Sally Dixon is the Founder and Creative Director of British activewear brand Every Second Counts. As a qualified Pilates instructor who is passionate about living a balanced healthy lifestyle, Sally lives and breathes her brand.
After graduating from the London College of Fashion with a BA in Fashion Promotion and Journalism, Sally went on to have a career spanning more than 17 years in the magazine industry as a Fashion Director. After working on producing fashion shoots around the world for companies like Hachette Filipacchi, National Magazine Company and Hearst UK, her combined love of fashion and fitness led her to start working on her own brand in 2011. Sally then proudly launched the brand to the UK market in January 2014.
We met with Sally to find out:
– How activewear brands can find a gap in the market
– How customer behaviour is changing
– What are today’s fitness clothing trends
– How promotional videos and ambassadors can be used effectively for fitness clothing brands
1) How can activewear brands find a gap in the market?
The fitness clothing industry has exploded in the last few years and it’s definitely a challenge as a small business to make yourself heard amongst the noise. For us, the difference lies in producing hybrid garments for our ever-increasingly fast-paced lifestyles. Consumers these days expect technical functionality in the majority of their wardrobe so customers are looking for fabrics that really perform in everything from their gym wear to their weekend casual wear. We decided we would focus only on those hybrid garments; whether that’s a jumpsuit that you can wear to travel in that’s made from the same fabric that they use for cycling tops or a hoodie that has that technical functionality but still has that cosy feel that makes you want to throw it on after the gym.
2) How are the uses of fitness clothing changes?
Activewear has very much become a part of everyday wear and it’s a trend that is only going to continue – it’s comfy! Consumers are looking for clothes that don’t restrict them in their everyday activities – comfort is paramount, but style is also key. Activewear really bridges that gap. It’s a trend that is continuing to get stronger so that’s why we are focusing on hybrid garments, so you have double duty pieces that feel luxurious, comfortable and fit in with the rest of your wardrobe; but they also have that technical functionality.
3) Should clothing brands focus on quality or fashion?
Quality is obviously of paramount importance to us. Consumers are getting more discerning with the choices that they make as there are so many options out there for them; so quality is an important factor. We source all our fabrics within Europe, as we feel that the quality is better, and we work with very small factories in Portugal so that attention to detail is always there.
On another note, we are a small team who live the brand (literally!) Myself and my business partner are both qualified Pilates instructors and our marketing manager runs 100k a week! We put the product quality to the test ourselves, which I think speaks volumes.
4) How can promotional videos be used effectively?
Video content is definitely crucial to engaging with your customer. A third of all internet users watch YouTube, so providing video content is just an extra way to get in front of your customer and help them feel an emotional connection with the brand.
We decided to use athletes for our video as, for an online brand, it is quite hard to bring in those first-time consumers and to introduce people to the brand when they haven’t seen the products or felt the fabrics. So for us, video content is great for letting the customer see how the product moves. Video content with athletes wearing the products really helps to put the garments through their movements and lets the customer see how the garment might react in their everyday life or at the gym, making sure the everything is fit for purpose.
5) How can brands choose appropriate ambassadors?
We have taken on 7 ambassadors; for us it isn’t about reach or followers. They have to have a genuine love for the brand and love for the product – they have to like wearing it and working out in it. We have also chosen our ambassadors from a wealth of areas within wellbeing as we want to have that 360 degree approach alongside our ‘Empowered Moments’ campaign which reinforces this.