​Fight Gear Direct’s three Rs of brand rejuvenation

With stalling business growth, the fitness retailer needed more than just a makeover to boost sales and reinvigorate its customer case

Like many existing brands, Fight Gear Direct had reached a certain level that required shifting the focus from growing sales to sustaining sales. Yet a lack of focus in innovation across product categories or marketing and no real desire to continue growing an audience was holding it back. 

“Our analysis in 2020 showed that business was stalling. We needed to generate a push that would in turn generate momentum” Fight Gear Direct chief ecommerce officer, Brendan Gillen, told CMO

Fight Gear Direct, an online-only boxing, martial arts and training gear site, has now launched a revamped digital platform as part of a wider ecommerce strategy. The multi-pronged program, which included new branding, ecommerce and internal CX improvements, is looking to harness expected category growth of 8.6 per cent (CAGR) to reach US$549.4 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research data.   

At the centre of the strategy is a rebrand. This entailed rebranding Fight Gear Direct’s ecommerce site, a new logo, new site design and a more diversified product offering, allowing the brand to reintroduce itself as a primary contender within the activewear space.  

“We rebranded to attract new consumers to the brand, entered new markets and invested into more ecommerce-centric marketing channels, ensuring we’re competing with the bigger, more established brands,” Gillen said.  

Brand revamp methodology

Gillen, who came into the fold in November 2020, attributed the success of the work to his three Rs approach: Rebrand, reinvigorate and reinvest. In addition to the rebrand, the plan included work to reinvigorate the existing consumer base by redeveloping a customer experience strategy. This entailed modifying the brand’s original strategy, including implementing a mobile-first experience, alternative payment solutions, a price match guarantee and free returns.  

“When relaunching a business, it’s important to stand out to new customers within the category by rebranding in a way that lets them know what you stand for, why your different and why they should choose you,” he said.  

For Gillen, it’s also important to reinvigorate existing customers who may be disenchanted with the brand or a past experience. “By reinvigorating, we ensure our existing customers know we have heard them, are changing for the better and to try us again,” he added.  

The third ingredient, reinvestment, was designed to sustain the brand’s growth while traffic and sales were increasing. To do this, innovation in digital services was key, and Fight Gear Direct kicked off a weekly lunch-and-learn session where team members are required to present a new technology or strategy for the business. The ambition is to place the brand ahead of the tech and service curve.  

"We reinvest in the experience to make sure the promises we have made in the rebrand and reinvigoration are delivered and meet the expectations we set for ourselves and our customers,” Gillen said.  

“We took it a step further still, reinvesting in our own team, establishing a new localised customer service squad with a revitalised stringent product knowledge onboarding process, allowing us to deliver higher levels of service to our consumers.”  

In terms of results, sales grew by 665 per cent in nine months and with new communications tactics across SMS and EDM marketing, traffic rates increase by 445 per cent year-on-year over nine months.  

The self-perpetuating ecosystem  

The ecommerce plan focused on making sure the brand clearly defined its core unique value proposition (UVP), then ensuring this was implemented throughout the entire business. The UVP is: Best Brands, Best Service, Best Prices, Gillen explained to CMO.  

“As an example of best brands, we only stock premium brands used by world-class athletes; if we have a product range that’s not, we won’t sell it,” he said. “For best service, we set clear KPIs for our team to make sure the customer experience is consistent, and world class by employing the best, fostering learning and development initiatives and use industry leading tech and tools such as Gorgias for CX."  

Lastly, the brand aims to have the best prices in the market. "By having this as the guiding principle for all decisions, we could shape the team, technology and buying strategies around it,” he added.  

All of this is tied together in what the brand hopes to be a self-perpetuating ecosystem. "It’s a concept I’ve used across many businesses,” said Gillen: Creating an integrated ecommerce, advertising and brand awareness platform.  

“It puts the focus on not getting just a one-time-purchase customer but finding customers who have a higher lifetime value [LTV]. We know it’s a lot cheaper to sell to existing customers than having to find new customers for every sale.  

“So in our ecosystem, we ensure we make the first purchase experience amazing, then continue to nurture and delight that customer post-purchase, ensuring we will be the best choice for their next purchase."  

Looking ahead to the last mile  

Fight Gear Direct’s next program of work is to grow its product range and improve the last mile experience.  

“We want to make sure we have more of the products that help athletes perform at their best and get them the products as quickly and easily as possible,” Gillen said.  

The idea is to 'surround' the ideal customer, by ensuring the brand is active in all relevant marketing channels to drive traffic. “This is ensuring you get the right mix of paid, owned and earned traffic,” he said.  

“That way you triple your awareness and traffic and are not reliant on one single marketing source to get new or existing customers to buy from you.”  

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