How we could all learn a few lessons from the sports brands

What’s working, what isn’t in retail and how sports brands and retailers are starting to fight back. With 2018 being such a turbulent year for retailers, a year of record losses and closures to well known and loved high street names such as ‘House of Fraser’, it’s clear to see how leading brands are feeling the effects.

It’s great to hear, however, that there is a sense of fighting back and this has been led by sports brands and retailers. By redesigning the physical stores and using latest technologies to create experiences that shoppers simply don’t have or experience online. Bringing digital elements into the real space, retailers can offer the perfect combination of convenience and experience that shoppers crave.

Making the retail experience a sharable moment and more immersive experience. Brands like Nike and Adidas are offering shoppers something that digital alone can’t – experience. Demonstrating how sports brands are currently leading the way in experiential.

How sports is leading the way in experiential?

Over the past decade sportswear has changed its role, simply worn for technical clothing for sport, and now it’s dual role for day to day streetwear and fashion combined, and with it, the retail experience.

Whatever brand someone chooses to wear is driven by their behaviour towards the tribal effect; driven by the need to be associated with others known to wear that all-important badge; social media and instore provide shoppers with reassurance and justification for buying into the tribe.

There is still a need of self-expression for shoppers within the tribe. Wanting to fit in but at the same time have individuality, and so personalising their kit is very appealing. And, as the relevant technology becomes more accessible to retailers, the retail space makes this an experience based on desire.

Big sports brands are using this as part of their wider plans to draw customers in store? Re-enforcing their brand values and a clear destination for shoppers to purchase and resulting in shoppers avoiding functional online discount retailers.

Nike and Adidas showcase their flagship store with their association of high profile sports personalities and tech by using large video screen displays to capture attention from the word go, creating personality in the windows and engagement primarily driven by an immersive experience that enables customers to personalise mass-produced items such as boots or trainers.

In-store running machines allow customers to try the fit and feel of trainers. Using the latest sports science, the customer’s stride is analysed on the machine to determine whether their performance could be enhanced. It’s a great piece of instore theatre, but also adds value for shoppers, making their trip to the store more informative and entertaining.

Fitting ‘selfie mirrors’ – pleasing lots of tech-savvy audience with instagrammable moments.

Brands adding a community with run group exercise and relaxation classes, further reinforcing the brands sporting expertise. The classes add a sense of theatre and scale to stores, turning an everyday shopping trip into an immersive experience, and giving customers an additional incentive to visit. The sports retailer’s investment in interactive technology provides us with a seamless shopping experience.

As an agency, influencing behaviours is core to what we do and applying Behavioural Economics to marketing communications is a natural progression. If you are interested in understanding more about how we do this get in touch now.

Find out more about the connection between consumers and behavioural economics in our latest report on the top trends driving consumer behaviour. Download it here.

By Dorina D’Ambrosio

Creative Director