Noel Mack is the Chief Brand Officer for Gymshark, the game-changing fitness apparel brand known for its disruptive online marketing, fiercely loyal customers, and innovative DTC growth strategies. Listen to the full episode here.
Noel Mack - How Gymshark Disrupts DTC Marketing
Noel has loads of fascinating insights into the culture of DTC success. Here are some top takeaways we loved from his episode.
Inspired by music, not marketing
Noel came to DTC from a music industry background where he worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Roc Nation, Ministry of Sound, and O.V.O. Sound. He continues to draw marketing inspiration from musicians and artists who have a huge impact on culture. “The music industry is always at the forefront of culture. They just cut through the noise and hack through marketing. I think brands and businesses can learn so much from what they do. If you know anything about Lil Nas X right now, you understand that he's just a walking viral sensation, right? Every CMO in the world should, if they could, sit down with Lil Nas X and understand how he's doing what he's doing. To me, music is culture.”
Marketers can learn from artists like Lil Nas X who don't have to buy ads to be viral sensations
Gymshark’s Social Disruption team keeps them on the cutting edge
Besides having a more 'traditional' social media team, Noel doesn’t just hope viral moments happen, he invests in them. The Social Disruption team was born when Gymshark found that it was getting more difficult to stay fresh while doing the day to day work of standard marketing.
“When we found it was getting harder and harder, we found the ideas that did cut through the noise became less and less, because people are getting bogged down in strategy and planning and so on. So it's just about giving people the room and the remit to be like, right, you don't have to worry about the schedule this week or the UGC or the anything else, your job is to cut through the noise.”
That decision led to some of Gymshark’s most notable moments, like changing their social handles to @Homeshark within a blink of 2020 lockdown becoming official, which became one of their highest performing brand moments, as it resonated so deeply with their target audience of people who loved being active, but had to stay home for the greater good.
Brand evangelism is the best form of influencer marketing
Gymshark is perhaps most widely known in DTC marketing because of their wide network of influencers, and the brand evangelists who strive to be aligned with the brand. But where did they find those first fanatical few? It began with Gymshark founder Ben Francis himself.
“We were them. Ben’s held up as this astounding businessman, and he says it himself: he was just a kid who wanted bodybuilding clothes. And it just so happened that there were a bunch of other kids that also wanted bodyboarding clothes. He was just scratching his own itch. If somebody else had made Gymshark two weeks before, Ben would have just been a customer - a fanatical customer.”
Gymshark is one of the most successful brands in the DTC ecommerce space
Many of their early fans were those who discovered the brand in person at sales events, like Graeme Eaglesham, a trainer who liked the brand so much he began posting himself in Gymshark gear every day on Instagram for years. And he’s still at it, currently over 2,400 consecutive days of posting. It began as a quirky way to show his passion for the brand, and he was eventually crowned an official Gymshark ambassador. Talk about dressing for the job you want.
Huge thanks to Noel Mack of Gymshark for chatting to us on DTC Journey. You can find Noel on Twitter and LinkedIn, explore Gymshark’s latest ranges on their website, and follow DTC Journey wherever you listen to podcasts.