Research On Why Consumers Choose To Pay For Different Fitness Brands


This dissertation will be covering the topic of branding, but mainly covering the area of branding within gym clothing. This dissertation will be focusing on weather people prefer to wear well known brands such as Nike, Under Armour, Adidas etc to work out in or unbranded clothing. I am examining this certain topic because there are many brands out there for sportswear but people don’t buy them and it makes you think why. Some people like to present themselves whilst working out as they will feel more comfortable working out and not worrying about what people think of them. My argument is why does people pay for well known brands when there cheaper clothing to buy?

My argument is very unique and feel like it hasn’t really been discussed but its still an argument we do not know the solution for. I am certain that this particular topic will be discussed at length as I feel like there isn’t really a correct answer as to why, but I will be covering all the possibilities to hopefully solve this argument. I will be covering all areas of branding within this topic such as, do people buy expensive clothes for the branding? logo? how they represent themselves? reputation? how they sell their items? Also all areas of branding will be discussed between well known brands and not so popular brands. I will be gathering information about the relevant brands and discuss how they sell themselves through there particular brand, I will also be in-depth research into branding but most importantly fitness branding. There will also be quotes that’s and images involved through-out this dissertation. I have an interest in branding and how well known brands are made and what the brand can do to sell their items. I will be covering some history about sportswear and researching, gathering information from books such as ‘No Logo’ Klein and ‘Brands’ Wolly Olins and gathering information from key authors. Also, brand theory, which will give you more of an idea as to why consumers buy the brands they do. I will be covering brand concepts so we can get to understand how to make a sportswear brand. I will be asking questions about sports wear for example, where do they sell their merchandise? What makes the brand stand out to others? Why do people buy their items? I will mention key touch points that the covers any interaction between the brand and the consumer. For my case study I will do primary research and gather information from personal experiences with buying different brands. Also, create a survey and hand them out to other members at the gym and get their response as to why they buy branded items for the gym. I will input a conclusion which will entail what actually makes a brand more particularly a fitness brand and also talk about my personal experience with making a fitness brand.

Question, Definition, Historical, Contextual

My dissertation question is quite simple; why do consumers choose different fitness brands? What attracts them to certain brands? What causes consumers to invest in their product when there are items cheaper and more affordable? Firstly, there are many different definitions as to what a brand is such as ‘the definition of a brand is a product, service or an organisation in combination with it’s name, identity and reputation. From something different such as ‘A brand is a combination of names, slogans, logos, product design, packaging, advertising, and marketing, that together give particular products or services a physical, recognisable form”. From doing historical research on branding and sports branding I manage to retrieve information on both subjects. My subject area for my dissertation is very unique and very specific as I will be studying the fitness branding industry and researching well known and relative brands for my research mainly, Nike as it is a major company in the fitness industry. Also, covering brands such as Under armour, Adidas as they are also related to fitness and sport.

First of all, a brand is a combination of names, slogans, logos, product design, packaging, advertising, marketing that all together give particular products or services in a physical, recognisable form. I gathered research from the book ‘Wally Olins: On Brand’ he mentioned in his book that “marketing, branding and all the rest of it are about persuading, seducing and attempting to manipulate people into buying products and services”. On Brand. Thames and Hudson LTD. Which is basically what the fitness branding industry are doing, manipulating consumers into buying their product and I want to find out why and how it is done. “Nike is leveraging the deep emotional connection that people have with sports and fitness”. I will be studying the fitness brand ‘Nike’ in detail as it has the biggest effect worldwide when it comes to fitness and industry.

