A strong position for world domination

The fast-growing affordable fitness brand that’s now sold in 170 countries has been exploring options for further growth this year, as sales near the £200m mark. With a spot on the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100, the company has ridden the wave of a booming fitness and athleisure apparel market, amassing 7m social media followers in the process and gaining increased popularity among the health-obsessed 16-25-year-old market.

While the brand will continue investment in the social media and influencer marketing that has aided its rise to prominence, agencies that can offer a fresh perspective on new regions and demographics are likely to be explored as the brand looks to command a greater share of the sports apparel market. For example, insights and analytics shops should note the recent appointments of Research Manager Charlotte Longmore and Head of Customer Analytics Alex Gray as indicators of planned investment.

Social focus: The company has typically avoided "traditional" marketing techniques, preferring the viral potential of social media posts, and so this retains the lion's share of its budget. We expect it to continue investing in high-growth, 'word-of-mouth' channels that allow it to maximise ROI in terms of brand awareness initially. While it naturally doesn't have the levels of brand recognition of the likes of Nike or Under Armour, it is very much targeting the fitness enthusiast millennial who will can act as an advocate for its products in the fitness community. The brand in particular takes pride in its photography style, “almost over-exposing pictures to create a really aspirational look”.

Tying into this will naturally be its investment in bloggers and ambassadors, and we expect it to continue adding to its roster here both in the UK market as well as internationally (it has picked out both the US and Australian markets as ripe for expansion).

Content marketing: In the last year, Gymshark has focused on tapping further into the wider concept of fitness-orientated lifestyles, with content relating to the non-exercise aspects of this (such as diet) becoming crucial to its brand identity and online presence. This ties into its core message as a performance-enhancing brand, and we now anticipate that it will ramp up its investment in educational content to cement this identity, generate more traffic to its site and ultimately influence levels of brand loyalty.

Gymshark has held brick-and-mortar events in London, Birmingham, New York, Los Angeles and Melbourne and will likely continue to launch pop-ups ahead of a potential permanent opening in the coming few years. We expect these to be largely focused on exclusive, more limited-edition ranges that drive excitement and demand from its core audience, akin to product 'drops' by streetwear brands - and it will be worth looking to tie any experiential concepts into potential product releases to really align with its strategy on this front.

Media Spend Q1-3 2018: n/a

Agencies: 3MZ

Key decision-makers:

Chief Creative Officer Noel Mackconnect

Head of Campaign & Creative Ashley Wilsonconnect