Does your sports brand have all the necessary tools for success? If it’s a podium finish you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong by reading on!
In a sector where running, jumping and shooting for success are guaranteed, your business can’t afford to be the one standing still. We know that success doesn’t come easy, especially in the sports sector, but with a helping hand, it could be your business that flourishes.
By now, you probably know that, unlike some sectors, the sports sector is all about positioning yourself ahead of the curve. Moving away from what people know and standing out from the crowd are all sure-fire ways to find the success your business deserves.
But… doing those things isn’t that easy; if it were, everyone would be Nike, wouldn’t they? Maybe Nike is a little farfetched.
We are here to lend a helping hand! With our vast experience in fast-paced and innovative sectors, choosing a design agency to be fighting in your corner is easy.
In this blog, we’re talking you through some of the best steps to follow to put your sports sector business in the first place.
A strong brand
First thing’s first, when it comes to building a successful business in any sector, you have to be thinking about your branding. We don’t mean mentioning it once in passing during a meeting or having a flashy logo designed and saying ‘look at my brand’, although that logo will come in handy! We mean committing wholly to building something far more meaningful than just a business.
When you set out in the business world, you need to consider what about your business is going to captivate people.
It’s ideal if you are directly thinking about the growth of the sector you’re entering and where that sector could be in a few years. Building something with forethought is particularly tough in the sports sector. This is because of the technological advancements that raise the profile of certain brands and products.
For example, Nike and Adidas have reshaped their product offering repeatedly when more beneficial materials are invented. Think of the Climacool and Dri-Fit products from each brand; as time has progressed. We have seen both businesses introducing newer and more beneficial versions of their products.
Outside of your brand plan and how your strategy could evolve, you should also consider how your brand will look and feel to your customers.
Think about thought-provoking and robust imagery that will capture potential customers’ attention and build a relationship with them before they purchase. If you are a brand that manufactures running equipment, your potential customers are likely to be everyday runners rather than elite professionals; at the start, pro’s will stick to the brands they know.
Think about how your branding can reflect the needs and desires of those potential customers. Our advice would be to highlight the everyday advantages of your product(s). For experienced runners, they may want to know the nitty-gritty details, newcomers may only want to know the basic pros and cons.
Get your home in order
As our world heads increasingly online, we’re pretty confident that you will already be thinking about your website.
When it comes to websites, it’s fair to say we’ve been around the block a little. Web design is one of our strongest assets, and we understand what drives customers to stay and purchase rather than leave empty-handed.
For your sports sector website, you need to be thinking about re-enforcing your branding as much as possible.
You should be using the same colour palette that runs through your products. The imagery should look and feel similar to any existing social accounts, brochures and so on. Your logo or icon should be visible everywhere, emphasising your brand awareness.
Any visual clashes on your website could confuse your customers; you need to make sure you are instantly recognisable across all your virtual locations to stand out in the sports sector.
All of this is vital for your brand awareness – allowing people to associate your style, colours and photography with your brand without even seeing your logo.
Call to action – When it comes to branding and web design packages, we have lots of examples of our work for you to have a look through. GTLN is one of these brands that we designed and developed, including their website; go check it out!
It’s important to note that the sports sector revolves around an enthusiastic and involved audience. The more knowledge you obtain about your audience, the more likely your brand is to succeed.
Reach out to your audience and conduct market research – learn as much as possible about the behaviours of the people you’re selling to.
The key to standing out in the sports sector is to understand your audience’s needs, why they need it, and the biggest question, how will your brand be the solution they’re looking for?
Luckily for you, the sports sector is constantly asking questions, leaving lots of room for your business to provide the answers!
Market research not only helps you address the needs of your potential audience, but it also helps you understand the sort of products they are in the market to purchase.
For example, Freetrain, a business that develops vest-like body packs, provided a usable answer to a challenging problem. Their product allows runners to train hands-free by using the slots within their product to carry any accessories they may need.
By listening to what their audience wanted, they aimed to design a correctly weighted vest that wouldn’t affect their potential customers’ balance and stability.
Re-inventing the previously favoured product, an arm strap, could produce a product that offered more space for extras like running gels and didn’t affect performance when they slide down your arm or squeeze too tight. Freetrain hit all the right notes with their audience and are becoming a sector favourite.
Going to market
There wouldn’t be a blog long enough to include all the great marketing you can develop within your business for the sports sector.
The beauty of the sports sector is that there are so many varied approaches to marketing that you aren’t confined to any particular set of ideas or norms, unless you want to be!
Our advice would be to match your marketing approach with your branding; that way, you will create a memorable experience and brand awareness for your potential customers.
If you are an entirely new product to the sector, we would suggest championing your strengths and highlighting the success your product will bring to those who use it.
When starting your marketing, your activity is essential. You should be aiming for people to see your brand as much as possible. If you aren’t already, start thinking about your social feeds. Reach out to people who fall within your demographic by organic posting or using advertisements that capture their attention and drive them to your social feed or website.
Knowing how to market your product through the numerous digital marketing platforms efficiently will be essential for your initial growth.
Whether your business strategy revolves around word of mouth, PPC marketing or an organic SEO based approach, understanding what makes you stand out from the crowd, your USP (unique selling point), will only multiply your chances of success.
Have a well-thought strategy for the content you produce. At Create8, we champion creating a range of content so that your business can communicate with various potential customers.
Consider well-informed blog content for those looking to know the ins and outs of what makes your brand special. Through your blog, you can also offer opinions and insight, which is incredibly valued within the sports sector.
For your brand to be successful, visual content is also a must! Creating content that’s easily digestible suits the masses. Give people the option to notice and engage with your business within a second; this is a win for the potential customer and a more significant win for you.
The further along your journey your business travels, the easier it will become to integrate user-generated content, known as UGC, within your social feeds. UGC highlights brand loyalty and creates trust in your business, it also saves you time and money, a win-win.
Don’t just jump into your marketing! Plan it once, twice and three times, prepare to change course if something else comes up; being responsive is far more critical than getting out there without a plan.
Whether you are looking at building your sports brand from the ground up, or you’re looking at bringing in a helping hand (or ten sets of hands, as is the case at Create8), your journey within the sector will undoubtedly be an enjoyable one.
In the sports sector, innovation, performance and success join forces. There are lots of great ways that your business can stand out; the best way to get started is with Create8. Get in touch with us today!
Take a look at some more of our blogs for helpful tips, tricks and advice: