Asics (OTC: ASCCF) is working to rebrand itself from a niche footwear manufacturer to a mainstream health and wellness company. DJ Steve Aoki is the lead spokesman for the new campaign, “I move me”, that uses music and the power of movement to promote a diverse range of activewear products; not necessarily designed for athletes. The campaign’s marketing strategy will be all digital as the brand looks to broaden its appeal with younger Americans.
Howie Long-Short: Running shoes sales are flat to slightly declining so the company needs to find other avenues for growth. An athleisure market with room to grow is a good place to start. The company also generates just 1/3 of their revenue from the U.S. If you’re going to build a brand targeting “fitness minded consumers”, it makes sense to design campaigns that appeal to consumers within the world’s largest sportswear market.
Fan Marino: Asics has their work cut out for them. They’re looking to play in a crowded space, that’s only getting more crowded with Amazon’s entry. They also haven’t connected with American millennials. Just 2% of upper income teens and just 1% of average-income teens listed the brand, as their favorite (Piper Jaffray’s Taking Stock of Teens survey). Fun Fact: DJ Steve Aoki is the son of Rocky Aoki, founder of the hibachi chain Benihana.
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