Nike was officially created in 25th January 1964 by Phil Knight & Bill Bowerman and was name Nike Inc. and by 1971 is was renamed to just Nike. The first brand ambassador for Nike was an American runner named Steve Prefontaine in the years of 1969-1972. He was given the very first pair of Nike shoes to be tested out and whilst being a brand ambassador he set 7 American records from the 2000m and 10000m. Nike then made the very first Nike Air Technology in trainers which made the shoe more comfortable for people to run in and it was so successful, by 1982 Nike had become the No. 1 supplier around the world for athlete running shoes. Since that Nike has become more and more successful with their outcomes and concepts and its lead them to the best fitness brand to be known. For the concepts of a brand you need 6 stages which are Brand Identity, Brand Image, Brand position, Brand Attribute, Brand equity and brand extensions. Nike’s identity firstly start off by a designer named Caroline Davidson in 1971. She created what is commonly known as the swoosh now and invented the slogan which is ‘Just Do it’ which is now known worldwide. Caroline Davidson only got paid $35 for the design which could off turned into millions. The name Nike was representing the Greek goddess Nike. That leads now back to my subject question which is Why do consumers choose different sport brands? When Nike is the No. 1 supplier around the world. The concepts of a brand consist of 6 areas that needs to be covered which are, Brand Identity, Brand Image, Brand Position, Brand Attributes, Brand Equity and Brand Extension. The first reason that attracts people to a certain brand could simply be the slogan/tag line, another word for this could be a mission statement, what you want your brand to come across as.

Nike’s mission statement is ‘Just Do It’ simply because as Nike is a sports brand they are trying to encourage people who buy in to the brand that you can do it in whatever situation you’re in. The slogan was put together by Dan Wieden who got his inspiration from Gary Gilmore, who’s last words was ‘Lets Do It”. Secondly another reason why consumers buy brands are simply because of the qualities that the brand has, what makes it better than other brands. In Nike’s case its simple. The reputation that the brand has got, the people that wear the brand, the quality of their sportswear, the consistency of the brand, meaning that Nike work on updating their products to the best possible quality for consumers to buy. From the book Branding in five a half steps, in there they have come up with 5 steps that are needed to come up and make a successful brand. Them steps are “1, 2: Early steps of branding process – research, strategy and narrative, traditionally the domain of strategies and planners. 2. 5: The bit in the middle when one side tries to talk to another. 3, 4, 5: The design and interpretation stages which are often owned by those prickly, unpredictable creative types wearing difficult glasses” ‘Johnson. Michael. (2016) Branding in Five and A Half Steps. Thames and Hudson Ltd’ Narrowed down, 1. Investigate into branding, 2. Your Strategy and Narrative, 2. 5. Bridging the gap. 3. Design, 4. Implement, 5. Engage or revive. All the sportswear have somehow covered all these areas which has allowed them to build the reputation that they have. Most importantly is to why is one brand better that another.

Case Study 1 – Personal Experience with branded sportswear

With one of my case studies and primary research, my topic I have chosen is my personal experience with buying and wearing different branded sportswear such as Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and smaller brands such as Gymshark. With my personal experiences with these sportswear brands, I feel like I have gained enough knowledge about the brands to the point that I only buy 1 of the brands as my main purchase brand. With experience with brand such as Under Armour and Adidas, I felt like it wasn’t doing what the clothing was to do. For example, keep you cool, no sweating, from buying their product and experimenting with it, it felt like it was false advertisement but the brand was doing what a brand is meant to do, “marketing, branding and all of the rest of it are about is persuading, seducing and attempting to manipulate people in buying products and services”.

From the same book it mentioned about consumers don’t like the product or service they normally go elsewhere to another brand. Which is the same as to what I have done with Under Armour and Adidas as I felt it was false advertisement on their products. “If they don’t like the product, the service or the company behind it, they can normally except in highly regulated activities, go elsewhere – and they often do”. After switching the Nike’s clothing, I soon realised that the price for the items was more expensive and it caught my attention as to why it was? So I bought a gym outfit for £65 and from my personal opinion Nike is by far the best clothing for sportswear and fitness. The brand doesn’t lie to the consumers and to to manipulate people into buying items. Nike have spent millions of dollars in advertising and sponsorships and picking the correct teams/athletes to represent the brand. That is also the best way for advertising as everybody around the world see’s the items in action and that how it drew to my attention, as I started seeing people wearing it for the name but not the cost. The cost of the product that Nike produce can range from from cheap to being over –priced but you most definitely get your money’s worth and once you’ve spent money on items you’ll automatically want to buy the newest season items just to test it out.

You can immediately tell the difference with the quality of the items fro the ‘compression’ t-shirt’s to the ‘dri-fit’ t-shirt’s. For more proof of the difference between materials and different branded items, I will be asking other people that wear sportswear branded and getting their valid opinions on what they think.

