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Newton Running – The Science Of Sports Marketing

06/11/2012

Want to enter the athletic footwear market? No problem. Sure, it’s a market that is huge but dominated by Nike who is being challenged by Under Armour and other brands.

Follow the footsteps of a growing concern out of Boulder, Colorado – Newton Running. Newton has developed a cult like following and is popular with the barefoot running crowd. Newton’s are also favored by the athlete’s who swear by the Vibram toe shoes.

To survive (and thrive – if possible) while competing with the likes of Nike Newton Running is doing several things right.

1.  Clearly Defined Reason for Being – Newton’s represent “science in motion”. According to their website, “The genius behind the Newton running shoes is the patented Action/Reaction Technology™. When using the ultra-efficient Land-Lever-Lift natural running gait of a midfoot or forefoot strike, the technology absorbs and then returns energy back to you. It’s a revolutionary way of building a running shoe based on Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every ACTION, there is an equal and opposite REACTION.”

2.  The Brand Reflect the Reason for Being – Newton’s are named after Sir Isaac.

3. Stand Out – Newton Running’s shoes are colorful. Actually that’s a understatment. Newton shoes are unmistakably colored. Uppers, soles, laces – whacked out  color combos that are identifiable at 50 yards. Try picking out brands by color on a wall of running shoes at Footlocker.

4.   Support The Cult – Newton’s brand advocates are passionate and proud. I’ve witnessed Newton wearers, post-run chatting about their experiences with Newtons – in the grocery store!

5.   Keep Distribution Tight – Newton’s are pricey but they almost more exclusive. They have smartly kept retail partners limited to “real” running shoes – where dedicated runners who moonlight in retail carry the Newton torch. You won’t find Newton’s in Kohls.

I bought a pair a few weeks back. The transition has not been easy. The premise of overhauling my stride at this late point in my life is daunting. Needless to say I haven’t drunk the Newton Kool-Aid just yet.

Bump around their website. You’ll be sure to see what Newton is doing right and why. Don’t count Nike or Under Armour out – at least not yet.

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