Reebok Brand Strategy
MISSION: TO BE THE BEST FITNESS BRAND IN THE WORLD
Reebok is an American-inspired global brand with a deep fitness heritage and the mission to be the best fitness brand in the world. To realize this mission, Reebok has gone through a transformation from traditional sports to a focus on the sport of fitness. On this journey, Reebok continues to merge its iconic past with the new technologies that revolutionize both performance and lifestyle products. Reebok is positioned at the intersection of fitness and fashion, meeting the consumer where they are, as the consumer continues to blur boundaries. Reebok established a ‘Sport’ unit in 2018 that started its work in 2019. This Sport category combines product divisions focused on specialized fitness activities and functional innovation with a focus on style innovation for these products. These products are at the forefront of fitness and true to the culture and communities that Reebok consumers train, run, and live in. Reebok’s second category, Classics, reinforces the brand’s deep roots in fitness and pop culture across multiple iconic silhouettes and trend-right lifestyle products.
One voice, one brand to the consumer
In the fourth quarter of 2019, Reebok unified its brand under one logo and wordmark across both Classics and Sport. The vector and drop-R wordmark each represent Reebok unmistakably, connecting Reebok’s rich legacy to its exciting future. The brand exudes pride in its rich brand heritage and the vector logo, introduced nearly 30 years ago. The logo remains the most recognizable and beloved symbol of the Reebok brand and is linked to some of Reebok’s most iconic products, marketing and cultural moments. This evolution allows the brand to connect fitness, fashion and pop culture in one powerful Reebok voice across all products.
consumer obsession: the game changers
Reebok’s consumer obsession focuses on being distinctive, relevant, and authentic with its focus consumers – the Game Changers. For the Game Changers, fitness is the vehicle they use to explore life’s edges. The Game Changers don’t shy away from the unexpected. They are constantly evolving and looking to try new things – across all facets of their world in fitness and in life. They are truly changing the game and seeking to broaden their horizons. Reebok inspires and equips them to do just that.
The female consumer is at the forefront of Reebok’s consumer obsession. Rooted in Reebok’s heritage, this female-centric approach is reflected in content strategy, product creation, marketing activation and distribution. In 2019 alone, Reebok introduced extended sizing in its apparel as well as its first maternity collection to connect with women.
product franchises: leveraging the brand’s fitness Dna
Reebok recognizes the importance of building strong apparel and footwear franchises, establishing innovative but repeatable product lines that become annuities for the brand and essential items for the consumer. This is not only crucial for enhancing consumer perception and brand consideration, but for the efficiency of the Reebok brand.
In footwear, Reebok is further growing its iconic models that have authenticated their position in fitness and in their respective communities, such as the Nano in the CrossFit community and the Forever Floatride Energy in running. In 2019, the new Nano 9 was co-created with the CrossFit community. In the running category, Reebok won its fourth consecutive Runner’s World award, ‘Gear of the Year’. 2019 was also an exciting year for the Instapump Fury silhouette, as it celebrated its 25th anniversary with activations throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the release of the Fury Boost, a collaboration with the adidas brand. In addition, Reebok leverages its unique fitness DNA through iconic styles such as the Classic Leather and the Club C.
In 2019, Reebok set out to integrate footwear and apparel, leveraging the brand DNA, blending fitness and lifestyle looks to create the new uniform of fitness for consumers. In addition to innovative , such as the award-winning PureMove Bra and the LuxTight 2.0, Reebok expanded the offering, creating apparel to support consumers at all stages of their fitness journey. products
Reebok also puts a strong emphasis on innovation. The brand is committed to maintaining a full and innovative product pipeline, bringing new technologies, styles and processes to life. In this context, 2019 saw the launch of Zig, one-of-its-kind footwear built with a distinct zig-zag-shaped midsole, which provides maximum energy return to the consumer. At the end of 2019, Reebok announced Forever Floatride Grow – the brand’s first plant-based performance running shoe and latest example of sustainability innovation. The shoe is made with castor beans, algae, eucalyptus trees and natural rubber and thus builds on Reebok’s Cotton + Corn lifestyle collection of footwear. Innovation
Marketing investments: sport the unexpected
In the industry, Reebok finds its strength in being a challenger brand. Reebok has always separated from the pack with bold product, personalities and moments. Through the new unified branding, Reebok can reach its consumer with a brand presence that is consistent across the products and the stories it tells. The Reebok brand is focused on connecting with the consumer in an authentic and unique way, creating inspirational marketing capabilities that build brand equity and consumer advocacy, while unleashing powerful brand messages. Reebok has always done things differently, and by combining the Digital and Marketing divisions in 2019, Reebok has been able to create award-winning breakthroughs.
