Redefining the retail construct

How can a clothing retailer reinvent itself as an innovative health tech company, ultimately broadening its reach? Jim Mollica, Head of Digital Marketing and Content for Under Armour clearly explained the natural link between fitness, lifestyle, and apparel.

Jim’s discussion helped shed light on how functional clothing can be designed to both look stylish and influence behaviors through tracking health/wellness data points. He even took a leap, and rejected defining Under Armour as a retailer; rather he defined it as a tech lifestyle company that serves as a digital publisher of strategically curated content.

Always searching for tactics that will enable his brand to live where others don’t, Jim described Under Armour’s heavy investment in live streaming of video games using the Twitch video platform.. Through creating a brand presence within the video game space, Under Armour is breeding a universe of early adopters; these are individuals who first are introduced to his brand in the gaming space, and then buy his brand’s products to train just like their favorite athletes.

The discussion continued to emphasize the inroads Under Armour is making in wearable technologies, such as “Map my Run,,which is a platform where Under Armour footwear can track muscle fatigue and identify how intensely to train. The criteria Jim uses as a “go to” in order to build an open platform for innovation, and ultimately lay the foundation for a perfect partnership is threefold:

  1. How to does your target live?
  2. How do they engage?
  3. What media do they consume?

Some of us may think these key questions are table stakes when looking to innovate through partnership. However familiar this criteria may sound, we must remember that they are the key imperatives for success.