3 Positioning Strategy Examples from Outdoor Performance Brands

3 Positioning Strategy Examples from Outdoor Performance Brands

Gymshark, Ariat & Carhartt Perform Outdoors & in the Marketplace

Get a new perspective from these three positioning strategy examples from leading outdoor performance brands. Each are making strong connections with their consumer base and winning in the market place. 

An effective positioning strategy enables brands to make a strong connection between their products and their target audience.  To build meaningful and unique value propositions there are a number of factors that need to be accounted for, including:

  • Emotional and functional benefits that matter the most to target audience
  • Reasons to believe
  • Key brand differentiators 
3 Positioning Strategy Examples from Outdoor Performance Brands

Positioning Strategy Example 1: Gymshark

AboutGymshark launched in 2012 in the UK.  It has been rapidly growing and currently valued at over $1B dollars.  Gymshark sells fitness apparel online and has a strong social media presence, including celebrity endorsements.
TargetActive Gen Z and Millennials
Mission “We exist to unite the conditioning community… It’s not our goals that unite us, but the things we do to achieve them”
Positioning Strategy  ApproachGymshark positioned itself as a lifestyle brand that not only sells apparel to help achieve fitness goals but also a community to inspire, promote dedication and provide support.  They have masterfully leveraged social media to reach its target audience and reinforce a sense of community.
3 Positioning Strategy Examples from Outdoor Performance Brands

Positioning Strategy Example 2: Ariat

AboutAriat was founded in 1993 and is now an international outdoor brand with estimated revenues over $150M.  Ariat started out as a performance footwear company integrating sportwear technology into boots for equestrian athletes. It has now expanded to western and English apparel and workwear.
TargetRanchers/Equestrians
Mission “Lasting Comfort and Durability”
Positioning Strategy  ApproachAriat has positioned itself as an outdoor performance brand with the latest technology, delivering superior comfort and approved by some of the world’s top equestrians.  
3 Positioning Strategy Examples from Outdoor Performance Brands

Positioning Strategy Example 3: Carhartt

AboutCarhartt is a family-owned outdoor apparel company established in 1889 with revenues estimated to be over $600M.  Carhartt’s heritage is rooted in making durable workwear for a variety of manual labor jobs
TargetBlue Collar workers including railroad workers, stable workers, plumbers, blacksmiths, industrial workers, construction workers, etc.
Mission “New Gear that’s fit for the next frontier”
Positioning Strategy ApproachCarhartt had positioned itself as durable rugged workwear that can stand the test of time and is made for some of toughest work environments.  While it has historically targeted blue collar workers, recent pop-culture references have made it more of an everyday brand appealing to younger demographics.  

Something to note about Carhartt is its recent COVID-vaccine-related controversy with large portions of its core customer base. It’s a strong example of a brand meticulously building a reputation over time and seeing damage to that image after just one incident. It will be interesting to watch this brand and how/if it builds back the loyalty of core consumers.

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