In what will be its all-time “boldest, biggest” apparel initiative, New Balance will launch its first women’s-only catalogue to one million consumers next week.
Throughout the 72-page catalogue readers are encouraged to experience the brand’s augmented reality shopping experience by downloading the Blippar app to “Blipp” designated pages to unlock exclusive content. Doing so takes them to behind-the-scenes videos, inspiring stories and details about athletes’ lives. In addition to its Made 4 Movement (M4M) and NB Heat pieces, New Balance is playing up its social media-driven Girls Night Out (GNO) fitness meet-ups. In a two-page spread, middle-distance runner Cory McGee offers her Athlete Picks. The catalogue, a multimillion dollar media campaign, closes with two pages filled with a grid of photos of other New Balance-wearing athletes, some recognizable and others less so.
The $2.7 billion company has also included a detachable card, highlighting the benefits of enrolling in the My NB Loyalty Program For Athletes. Aside from being an important part of the omnichannel, New Balance is using the catalogue for a long form of storytelling that details the breadth and depth of the line. Whether recreational athletes or diehard everyday ones, New Balance wants both camps “to join the conversation. Meet our athletes. Learn what drives them. Share your story.”
The first edition, a 72-page book, will ship Sept. 8, followed by a comparable-sized one in early November and a third installment that will focus on gift-giving ideas and ships before Thanksgiving. Through this new marketing initiative, New Balance is targeting women between the ages of 24 and 34 whom head of global marketing Norma Delaney defined as “Metro female athletes.” They are “young women who were most likely college athletes and who are probably still very active athletically, as well as socially and career-wise,” she said.
While many women are familiar with the Boston-based company’s footwear, they may not be as knowledgeable about its activewear offerings, Delaney said. To that end, 70 percent of the catalogue’s offerings will be apparel, with footwear comprising 30 percent. At this point, apparel is a “fairly small” percentage of New Balance’s overall volume. The new effort features creative from New Balance’s “Always in Beta” campaign, which was launched in July.