Gymshark is a prime example of millennial marketing done right
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Gymshark is a prime example of millennial marketing done right

22 Aug 2018 (Last Updated August 22nd, 2018 10:56)

Gymshark has tripled its sales by exploiting a gap in the market and running an adept marketing strategy.

Gymshark is a prime example of millennial marketing done right
From its inception Gymshark has shunned traditional marketing techniques, instead focusing on social media. Credit: Alex Matravers

Gymshark has tripled its sales by exploiting a gap in the market and running an adept marketing strategy.

Gymshark tripled it sales in the 12 months to July 2018, growing by a huge 217% to reach £41m ($52.8m). The company sells sports clothing directly to consumers, eschewing traditional retail methods and engaging consumers through social media.

The company is a prime example of millennial marketing done right and interest is rising over its next move amidst announcements that sales are forecast to grow to £100m ($128.9m) for 2018-2019 and to £140m ($180.4m) in the following year,.

According to MarketLine data the UK online retail sector grew by 8.2% in 2017, and is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% between 2017 and 2022. And apparel retail in particular is the largest segment of the online retail sector in the United Kingdom, accounting for 25.8% of the sector’s value.

Established in 2012, Gymshark was in a prime position to capitalize on a growing interest in fitness among the millennial demographic. The brand exploited a gap left by traditional sportswear manufacturers such as Nike and Under Armour to provide fitted and practical clothing which also looked good in the gym.

While these companies have begun to catch up, Gymshark has maintained a loyal customer base through its strong social media marketing.

A pioneer of influencer marketing

From its inception Gymshark has shunned traditional marketing techniques, instead focusing on social media and in particular social media influencers.

Early social media influencers used by Gymshark were iconic body builders. This turned out to be the beginning of Gymshark’s rapid growth. Gymshark ‘fit tracksuits’ were worn by a number of big names in bodybuilding to the BodyPower exhibition in 2014. Sales of these tracksuits rocketed instantly.

Gymshark soon expanded its social media strategy by sponsoring 18 fitness Instagrammers, YouTubers, and bloggers, who at the time had a combined following of 20 million. This helped the brand to not only expand in the UK but also to break into overseas markets such as the incredibly lucrative US market.

The brand has expanded further in its social media campaign, now inviting hundreds of social fitness influencers to wear its products and promote them online. Fitness social media has acquired a large following, particularly among millennials, who are the chief demographic for Gymshark. For instance, the subreddit R/Fitness of content aggregator Reddit has over 6.5 million subscribers, ranking it in the top 50 subreddits. As such, using this technique is incredibly savvy.

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