Picture a garage, a few shirts, and a dream to shake up the fitness apparel industry. Today, that dream has become Gymshark, a leading titan in the fitness apparel industry, and this is their story.
This is a tale of savvy business practices and a strong, committed community built through powerful user-generated content (UGC) and highly effective influencer marketing.
The Rise of Gymshark
From Screen Printing to Global Success
What started as a humble screen printing operation in a garage has grown into one of the fastest-growing, most recognisable fitness brands worldwide.
A significant part of their secret sauce? A focus on building a community through influencer marketing and the powerful leverage of UGC.
The Power of User-Generated Content (UGC)
Building a Community through UGC
The secret to Gymshark’s success isn’t just in selling fitness apparel. It’s about building a community, a shared identity, and a sense of belonging.
Gymshark followers aren’t just customers; they’re fans and advocates.
They engage with the brand and fellow followers by tagging Gymshark accounts and using Gymshark-specific hashtags in their posts, creating a vibrant, interactive community.
Success on TikTok: A UGC Masterstroke
Gymshark’s audacious move into TikTok is a textbook example of how UGC can power brand success.
By relying entirely on UGC, Gymshark now boasts an impressive following of 3.5 million on TikTok, a testament to their strategic, community-focused approach to social media.
Nurturing Influencer Relationships: A Gymshark Specialty
Gymshark’s strategy doesn’t stop at identifying and working with influencers. The brand invests time and resources in nurturing these relationships.
These influencers are sent free or discounted products to try, and then share their opinions with their followers.
This personal touch adds authenticity to the reviews and recommendations, reaching thousands of potential new Gymshark customers through influencers’ follower bases.
Influencer Marketing: Gymshark’s Secret Weapon
From Athletes to Influencers
Gymshark’s influencers, whether athletes or online fitness personalities are much more than brand ambassadors.
They’re an integral part of the Gymshark community, wearing and promoting Gymshark at events and across social media platforms.
This symbiotic relationship has helped catapult Gymshark from a small operation to a global brand powerhouse.
An Inspirational Approach to Marketing
Gymshark’s influencer marketing isn’t just about product promotion. It’s about inspiration and motivation, showcasing real people facing real challenges.
This human, relatable aspect appeals to those aspiring to unlock their full potential, fostering a community of like-minded individuals.
Results From Gymshark’s UGC Campaigns
Gymshark’s UGC campaigns have yielded impressive results. Take for instance, the “66 Days | Change Your Life” challenge.
This campaign targeted 19.8 million users and received a total of nearly 2 million likes and over 12,000 comments.
The campaign’s hashtag was viewed 45.5 million times. These numbers show not only the vast reach of their campaigns but also the high level of engagement among their followers.
Gymshark’s Successful UGC Campaigns
Riding the TikTok Wave
The secret to Gymshark’s success on TikTok? Strategic partnerships with micro-influencers and fitness enthusiasts, coupled with a content strategy that resonates with the community’s preferences and sense of humour.
With over 4.2 million followers and 65.7 million likes, Gymshark’s TikTok strategy is a masterclass in UGC campaigns.
66 Days | Change Your Life Challenge
One such campaign is the “66 Days | Change Your Life” challenge. This campaign, which rallied users to post personal fitness goals with the hashtag Gymshark66, is an excellent example of how to create an engaging and interactive UGC campaign.
With influencers posting related content, the campaign received a whopping 45.5 million hashtag views, a clear victory in community engagement and brand promotion.
Fostering Positive Engagement in the Gymshark Community
While building a community is one part of the equation, maintaining high engagement and positive sentiment is another.
Gymshark has managed to do this by consistently sharing authentic, motivational, and user-oriented content.
They respond to feedback, engage with users regularly, and create an environment where followers feel heard and valued.
This fosters a sense of loyalty in the community, making Gymshark more than just a fitness apparel brand – it’s a lifestyle choice.
Learnings from Gymshark’s Success: A Guide for Other Brands
Gymshark’s phenomenal growth story offers rich insights and valuable lessons for other brands aiming to build a robust community and drive engagement using UGC and influencer marketing.
Here’s a step-by-step guide inspired by Gymshark’s strategy:
Understand and Connect with Your Audience
The first step is understanding your target audience – their preferences, motivations, and digital habits.
Gymshark realised early on that their audience was highly active and engaged on social media, particularly on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and used this knowledge to guide their marketing strategies.
Create a Strong Brand Identity
Having a clear and compelling brand identity is crucial. Gymshark isn’t just about fitness apparel; it represents a fitness-focused lifestyle.
This strong identity has helped them connect with their audience on a deeper level.
Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)
Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your brand or products. This provides you with authentic content and builds trust with potential customers.
Gymshark effectively used UGC to demonstrate product quality and cultivate a sense of community.
Collaborate with Influencers
Working with influencers who resonate with your brand can extend your reach and influence. Choose influencers who align with your brand values and genuinely connect with their followers.
Gymshark’s collaborations with fitness influencers helped them access a larger audience and increase their brand visibility.
Nurture Relationships with Influencers and Customers
Don’t just establish connections; nurture them. Keep the communication lines open with your influencers and customers, valuing their feedback and making them feel heard.
Gymshark’s ongoing engagement with its influencers and customers has fostered strong, lasting relationships.
Monitor Results and Iterate
Track the performance of your campaigns and learn from the outcomes. Use these insights to refine and improve your future strategies.
Gymshark’s continuous monitoring of its UGC campaigns’ performance has been vital in its strategy’s ongoing success and evolution.
Drawing from Gymshark’s success, it’s evident that a keen understanding of your audience, a strong brand identity, effective use of UGC, strategic influencer collaborations, and continuous engagement are key to building a successful brand.
It’s not just about promoting a product; it’s about building a community and creating a lifestyle that your audience wants to be part of. So, what’s your brand’s story going to be?
How does Gymshark keep its brand image consistent across various influencers’ content?
Gymshark ensures brand image consistency by providing guidelines to its influencers about the brand’s values, aesthetics, and messaging. They also select influencers whose personal brand aligns well with the Gymshark brand, ensuring a natural fit that doesn’t compromise authenticity.
What other marketing strategies does Gymshark utilise besides UGC campaigns and influencer marketing?
In addition to UGC and influencer marketing, Gymshark also uses event marketing strategies like pop-up shops, fitness events, and exhibitions to reach its target audience. They also have a strong email marketing strategy and employ SEO techniques to enhance their online visibility.
How does Gymshark handle negative comments or criticism of user-generated content?
Gymshark takes an open and proactive approach to negative feedback or criticism. They engage with such comments constructively, addressing any issues and working towards resolving them. This approach helps maintain a positive brand image and demonstrates the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.