Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) Loses Market Share Due To Unfocused Branding

The sports apparel and footwear industry is a highly competitive industry given that smaller brands such as Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) compete with global brands such as Adidas and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE). Under Armour recently recorded declining sales in its main North American markets, which many analysts believe is due to the company’s unfocused branding strategy.

Many consumers seem to have an unclear idea as to what Under Armour stands for, due to the company’s lack of a focused marketing and branding strategy. The company announced its new turnaround strategy yesterday where it identified footwear as its main revenue generator into the future.

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However, the company needs to do more in order to distinguish its brand from other brands in its two major markets, that its sports apparel and footwear categories. The company has identified several product categories including men and women’s training, basketball, running and lifestyle products.

Identifying product categories is just the first step in creating a highly recognizable brand that will attract new customers and increase customer loyalty to the brand. Global sportswear brands such as Nike not only market their products, but they also position their products as unique lifestyle brands.

Nike uses emotional branding to captivate its customer with a unique brand story where its customers are hooked by the hero’s journey. Nike Inc’s unique branding makes its customers feel as if they are on a unique hero’s journey by purchasing and wearing the company’s products.

Emotional branding that promotes the uniqueness of a company’s products is what is missing from Under Armour’s marketing efforts. Over the past year, Under Armour customers have been unable to identify what the brand truly stands for, which could be the main cause for the company’s declining sales.

Therefore, despite implementing a restructuring program, Under Armour should also find new ways of positioning its brand in order to capture the attention of its target customers.

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