BRAND: So Budweiser is going to potentially ingenious, potentially absurd branding extremes. The company has kept the same can you already know, but when you look closely, you’ll realize that it has swapped out its own name, "Budweiser," for "America." That’s right, Budweiser has renamed its beer America for the summer.
ECOMMERCE: As an investor community, too often the DNVB is compared to a typical e-commerce company. If a typical e-commerce company is a frog, at birth a DNVB does look a lot like a tadpole. But it doesn’t end up as a frog. The difference is profound, and it requires an appreciation the role brand plays in inspiring people, speaking to them, and shaping their choices.
MEDIA: Facebook’s mass acts as an an intense gravitational force in the industry, warping user behavior and fracturing the economic incentives that defined media companies. It suggests that those media companies that survive will view much of the infrastructure they possess today as just as much of a millstone as they did the printing press.
ECOMMERCE: All Celery customers will get an InDemand site auto-populated for them until the transition is complete. Unfortunately for makers, they’ll now have to pay out Indiegogo’s higher 5% cut. But in exchange, they’ll get free promotion to Indiegogo’s 15 million monthly visitors, plus there’s no monthly fee.
MEDIA: We are, right now, in the midst of a digital media upheaval. What was previously conventional wisdom—that a media company with hopes of turning a profit needs, above all, to achieve scale—is being proven false. The new conventional wisdom is that video will be digital media’s savior, but it is only a matter of time before this is proven false too.
ECOMMERCE:BigCommerce started out like its larger competitor Shopify by making software that allows small businesses to launch and manage online storefronts. But the company has tried to differentiate by adding more features to attract bigger merchants, and now has more than 1,000 customers who do between $1 million and $20 million in annual online sales, CEO Brent Bellm said in an interview.
MEDIA: Facebook says that one of the key reasons it’s expanding the ad units is specifically to address its mobile users. Mobile accounted for 82% of Facebook’s revenues in the last quarter (working out to 79% of all ad revenues), and its range of apps (including Facebook and Instagram) are part of the wider trend of app usage.
BRAND: The smartphone-only social network, whose auto-disappearing messages first made it popular as a sexting tool for teens after its launch in 2011, is now used by more than 100 million people every day — and more than a third of Americans ages 18 to 34 on a monthly basis, with a higher engagement rate than Instagram, according to Comscore.
BRAND: Over the past few years, we believe (Under Armour)’s stellar growth in men’s apparel and growing presence in footwear has come at the expense of shelf space for Adidas, especially since Nike has remained strong,” Konik wrote. “Now with Adidas starting to come back, we think UA (where expectations are high) could see downside risk.”
BRAND: While Under Armour has been relevant in sports for some time, the company wasn't able to break into the basketball market successfully before Steph Curry's arrival to the brand. Basketball is one of the most important segments of an athletic apparel company's success. Under Armour has been on a well-noted hot streak of athletic endorsements, but often times top players in other sports don't necessarily translate to sales.
Last Word: Understanding The Shoe Wars
Steph Curry is the NBA's first ever unanimous MVP. His Under Armour shoe is also out-selling Nike's top draw by a cool 10 million, in the last year. But it's not all roses for Under Armour, right now. The potential trouble with their consumer strategy is that they have hired athletes who were once considered long shots. When the athletes continue to ascend, the brand climbs. When the athletes temporarily level off, the stock price falls. Leveling off can mean: Steph Curry losing to the Trailblazers or Spieth falling to a challenger at The Master's.
For the first time in sports brand history, athlete performance directly correlates to stock performance. LeBron could lose the NBA title and Nike's stock wouldn't budge, his popularity and charisma sells shoes. For Curry, Spieth and others, their ascension sells shoes.
The Under Armour ($UA) brand once used a brand motto once established in 2010 that communicated today's strategy: that they were gaining on their industry competitors. The entrance into the shoe industry was a spirited: "click clack, you can hear us coming" ad series. Adidas is another brand attempting regain North American market share by employing new tactics to energize dormant loyalists while attracting new ones.
Adidas took an altogether different approach to increasing its market cap by $9B since May of 2015. For instance, Kanye West can publicly fail and sales will only grow. Sales are clearly not attributed to West's performance. Rather, the product is the focus. Kanye has personally designed a shoe that has an outlier asset price position. His designs have done so well that many of Adidas' other shoes reflect his signature appearance.
The addition of Kanye West as a charismatic design influencer and personality has revived the brand. The brand is resurgent, with a new canvas for innovative athletic / streetwear designs that are derivatives of Kanye's "Yeezy Boost" series. Adidas stock is trading at a five year high.
Under Armour is a brand that is continuing its climb, chipping away at Nike's market share along with Adidas' surprising resurgence. Both market strategies were risky but one of them seems more sustainable.