When you think of Under Armour your mind probably goes immediately to sportswear. Whether you wore one of their shirts on your last epic Saturday morning bike ride, or if your hat, jacket, or shirt has their logo emblazoned on it, there’s no denying the meteoric impact Under Armour has had in the performance sporting goods space.
It happens in just about every industry, major leaders that nobody thinks could ever be disrupted see a newcomer enter the space. Apple did it to Sony – just think about your Sony Discman and someone telling you 15 years ago that it would be replaced by a product made by a company that sells expensive computers used by graphic artists?
The same can be said for Blockbuster. Rewind 15 years ago and try to imagine them being literally wiped off the map by a company that never opened a single store and started by shipping DVDs to your doorstep, a little company called Netflix.
In a market dominated by the likes of monster multi-billion dollar companies like Nike, Adidas, and Puma, Under Armour went from $17,000/year in revenue in 1996 to become the multi-billion dollar contender it is today. Here’s the rub though, the world is changing and even massive innovators like Under Armour need to keep innovating to keep growing.
And innovating is exactly what Under Armour is doing with its new high-end clothing line aimed at millennials. It’s a big bet, a scary one, but often innovation comes with doing big scary things that might not make sense right away.
To succeed among the fashion-set, Under Armour will have to get beyond its sports-brand reputation, said Clare Varga, active director at trend forecaster WGSN. “Under Armour’s success has been built on their performance credentials,” Ms. Varga said. “To announce they were moving into fashion was quite a step change and also immediately put them out there to be judged.” (Source – Wall Street Journal)
We love big scary innovation, it’s why we’re here to fuel growth that comes from change, a changing market, changing technologies, and most importantly, changing consumer behavior. At the end of the day innovation doesn’t end once you become a billion dollar company, and in the case of Under Armour something tells us these are still the early days…
(Image source – qz.com)