The Björn Borg trademark was registered in the late 1980s and established in the Swedish apparel market in the first half of the 1990s. Since then, operations have grown strongly, including through new product areas and geographical markets.
Today the brand has a distinctive identity and strong position in established markets in its dominant product area, underwear, while newer markets are in a startup stage. In our business plan, Björn Borg has explicitly set as a goal to be a leader in sports fashion and has therefore decided to focus more on the design and production of sports apparel.
With five product areas and sales in around 20 markets – mature as well as new and with different conditions and preferences – consistent, long-term branding is essential.
A new brand platform was implemented in 2019 and serves as a basis for both design and marketing communications. It reflects the brand’s sporty identity and mission to inspire others to reach their full potential through exercise.
Björn Borg aims to provide the best possible service to its distributors and licensees, which commit to a specific level of investment in their markets. The aim is to create opportunities to build sales and brand awareness, while at the same time ensuring consistent branding. Support for distributors and licensees includes branding guidelines and marketing support such as ad campaigns, PR, media buying and point-of-sale displays – packaged for each market’s needs, stage of development and budget.
Björn Borg wants its brand wants to inspire people to achieve their personal best, with exercise playing a key role. The Group’s focus is therefore on continuing this shift and strengthening its position as an athletic wear brand. The Björn Borg brand is profiled through innovative marketing activities. The strategy is to build the brand and drive sales consistently over the long term. To achieve cost efficiencies and broad impact, the Group is focused going forward on building a strong community through social media, campaigns and events, as well as trade shows and point of sale. Social media have continued to grow in importance to the interaction between Björn Borg and consumers. The company sees these channels as important and cost-efficient for branding and sales promotions.
Background material and guidelines are produced centrally as part of the marketing packages that markets and distributors have access to, while detailed planning and implementation are left to each market and channel.
Through the web shop at bjornborg.com, Björn Borg products are sold practically around the world. The website is also a key channel for international branding and to communicate with target groups.
The Björn Borg stores fill an important role as a marketing channel and for exposure the brand and current campaigns.
CAMPAIGNS AND FOCUS 2020
During the year, Björn Borg continued to position itself in sports apparel through a number of activities, campaigns and events. In light of the pandemic, the majority of the activities were virtual. The benefits of exercise were underscored in all activities during the year.
COLLABORATION WITH JOEL KINNAMAN
In early 2020, Björn Borg launched the first campaign with long-term global ambassador Joel Kinnaman, to get people to see all the benefits of exercise. During the year, he was brought in across all brand touchpoints and channels, both the Group’s own and its customers’. Product categories such as workout wear, underwear and sportswear were worn by Kinnaman. The biggest launch was the Centre Collection, which includes hoodies, crewnecks and sweatpants. Graphics with images of the ambassador were rolled out in all of the Group’s countries and drove strong through-sales and increased brand preference. Joel Kinnaman shares the company’s values and view of exercise, that you work out to live and not vice versa. That, together with his reach, makes him the right long-term ambassador, who is strong for both inside selling and through-sales.
LIVE SPORTS HOUR
During the year’s repeated changes and restrictions, Björn Borg has adapted rather than postponed. We started livestreaming on Instagram the mandatory exercise hour on Fridays at 11 am when employees could no longer be in the office and work out together. In this way, the Group’s strong corporate culture has also been communicated to customers. The Friday exercise hour has strong symbolic value and is clear proof of the brand’s mission, to inspire everyone to achieve their personal best through exercise.
RUNNING FROM DAYLIGHT
Björn Borg wants to encourage people to exercise. It strengthens the body, soul and mind. Last fall, a concept was launched to inspire more of us: Running From Daylight. The concept contained workout clothing and sportswear and was rolled out in the Group’s own channels: at e-tailers and brick-and-mortar retail. The collection mixed sport and fashion and each piece communicated the Group’s values in a written message. The roll-out and activation were virtual due to various restrictions during the pandemic. A workout podcast was created and launched on Spotify, in selected stores and on social media. With influencers and consumers participating, the campaign achieved a wide reach and was a key part of last fall’s roll-outs to inspire more customers to work out.