- Sport the Unexpected campaign: Launched in 2019, Reebok’s ‘Sport the Unexpected’ campaign is one of the most recognized marketing campaigns Reebok has executed in recent years. The campaign celebrates Reebok as a historically known challenger brand, one that has always done the unexpected. Reebok’s short film ‘Storm the Court’ showed just how Reebok’s truly unexpected and witty nature can connect to consumers by winning 15 awards from Clio, Hatch (including a 2019 Best in Show Hatch Award), and a Cannes Lion. The campaign also featured one of the most high-profile personalities in the rap industry – Cardi B. In the short film ‘Nails’, Reebok broke convention and put the star in an everyday-type situation that shifts in an unexpected manner, spotlighting the iconic Reebok Club C in a completely unique way.
- Winning through digital: In 2019, Reebok sharpened its focus on the storytelling and product experience by completely re-designing reebok.com to resonate better with consumers. The tighter integration of marketing and digital drove some unexpected consumer moments – such as being the first brand to drop a new sneaker on Amazon Alexa or launching Reebok Unlocked, a first-of-its-kind membership program on reebok.com. Reebok is focused on continuing to optimize the digital customer experience, driving commercial results and delivering unexpected stories for the consumer.
- Authentic and influential fitness and fashion assets: To amplify the brand and increase its authentic connection with the Game Changer consumer, Reebok has partnered with some of the world’s most influential validators in the lifestyle and fitness space: fashion partners such as fashion icon Victoria Beckham and up-and-coming designer Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, artists such as female rapper Cardi B., and rapper and songwriter Future, and athletes such as American football pro bowler J. J. Watt and UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Partnering with powerful women such as Gal Gadot, Gigi Hadid and Nathalie Emmanuel rounds out Reebok’s strong roster of brand ambassadors. In addition, to validate its authenticity as the best fitness brand in the world, Reebok continues its partnerships with some of the fastest-growing and most innovative organizations in the fitness world, such as CrossFit, Les Mills, and Midnight Runners. Reebok continues to invest in the Boston Track Club, a professional running club with elite runners. Finally, continuing to build relationships with fitness instructors remains a crucial component of Reebok’s goal of connecting with the global fitness community. With over 220,000 fitness instructors currently being part of its global network, Reebok has made major progress toward its goal to be the brand of choice for instructors around the world.
MUSCLE UP: REEBOK TRANSFORMATION STRENGTHENS BRAND FUNDAMENTALS
Reebok announced a turnaround plan called ‘Muscle Up’ in 2016 aimed at accelerating Reebok’s top-line growth, particularly in North America, and improving the brand’s overall profitability. With efficient and effective distribution being key to Reebok’s future success in the all-important North American market, the company has significantly reduced its store base in the market. The company has closed nearly 50% of its own stores in the US market – both concept stores and factory outlets – since the introduction of Muscle Up. In addition, the brand has also streamlined its wholesale business, putting a clear focus on elevating brand equity and driving profitable growth.
In addition to progressing on the brand’s turnaround efforts in its home market, Reebok continues to execute on several transformational Muscle Up projects to enhance the profitability of the brand. Initiatives span marketing effectiveness, organizational efficiency and measures to improve product margins. Consequently, Reebok returned to profitability in 2018. In 2019, new initiatives were launched to further accelerate the transformation. They include re-branding and driving clarity with Reebok’s consumer on the brand’s positioning, shortening go-to-market timelines, strengthening go-to-market readiness, and building new platforms to drive e-commerce growth. In 2020, there will be enhanced focus on reducing complexity, increasing sales efficiency, and digital creation.
Through Muscle Up, Reebok will continue to drive relentless execution and discipline, build organizational capabilities, and accelerate the pace of change in order to drive sustainable profitable growth by the end of 2020.
In the sporting goods industry, performance products relate to technical footwear and apparel used primarily in sports.