How Gymshark became the next big sportswear brand

In just 8 years, Gymshark has managed to gain enough traction for it to stand toe-to-toe with some of the biggest brands in sportswear. Whilst not an immediate success, the last few years has seen Gymshark grow significantly.

In the last 12 months, Gymshark has received more search interest than Reebok in the UK, which has existed for over 60 years and is a solidified name within the athletic community.

It’s monumental growth can largely be attributed to its powerful social media advertising and unique brand message.

A quick glance at Gymshark’s website probably won’t help you differentiate their branding from others. However, a closer look at their advertising and you’ll notice that unlike its competitors, Gymshark doesn’t have many athletes advertising their products.

Using athletes as “brand ambassadors” has been a tried and tested method of sportswear branding since… well, forever. Nike infamously signed LeBron in a lifetime deal for over $1 billion.

It’s a pretty straight forward logic; if the athletes use a brand, it’s probably the best sportswear for their performance. Wannabe athletes will want to buy the product to try and improve their performance, and sports fans will want to buy the sportswear to look like their favourite athlete.

It would be pretty difficult for Gymshark to infiltrate the sports community and sign athletes without handing over a hefty amount of money.

Instead, Gymshark focuses on signing influencers, rather than athletes. “Instagram Models”, “Fitness Accounts”, “Butt Models”; whatever you want to call them, Gymshark loves them.

A huge part of these influencers’ content is showing progress pictures, showing their drastic weight loss or muscle “gains”. All of their accounts seem to orientate around self-improvement, and by association with this content, Gymshark has become a brand pushing self-improvement.

Athletes talk about breaking records and one upping their competition. Influencers talk about beating their own personal best.

Big sportswear brands want to be associated with the best in the business. Gymshark wants to be associated with the most likeable and relatable fitness personalities.

Because of this, Gymshark is a much more approachable brand for casual gym goers than Nike or Adidas. Their clothing quality is extremely soft and comfortable, as opposed to being focused on the aerodynamics of the body, making it more enjoyable to wear.

It’s this approachability that has made Gymshark successful so far, and that will see it grow even further in the coming years.


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