The pandemic has impacted everyone's lives, often in unexpected ways. It has affected the way people work, how they interact with one another, and even the way they exercise. As a result, it has had a dramatic effect on sports and athletic brands. As stay-at-home and social distancing measures continued, sales of athletic equipment have increased immensely. So have sales of "athleisure" attire, which offer comfortable work-from-home options for many people.
With these strategies, you can shift the way you market your brand to help you appeal to that work from home audience.
Target Your Ads to an At-Home Audience
Even as the pandemic ends, many people will be more deliberate with their time spent at home. Many jobs have shifted to allow people to work either fully or partially from home, even as businesses reopen. That means they can choose to exercise in the comfort of their own homes. The sale of fitness equipment grew 170% in light of the pandemic—and athleisure sales boomed as many people traded in their work pants and even denim bottoms for more comfortable athletic wear.
To help you reach this still-changing audience, consider adjusting the wording and messaging of your digital or television commercials to relate to an at-home audience, touching on remote work and the challenges it involves. Many consumers have changed the way they approach their daily schedules because of the pandemic, and they're hopeful that some of those changes will stick even as restrictions come to an end. By recognizing that, you can meet your customers where they are and increase their interest in your brand.
Engage With Audiences Using Influencers
Influencers are critical for engaging audiences who buy athletic clothing and equipment. Lululemon, for example, discovered during the pandemic that influencers were 5 of the top 10 placements for their brand—and other brands are following suit.
Influencers are adept at communicating with their audience. They can quickly adapt their wording and messaging to relate to audiences and their experiences working at home, whether it's talking about the comfort of wearing athletic clothing or the convenience of exercise equipment like yoga mats or weights in a home gym. Many influencers are already using these strategies in their homes and their own lives, and they know precisely how to reach their target audience.
Advertise Socially Acceptable Sportswear On Digital Channels
As pandemic restrictions ease and people can go out again, you can shift your ad messaging to show how athletic wear can be worn day-to-day or when going out. Many people are looking for more comfortable solutions for that quick run to the store or a walk around the park. They're looking for ways to expand their opportunities and spend more time going out with friends and loved ones.
Athletic wear also is surprisingly versatile, where you can mix and match certain items with standard clothing to be more comfortable regularly. Advertise any off new apparel lines that look more like standard clothing choices, or showcase how people can continue to wear their athletic gear even as life goes back to normal. Many people are still looking for comfort—and after all, isn't that what athleisure brands are all about?
Promote Healthfulness with Content Marketing
Pandemic-driven awareness has helped encourage many people to focus more than ever before on health and fitness. Your email or content marketing can help provide advice on living a healthy, active lifestyle while spending more time at home. You can offer exercise tips or share the benefits of healthfulness in a way that will help people get up off the couch and start engaging more with those activities again.
Keep in mind that many people are still wary about going to the gym or other crowded areas during this time. Help your viewers and fans accomplish their goals at home and provide more information about how they can use your equipment—or what they already have on hand—to improve performance and stay healthy from home.
Interact With Customers on Social Media
Social media offers a low-key way to interact with customers to show off attire, give people quick exercise ideas, or offer advice to your viewers concerning their home exercise routines. Through your social media platforms, you can develop a more dedicated following filled with people who trust the advice you have to offer and the options your brand can provide. At the same time, you can develop and share your brand voice in a way that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Home athletics brands have increased immensely in popularity throughout the pandemic—and that popularity seems likely to stay steady or even increase even as the pandemic comes to an end. Many people will be slower to fully reintegrate back into the world. Others have come to embrace those changes. Your athletic brand is ideally positioned to take advantage of those shifts. With the right marketing tools and plans, you can reach out to more consumers and show them the benefits of everything you have to offer.