Case Study 2 – The future of gym wear

The future of gym wear brands is clearly quite simple. All the brands currently and future gym wear brands are only going to get bigger and bigger if they can advertise and sell items. Advertisement is the most important thing as they need to target specific audiences and look for for possible sponsorships with athletes, that will also help the brand get bigger. Brands always need to compete with each other to see who has the best products and then another tries and beats them to get more money, it’s a constant fight battle. The solution to this is simple, come up with a product nobody has thought of and make a real success of it. That then will get consumers attention into buying future products. Brands also need to deliver good customer service and that will also build a good reputation with consumers.

From research from a blog online, Under Armour are apparently going to release 3 new products for the fitness industry that hasn’t been thought of yet. Under Armour’s Head of Innovation, Kevin Haley quoted “In 10 years at Under Armour, we will be making things that no one has conceived as of yet” which will be very exciting for Under Armour clothing consumers as the predictions are very promising. One of the predictions are sensor embedded speakers that will be tracked in the trainers that Under Armour come out with and the speakers will track and store runs in real time. Like the technology isn’t mind blowing enough, the results that the speaker gathers will be automatically sent to your mobile device weather is in your pocket or at home.

Another predication is quite remarkably stunning it it could be done, Under Armour are wanting to build long sleeve t-shirts with a built in temperature tracker inside the t-shirt. With that being built inside the t-shirt it will sense the temperature of your body and make the t-shirt suitable to how you are feeling. Also it could potentially change colour to the same colour of the Under Armour shoes that will be bought in a set, as a fitness outfit. From looking at Nike. com and their gym & training range it seems like their items are getting improved but only in designs and colours etc. The technology of the actual product just seems to be the same for each product which is compression and dri-fit clothing. 3 brands used for gym wear The 3 brands that are used for gym wear and that I will be covering are Nike, Adidas, Under Armour. With in looking through these brands will be answered and will settle the debate as to why consumers decide to purchase and wear their gym branded clothing. Where do the brands sell their products to? Why do consumers buy their products, what makes it special to them? What do they do to make themselves stand out from the other competitors? When and how often do they release new season clothing? Who is the main audience aimed at? What do they do to convince people to buy into their brand? Firstly, lets cover Nike. Why do consumers decide to buy Nike clothing for the gym?

It’s basically a fashion statement that people need to look goo din the gym or try to look good, this would boost their confidence in the gym leaving them to put 110% effort in different exercises. From researching a blog, it’s quoted that you need to wear branded items and ‘expensive’ clothes as the technology in the design of the t-shirt needs to be able to keep you cool and stop all the sweat pouring out of you. Also you need suitable clothing that can cope with your exercises weather that being stretching, lifting, picking up, squatting etc. So the material that Nike produce in their item reach that requirement and that why you will see most people wear Nike gym wear clothing as its affordable, reliable, fashionable, does exactly what it’s meant to do. They mainly aim their products to anyone that is suitable to compete in sports and able to workout. With Nike sponsoring many superstars it’s a massive influence on other to buy their products and its advertised all over the world, also most items being sold in all sports shops. With Under Armour different consumers think very differently about the brand. From research from a blog online it was mentioned that the Under Armour leggings, weather men should wear them by themselves or wear shorts over the top which you are supposed to do?

From Under Armour point of view this a very good, almost perfect selling opportunity. As the leggings should not be worn by themselves, consumer are automatically being persuaded to buy a pair of shorts to put over the top. This will make a dramatic improvements in Under Armour selling profits. This argument is saying that are men suitable to just wear the leggings by themselves or not. Its been mentioned that the leggings are a base layer that you are meant to wear to keep you warm, with that being said is it alright to wear them by themselves. A comment was made on that post and it said that its basically a fashion statement to wear shorts over the top or, it depends how confident the man is, weather he is tall or short. Also with Under Armours products, The Under Armour Tech Short Sleeved T-shirt is the most popular demanding item that UA are selling as its been quoted by a consumer “Under Armour make a slick-looking version that also contains anti-odour treatment. If you’re really intent about PDOM (public display of muscle) then go with this. Consumers think that, to buy the product you need to have muscle in able to look good in their items, which most definitely isn’t the case at all. It’s the technology inside the design of the t-shirt that makes it fit to how you want it to fit.

15 July 2020
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