My wife, who is a substitute teacher, recently commented on how many children in the schools in which she teaches wear Under Armor branded clothes. When she said this, it occurred to me that the Under Armor brand has become ubiquitous. So, what are they doing right?
Whether it is "Rule yourself," "I will what I want," or "I will," the brand has become the underdog, anti-Nike brand. It is about overcoming tremendous obstacles and odds to achieve personal success. It is about the power of will, tenacity and hard work to achieve one's goals. It's about passion and its about confidence. It's about an attitude and its about winning. They have enlisted many elite athletes whose stories reinforce this narrative from Stephen Curry, Michael Phelps and Misty Copeland to Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Memphis Depay.
Technically, the product is performance apparel that wicks perspiration off of the skin rather than absorbing it. It is engineered to keep athletes cool, dry and light. But the Under Armor brand does not focus on this, but rather on the underlying attitude that is highly appealing those who would purchase the Under Armor brand.
This is an example of a brand that stands for an attitude to which people aspire. So the brand become a "badge" (a self-expression vehicle) for those who aspire to that attitude. And the brand is reinforced by a simple recognizable icon.
Click here to view some of their videos on YouTube.
For another example of an athletic brand that has superior functionality but that focuses on self-expressive benefits, click here to read my post about the FootJoy brand.