In our journey to become the world’s leader in fitness, we at Reebok embrace the mentality of a challenger brand. We do not settle for the status quo and we will stop at nothing to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. This means challenging conventional wisdom and thinking outside the box to deliver new solutions for our consumers… and ultimately creating new markets for our business.
“Our recent development of the Reebok Fight Shop concept is the perfect example of how we embrace this challenger brand mindset.” Matt Bilodeau, Senior Manager Reebok Combat Training Team
Here are some key learnings we gathered along the way:
“We quickly realized that not only did we have an opportunity here to create product for these consumers, but also to create a retail destination for fighters and fans alike.” Matt Bilodeau, Senior Manager Reebok Combat Training Team
Our objective suddenly became clear: develop an outside-the-box solution that serves both the consumer and the retailer. While it was challenging to start from scratch, we had a chance to be especially creative with the chance to deliver something completely new to the market.
Incorporate a ‘cool factor’ We needed to create a unique experience for this consumer that would stand out in a retail environment. So we brought in Chris Kwiatkowski, a graphic designer from our Sports Licensed Division, as well as Reebok Retail Design leaders Peter Quagge and Chuck Gates, to turn the brand’s dream into a reality.
“We wanted our Fight Shops to echo the gritty and authentic feel of a real boxing or MMA gym, and they needed to have that same ‘cool factor.’” Matt Bilodeau, Senior Manager Reebok Combat Training Team
To define this look and feel, our team visited numerous boxing and MMA gyms for inspiration, and we spoke with consumers around the world to uncover what they liked about their gyms. Our Fight Shop concept is rooted in these findings. Selling your vision The next step was identifying the right retail partner. We approached Sports Authority, a leading sporting goods retailer in the U.S. We told them the story of the 35 million people training like fighters who didn’t have a place to shop – they also saw the opportunity to target these consumers in a fresh way. With that, it began to look like our dream would become a reality.
After months of planning, the US Trade Marketing Team did a fantastic job implementing our final concept in select Sports Authority locations in early July, as well as in select Reebok FitHub retail stores; these locations feature Combat Training apparel, UFC Fight Kits, and UFC fan gear. We also worked with Reebok’s US eCommerce team to launch a very impactful digital Fight Shop on Reebok.com to reach our consumers more broadly.
The key takeaway Across all types of business, we tend to think of product as our one opportunity to innovate. But this is one instance of innovation that centers around distribution; it’s yet another great avenue to create consumer-driven solutions. Our Fight Shops now provide consumers with a single place for all their Combat Training needs—a novel idea that seized the opportunity to create value for the consumer and promote new loyalty to the Reebok brand.