Friday, December 13, 2013

Can limited edition caps with a charitable angle convince people to buy Speedo bathing suits online?

As a former competitive synchronized swimmer, I am not sure if I am considered one of the two million performance swimmers in the US, or one of the 21 million fitness swimmers, but either way, I am a Speedo loyalist.  They earned my loyalty by producing superior longer lasting suits, and I still go through three or four each year.  Therefore it didn't surprise me when the other swim suit makers conceded the performance market to Speedo a few years ago.  It also doesn't surprise me that they rarely advertise since having Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin wear your suits during the Olympics basically says it all.

But, Speedo has apparently decided to try to connect with casual water enthusiasts and they are doing it by combining two big Gen Y trends -- limited editions and charitable connections.  Specifically five swimmers have partnered with artists and their favorite charities to design the caps.  Videos describing the process have been posted online and all the typical social media has been employed.  (Mahoney, 2013)

Based on everything I know about the target, the campaign might increase Gen Y sales.  But the goal that struck me as unrealistic was that the company hopes that this will help them to increase e-commerce sales.  Hmm.  This is not a product that lends itself to online sales.  The different styles fit differently so I find I need to try them on before I buy.  I imagine that a casual buyer would be even more reluctant to take a chance.  Net, net, I am not sure that any advertising can achieve this goal and hope that Speedo is realistic about their ability to do so.  Meanwhile though I'll let you know if I see any of the caps at NYU's pool.

Mahoney, S. (2013, December 10)  In Social Splash, Speedo Connects Artists With Athletes.  Retrieved December 12, 2013, from

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