What Happened to FILA? 10 Marketing Lessons
What Happened to FILA? 10 Marketing Lessons
FILA, as is revealed in discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, has had a pretty up and down history, from being one of the hottest sports and fashion brands to then suffering a massive fall, and then finally to their recent renaissance, with the brand having revived its fortunes in recent years. So, what happened to FILA that they have undergone such drastic fortune changes over the years? This article will look to try and answer this question by highlighting the 10 marketing lessons we can learn from them.
One of the main reasons why FILA fell on hard times was the fact that they were unable to resist the rise of competitors in the form of Nike and Adidas, as covered in detail over at the brilliant runrex.com & guttulus.com. They struggled to stay relevant in the industry as Nike and Adidas pretty much blew them out of the water in the late 1990s and the 2000s. As a marketing lesson, we should learn the importance of handling competition, and making sure that your products and services are relevant in the face of increased competition in your field.
The failed Grant Hill experiment
One of the reasons why Nike exploded as they did is the fact that the signed Michael Jordan, and changed the landscape of the sportswear and sneaker industry, as covered in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. To counter this, FILA signed the up and coming basketball star Grant Hill, a rookie from Duke University, who had just been drafted as a third overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. However, while this plan appeared to be working initially, the fact that Grant suffered significant injuries throughout his career served to limit his star potential, stunting FILA’s growth with it. As a marketing lesson, we should always be careful when linking the fortunes of our businesses with celebrities, as any hit on their part will affect our business.
Mirroring their competitors
The above point leads us to another mistake FILA made, and that is the fact that they tried to follow the same tactics utilized by their competitors, namely Nike. They erroneously assumed that if it worked for Nike, it would work for them, but it didn’t pan out that way. This is yet another important marketing lesson we can learn from them, as it shows that, though it is important to always be aware what our competitors are doing, it is important not to try and copy their strategies as what may have worked for them may not necessarily work for you.
Constantly changing ownership
Another reason that contributed to their decline is the fact that they seemed to be constantly changing ownership, from being bought by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, to being sold to Fila Korea in 2017, as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. This resulted in a period where the brand was struggling to find its identity, with each of their owners having a different direction they wanted to take the brand. As a marketing lesson, it is important therefore to make sure that all your messages are aligned and that you are not sending different messages as far as your marketing campaigns are concerned.
There can also be no denying that, at their lowest ebb, FILA’s products, particularly their sneakers, just couldn’t compete aesthetically with that of their competitors, namely Nike and Adidas. Many consumers didn’t like how they looked, and they preferred the more fashionable Nike and Adidas. As a marketing lesson, as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, it is therefore important that we always ensure that our products and services are of the highest quality and that consumers don’t get the feeling that there are better products out there.
As mentioned earlier on, and discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, FILA has undergone an unlikely renaissance in recent years, as they have seen demand for their products go up, particularly as concerns the FILA Disruptor. One of the main reasons behind this has been the nostalgia wave, with many consumers going for footwear and apparel from the past. With this in mind, most sportswear brands have been reviving their retro products, with FILA being no exception. As a marketing lesson, you should always look for ways through which you can trigger nostalgic memories in the eyes of your audience when running your marketing campaigns.
Targeting the right audience
One of the reasons behind FILA’s recent rise is the fact that they have been targeting the demographics they feel are more interested in their products. These are mostly millennials, who, as per discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, are more likely to buy products from their childhood, than buy modern brands. Through this we have learned a very important marketing lesson, and that is we should always be aware of the right audience to target and the audience likely to buy our products and services, and then make sure our campaigns are designed to reach out to them.
One area where they got things right and managed to get one over their competitors is their price points. Disruptors for example were more than half the price of nearest rivals in this sector, which made them more accessible and attractive to consumers. Therefore, as a marketing lesson by the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, it is important to always look for the sweet spot as far as pricing is concerned, looking for price points that are both low enough to appeal to your audience, while also being viable economically for you, ensuring you get a return in investment.
There can be no denying that retro footwear and apparel are pretty much the current fashion trends, with the bulky shoe being an example of this. An advantage FILA has had is that, while most brands have had to get in line with this current trend, FILA has genuine heritage when it comes to this, given that such products are part of their past. When you think of the bulky shoe, the first thing that comes to mind is the Disruptor, and while there are many such bulky shoes out there, this gives FILA an edge over their competitors and is a marketing lesson worth learning from them as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com.
Associations with major sporting events
One of the reasons that fueled their growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s was their association with tennis and their endorsement by the tennis superstar Bjorn Borg. Part of their rebirth has also centered around being associated with major brands such as major tennis tournaments such as the BNP Paribas Open among others as well as endorsements by stars such as Kim Clijsters and Karolina Pliskova among others. As a marketing lesson, this shows the impact big events and stars can have on your brand and if you can bring one on board, you definitely should.