anywhere else to receive these goods?
All of us have been witness to brands branching out and I, amongst others, am enjoying the freedom that I feel as a consumer. When I can get my running leggings, protein shake and soothing face mask after hitting up a barre class all in one place, I am going to be a very happy health blogger.
It is likely that many brands will gradually become concept brands, as they need to keep up with the ever changing market with people wanting fast, accessible and quality products. Now that time has become so precious in our fast paced lifestyles, concept brands are successfully meeting our needs.