Let’s discuss a unique wellness platform founded by one of the industry’s top trainers.
In building her fitness empire, the now-celebrity founder has amassed a loyal following. She’s grown her company and created significant demand for its offerings—from consumers and from other companies eager to partner with her.
Because she offers a broad-based wellness platform, consumers flock to her not only for fitness, but also for nutrition and other areas of health. Consumers want to embrace this company at every opportunity, and partners are eager to help while sharing in the success.
These partners have a lot to gain by honing in on these young brands.
1. Pop-Ups & Collaboration
The founder I mentioned held a pop-up fitness class on the rooftop of a hotel in Brooklyn. She announced it to her followers on Instagram and the session sold out in an hour, with over 300 people on the waitlist. A few weeks later, she announced a similar session in Brisbane, Australia—a location she’d never travelled to before—and enjoyed a similar outcome.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is no stranger to the pop-up model. It has been opening temporary stores since 2014 and has plans to execute six more by the end of 2018—no matter that the retail environment is anything but stable.
Brands are closing stores by the hundreds and filing for bankruptcy at a record pace. Goop, however, knows exactly how to leverage the pop-up model.
For every pop-up session, both Goop and my client secure top corporate sponsors to underwrite the spaces. The retail partners and other sponsors rely on the increased foot traffic that comes from these companies’ rabid fan bases.
Sponsoring these pop-ups also gives declining brands access to a certain kind of consumer: affluent folks with plenty of disposable income who are willing to splurge on less-than-essential items. In exchange, these companies open pop-ups in premium, high-traffic destinations and bring these places to life.
2. Humanization & Accessibility
My client built her company by taking a unique angle on wellness—she has democratized the space and made it more practical.
Wellness companies like Goop are often criticized for reinforcing the perception that fitness is reserved for celebrities with limitless time and resources.
In contrast, my founder promotes her offering as real-time, relatable fitness for people with normal jobs and constraints on their time and finances.
By partnering with top-tier apparel brands, the company has humanized and credentialized itself as being accessible to all. And by collaborating with venues, the brand lends character—not to mention its seal of approval—to locales that are suddenly “in style.”
It comes as little surprise that post-pop-up foot traffic has skyrocketed, and these partners are clamoring for more.
3. Brand Value & Strength
Saks Fifth Avenue hasn’t been immune to the struggles of department stores. Its parent company Hudson’s Bay has been hit with declining sales and mass layoffs, so it makes sense that Saks is leaning on next-generation retail concepts like Goop’s pop-up model.
Instead of investing in a store model that’s broken, Saks is paying to have a Goop-branded fashion closet inside the store. This means the company is essentially borrowing Goop’s brand value and strength to revive its declining image.
The result? Consumers who have grown tired of Saks are now flocking to the store. The pop-up boasts a deep aura of exclusivity that appeals to a broad audience.
Similar to Saks, Cadillac is another major pop-up sponsor. Shoppers visiting these stores are greeted by Cadillac crossovers and sedans parked outside, which they can take for a test drive. Cadillac too is in an unstable industry—customers have all but abandoned the car dealership in order to shop for cars online—so auto brands are grasping for new ways to reach potential buyers.
Car companies are specifically trying to target women, and Cadillac is in the midst of a total reinvention after falling behind in the luxury auto market. To this end, companies like Goop are ideal for speaking to the female luxury consumer.
4. Experiences Over Products
Something that many young, disruptive companies have done really well is go beyond simply selling a product. Instead, they sell an experience.
Casper Mattress completely changed the mattress-buying experience by offering unparalleled convenience through a narrow product portfolio, free shipping, and easy returns. Similarly, Warby Parker revolutionized the glasses-buying experience by offering free in-home try-on kits—and by allowing people to measure their own prescriptions. Meanwhile, Keeps diffused the stigma associated with men’s hair loss by providing an online portal to connect patients with doctors, and then following that up with a supplement subscription plan.
The founder I mentioned struck gold in creating experiences for consumers—and in bringing other companies on board to participate in these experiences. For instance, the company is a leader in the untapped travel fitness market. The founder has now made her “travel fitness kits” available in hotel mini bars such that consumers can keep on top of their fitness routines with little hassle. She has also partnered with food companies to make her clean eating product line available at their locations.
Suddenly, declining brands are now helping a young company create healthy, unique experiences for consumers—and they are enjoying successful revivals as these items sell out faster than they can stock them.
5. “Instagrammable” Branding
In addition to her celebrity, the strong branding of my founder’s company has fuelled its viral following. It has also created a heightened level of consumer stickiness—people can’t wait to take pictures of themselves with the brand’s latest products and post these photos on Instagram.
Taken a step further—especially among this largely millennial consumer base—those who see the photos online don’t want to be left behind. The extremely high level of brand extensibility and guaranteed new product adoption results in a virtuous cycle that is making the brand an enviable presence in its sector.
Other companies are equally inspired by this strategy.
And for this reason, they’re partnering with young “Instagrammable” brands. It’s no secret that Puma and Nike have increasingly sponsored social media influencers such as Bec Donlan, Lindsey Clayton, and Amber Rees. Formula 1 made a similar move in appointing Brooke Meredith as its 2018 Australian Grand Prix ambassador, allowing her to leverage the brand strength of her wellness platform, A Conscious Collection. NoBull has amassed a viral following as it partnered early on with some of the top CrossFit athletes in the world. Reebok too has taken notice and tried a similar strategy.