Growing Your Brand in Action Sports – You Don’t Have to Be the Biggest to Succeed
I feel pretty strongly about brands not getting too big if they want to maintain, especially in the world of action sports.
While some consumers just won’t care, there’s definitely a group that don’t want what’s readily available at Macy’s or Target. They want to go into a smaller store, where the people working there are (presumably) passionate about surfing, skating, etc.
The Allyance is a brand we met with when both BBPR was just starting out and they were ramping up. Having east coast roots, I was hoping we’d be able to work together, but the chips never fell into place.
Regardless, they’ve been in the news a lot lately and seem to have some smart ideas on how (as well as why) they’ll continue to grow as other brands shrink. Below is an excerpt from Tiffany Montgomery’s Shop-Eat-Surf web site:
I’m hearing from other brands that retailers are delaying and/or canceling orders for spring. Is Allyance experiencing that?
Let’s face it; there are a slew of brands out there. A lot of them have helped mold the industry as we know it and I do respect a lot of them – that’s why we are here.
But the brands got very greedy, they have terrible distribution, and they are everywhere. What happened to SPECIALTY? I think a lot of retailers started looking around their stores, across the street, in the mall, in the big boxes, and took notice. Now they are looking at 2009, how to survive and how to make a profit. They look and brands like Allyance as something new and fresh and are putting dollars there, and we are very fortunate for that. We have received some cancelled orders but mostly for entire buying restructuring purposes.
I really think Allyance is onto something here. If five stores within a few miles of your shop carry a certain brand, retailers have to hustle extra hard to differentiate (not that retailers shouldn’t hustle). Diversity and differentiation are key, not just in action sports PR, but at the retail level as well.