G2 Individual Report – Instagram (Fitness brands)

Source: (http://nicolastrother.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/fit-baby.jpg)

I am a very active user of Instagram and I am also into gym and fitness, especially Crossfit. It has also come to my attention that there are more fitness brands that have been using Instagram to promote their brand and motivating their followers to workout more and chase a healthier lifestyle. However, how effective is Instagram in helping those brands?

To understand a little further about motivation, I have read articles and there are two types of motivation. One is intrinsic which is defined as doing something because you want to do it while extrinsic is defined as doing something to receive external rewards in return. For social media use, brands tackle the extrinsic motivation of people with the help of the likes and comments from others on Instagram, serving as verbal rewards in the form of validation for them. This way, more people are inclined and driven to post workout videos of themselves and photographs of their bodies after their gym session. This is easier than developing intrinsic motivation in people. However, nowadays, more fitness brands are using this particular strategy to develop extrinsic motivation called identification whereby it states that a person performs an act is due to the belief that there is future benefit for them (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Fitness brands have been showing that the benefits of exercising outweighs the costs of having to go through exhaustion and pain when exercising. However, again, have they been effective in doing so?

I have chosen three fitness brands for my research. They are Crossfit, Athleta and Fabletics. I have been tracking them for the whole month of March 2016.

Crossfit thus far has the most number of followers on Instagram, followed by Fabletics and Athleta. They each have different way of getting their followers to associate themselves with the brands but all of them have the same message, that is to encourage more people to live healthier and to prove that anyone can look good when they choose healthy.

Instagram has its advantages and disadvantages related to helping these fitness brands in motivating their followers. As you all know, Instagram helps brands to utilities user generated content by reposting and showing recognition, which offers  value to their followers. This would result in stronger brand community and they would not hesitant to share more photographs and soon, the word of mouth effect will grow. Instagram is also seen as one of the powerful and inexpensive tool to capitalise on using powerful imagery to motivate people. Each brand that i have mentioned above, has different storyline and theme to their storytelling and it is amazing that Instagram has given them the autonomy and space to do so. However, followers might be interested to know more about the articles that have been shared or the clothes that the athletes are wearing however, Instagram does not support putting direct websites into the caption to enable followers to visit the desired websites with one click. This could deter customers from wanting to pursue further on their new interest on fitness clothes or workouts after looking through Instagram. They would feel inconvenient and discouraged even before they could act on the feeling of interest and motivation.

My suggestions are directed to Athleta because i felt the brand has a lot more room to improve on compared to the other two. I came up with three suggestions that build stronger brand community among the followers, develop their brand image that aligns with their current values of sisterhood and friendships and provide the autonomy and extra drop of fun to their followers so that Athleta can differentiate themselves from other famous brands.

All in all, i feel that this rising trend will continue for the next few years and brands need to constantly be thinking of new ways to ensure that their followers do not stop choosing healthy.

G2 Group 8 – Under Armour (Project Summary)

Greeting fellow classmates,

Our group is doing a research on Under Armour.

So far, UA has five stores and concessions in Singapore, three in the Philippines and three in Malaysia. Despite the outstanding reputation UA has in North America, we felt that there were many rooms of improvement for UA to build upon their social media strategies to refine their branding in Singapore.

Currently, UA is strong in their branding in North America by being very engaged through storytelling and getting their consumers to talk about the brand online. However, in Singapore, there were very limited effort done to engage with their consumers here. Despite having 5 stores in Singapore, many are still very unsure of what the brand is all about. Worse, the small number of followers on Instagram and Facebook makes it even harder for it-savvy consumers to learn more about the brand.

Thus, we came up with three important objectives:

  1. To develop brand community in Singapore
  2. To increase UA Singapore social media followers
  3. To enhance brand perception of UA in Singapore

We want to deliver this whole notion about how hard work pays off at the end of the day in order to achieve their goals. Using UA’s underdog strategy, we also want to align our message strategy with their current one. We aimed to attract women, Singaporeans who are more price sensitive and low brand loyal consumers whose main criteria when it comes to buying sportswear is the high performance and quality that UA can provide.

We came up with long and short term strategies. For long term strategy, we would like to host a yearly obstacle course race whereby UA is the main sponsor for the shirts and collaterals. We would use facebook to provide details of the race and mobile application to help runners to keep track of their runs. Not only that, we would use Instagram to encourage participants to upload their photos and tag UA Singapore page to garner more followers and traffic into the page.

As for short term strategy, we would create an online Instagram photo contest whereby dedicated and loyal customers can upload their best photos when they are wearing UA clothes or accessories. This is to engage more with the consumers and recognise their loyal consumers. Another suggestion would be to collaborate with famous local athletes to be the brand ambassadors so that they would help UA to build a community of UA fans on Instagram.

All in all, we believe that UA has a great potential to be one of the famous sportswear in Singapore, due to its high performance quality and the meaning that is labelled to the brand. With the rising lifestyle of going to the gym and being more fit, UA can tap on these people to build a strong and loyal community in Singapore.

We hope you will look forward to our presentation to know more about what we have found from the research that we have done on Under Armour. 🙂