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Industry review: The winners and losers of the outdoor and activewear market

As a business, knowing what your competitors are doing and how they are performing is one of the most valuable assets you can have. Comparing tactics and seeing what has worked well (or not so well) for others helps you make informed decisions about your company without risking time or money.

With over 17 years of experience, Hitsearch regularly performs and publishes competitor reviews that help to inform and educate CEO’s on how to grow their business performance. Previously, we have focused on digital performance within the lingerie sector, world of law firms and most recently have analysed and ranked brands within the outdoor and activewear industry based on their growth and revenue performance.

This blog will look at brands that are smashing it, whilst giving you insider knowledge to explain the strategies behind their success and how we at Hitsearch have boosted client performance within the industry.

what-is-the-industry-reportWhat is the industry report?

As experts in digital strategy and performance, we have collated information over 15 years of client data, spanning a wide range of industries, analysing target audiences and guiding new campaigns with proven data.

Looking at revenue increase and market share increase over the last five years, we have analysed the top 30 brands in the outdoor and activewear sector, with Superdry, Mountain Warehouse and Barbour coming out on top.

Arguably, the top five companies know what they’re doing- there’s a reason Superdry own over 5% of 2020’s market share. Looking at the massive amount of revenue these top five brands are creating, the question you need to ask is, what are those at the top doing that your business isn’t?

Want to improve brand performance and increase growth?

By adopting all, or even some of our proven techniques we’re about to share, you are sure to make a difference to your business. In fact, we’re so sure of the strategy outlined in our latest CEO report, we’re guaranteeing an increase in growth by up to 50% in just 12 months.

Planning Spend

Observing patterns amongst buyers allows you to maximise spending where it counts. This is more important than ever, with the UK expected to fall into a recession by the end of the year. With inflation rising and consumer spending on a continuous downward trajectory, we recommend that all companies review their current spending plan for the year. Looking at different areas of spending (discussed later in this blog) will help you to stop spending money on areas that are not benefitting your business.

ok-7-times-returnAttribution Reporting

Choosing the right channels to market your brand means that you will get the most from your campaign. Hitsearch’s Datalab allows us to see how different marketing strategies (whether that be paid social, email marketing or PR) create conversations, ensuring the budget is spent in the most effective way. Our use of Hitsearch Datalab data allowed us to to achieve 7 times return on ad spend within the first 4 months for Orla Kiely- proof you don’t need to spend a lot to make high returns!

Social Media

Social media is ever-growing, and it is a simple but effective way to reach a variety of different audiences. Using a mixture of organic and paid tactics, social media can be used to attract customers, boost traffic, and increase conversions.
As demonstrated in this model comparison by Lee (2013), when social media becomes a factor that plays a part in the consumer journey, traditional market models start to take on a different side. The new, more complicated journey must be considered when refining a new, improved strategy.



By identifying your customer base, you can build out a better target audience. Whilst marketers have largely focused on quantitative data to understand consumer behaviour, we believe that there are various other factors influencing consumers’ purchases such as social, cultural, economic, personal, and psychological factors.

Demographic data can be used to build a buyer profile covering information like age, gender, occupation, and level of education. Psychographic data (gathered through the analysis of consumers’ activities, interests and opinions) gives an insight into consumers’ lifestyles and patterns of behaviour. We believe that the latter type of data allows businesses to target their audiences with the right tone of voice, in the right place and at the right time.


Neuromarketing/CRO/ User Experience

As marketers, it’s important to understand the customer experience as well as the journey they take when making a conversion. We use a process model to understand the 3 stages of a customer journey.

1. Pre-Purchase – Encompasses all aspects of the customer’s interaction with the brand, category, and environment before a purchase transaction.

2. Purchase – Covers all customer interactions with the brand and its environment during the purchase event itself.

3. Post-Purchase – Encompasses customer interactions with the brand and its environment following the actual purchase

Key takeaways

- Reviewing current spending plan is recommended to all businesses.

- Choosing the right channels to market your campaign will help you to get the most from your campaign.

- Social media has changed user journeys, make sure that your strategy reflects that.

- Understanding your target audience will allow you to target ads more specifically, meaning they are more likely to create conversions.

Interested in learning more about the power of the Hitsearch Datalab? Want to grow your brand’s market share and profit by 50% in a year? We’re offering a free copy of our latest CEO Report which features a strategy blueprint for achieving the success we’ve highlighted in this blog.

Download Our Report

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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