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Zag Ep. 60 - Nobull’s marketing playbook for taking on Nike

❤️Challenger we love

👟Nobull is an athletic footwear and apparel brand that's been making waves in the fitness industry as a challenger brand. Nobull has been able to grow their business by doing things differently from the incumbents like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. Let's dive in and see what sets them apart.

▶️The Nobull Marketing Playbook

  1. Develop a product line that supports your point of different as a brand
  2. Build community through grassroots partnerships
  3. Tell a story, don’t “advertise”

👨‍💻Develop a product line that supports your point of different as a brand

We always say that the best marketing is a great product. And a truly differentiated brand needs a truly differentiated product. Nobull differentiates themselves from the incumbent competition by combining functionality with style focused on how you look as well as how you perform. They offer trendy designs and bold colorways that appeal to the fashion-conscious fitness consumer.

👷‍♂️Build community through grassroots partnerships

Nobull has built a strong community around their brand, which has helped them grow in popularity. They frequently partner with smaller gyms, fitness influencers, such as Tia-Clair Toomey who has won the CrossFit Games 6 times  consecutively between 2017- 2022.,to promote their products and events. They’ve also created NoBull Connect made up of 2500+ athletes, customers, military and professionals who embody the No Bull mentality and can connect with each other on weekly zooms. By investing in these smaller, grassroots communities Nobull has shown up in a different way to many of the incumbent’s big team and A-level endorsements, which has helped them create a loyal following of customers who are invested in the brand

🗣️Tell a story, don’t “advertise”

Content has been a core tenant to Nobull’s strategy since day one; they use a  storytelling approach to emotionally connect with their audience. Rather than simply promoting their products, Nobull creates content that tells a story and inspires their customers to live an active lifestyle.

For example, they've created a video series called "Behind the Horns" that profiles athletes and their journeys to success. They also host the “Fitness Film Festival” where they showcase films from the fitness community. By using a storytelling approach, Nobull is able to create a deeper emotional connection with their audience, which helps to build brand loyalty and drive sales.

🔑Key Takeaways for you

  1. Clearly define your point of difference in the market then work with the product team to make sure they deliver it!
  2. Think about the up-and-coming, under-appreciated communities in your category - can you welcome them into yours?
  3. Nobody likes advertising, but everyone likes a great story. What stories does your brand have the right to tell and how can you tell them in a human, dynamic way? That’s what your advertising should be.

📖Further Reading

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