I came across two articles the other day which made me stop and think after noticing a connection.
The Guardian article on The North Face and Patagonia
The North Face and Patagonia began offering professional outdoor gear to enthusiasts. As their brands gained recognition, they used this fame to stamp their logo on “high-end hobbyist” gear with the reputation of a hardcore mountaineer company. They moved from niche to mainstream.
The New York Times article on Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly
Nike, the most mainstream sporting equipment company, is creating a market of sub 2-hour marathon shoes and pitching them to the Rupps and Kiprotiches of the world. But in reality, Nike wants to sell shoes, and vast majority of those sales will come from people who are not going to hit a sub 2 hour marathon. Although they might read a “native ad” in the New York Times to learn about sneakers.
The hobbyist market moves quantity and both pieces are free marketing aimed squarely at the target audience.
We often miss connections amongst the throngs media we consume on the daily. Slow down for a moment and make sense of what you are truly seeing.