Last year, when we developed the 12 Brandfluency courses, Kaye and I researched fitness brands to find one that represents each of the twelve archetypes. This was the perfect exercise to show how very different brands actually sell very similar products. Think about why the YMCA attracts a different clientele than CrossFit. Or why Lululemon and Under Armour both sell athletic apparel, but focus on very different target audiences. There aren’t a lot of hunters going out in the woods sporting Lululemon apparel. This is what intrigues me the *most* about branding. I *nerd out* over understanding why two brands that sell the exact same product can be so different with their messaging, target audience, and values. The best part…they’re different without sacrificing quality or price. They use brand archetypes.
During our fitness brand research, we found the women’s *technical* clothing brand ADAY. Smart clothing for everyday life. Since then, we’ve been watching this brand. We love how they’re mixing the Sage and Innocent brand archetypes to create this inspiring, yet “back-to-basics” clothing line.
Which is why I’m focusing this month’s Unlocking Big Brand Genius brand analysis on ADAY.
The first thing you realize when you visit ADAY’s website is how they value the talented and unique lives that women are living in today’s society. Further, you realize ADAY is readying these women for the future of our society. Technology is more important than ever, yet simplicity is highly valued by today’s population of young adults. We value experiences over possessions. But how can a product-based company place a higher value on experiences? Shouldn’t they be convincing us why we NEED their clothing above all else? And lots of it? Not for ADAY. They aren’t just about selling a product, they are creating something bigger. They’re about simplifying life and getting back to basics. You don’t need closets full of clothing rotated out every season. You need the basics you can wear for 5 hours on a plane because they’re comfortable. Then you wear the same outfit to a business meeting because it’s not wrinkly or sweaty. You need “the best shirt ever” that works no matter what your day brings.
Entrepreneurial Tip #1: Branding is about building something bigger than your product or service.
Remember that we found the brand ADAY while doing archetype research? We were looking for a fitness company that applied Sage themes and stories to their branding. We found ADAY.
I must admit, we missed the mark when we looked at lumping ADAY into *just* a fitness apparel company. But I’m glad we did, because it allowed us to start tracking this phenomenal Sage brand. It also allowed us to see deeper than Sage. ADAY also has Innocent Archetype themes and wording seamlessly weaved into their branding.
First, let’s discuss how ADAY applies the Sage Archetype to their branding. Right on their homepage, ADAY calls out…
“Tech made our lives easier. It’s time our wardrobes got an upgrade too.”
Think about this for a minute. Genius. How often do new models of computers or phones come out? Yet, we’re still buying the same fabrics that show armpit sweat or need to be ironed after sitting on a plane for 2 hours. Or, worse… we’re buying “dry clean only” clothing and throwing them in the wash. This is why ADAY was born. To bring tech to clothing. To create a “wardrobe of the future.” This futuristic and technology savvy point of view demonstrates a very Sage way of thinking. This brand values research and reinvention to create something better for their audience.
Entrepreneurial Tip #2: Find a way to make the ordinary different, and you’ve found a way to brand your product or service.
The co-founders of ADAY (Meg He and Nina Faulhaber) recently did an interview on the Millennials Don’t Suck podcast. One of the questions the interviewer asked was if their “smart” clothing measured your heart rate. Their response could not have been more Sage. They immediately answered… not yet, but maybe in the future. One of my favorite Sage point of views is that there is always more to learn. One of ADAY’s top values is invention. They’ll never stop researching what will make their clothing better for their consumers.
Another theme you find in ADAY’s branding is simplicity and getting back to the basics. This demonstrates their Innocent personality. Nina and Meg have explained that in sci-fi movies of the future, everyone wears the same functional clothing. Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. I LOVE this comparison. Partially because I’m currently nerding out over the newest Netflix release of Star Trek: Discovery. And yes, they wear the same simple, functional clothing for fighting and socializing. This explains the very core of ADAY. They don’t have 50 different styles of shirts or 20 different leggings with bright floral patterns. They don’t need that. They are creating the staples. The basic clothing you need in your closet that’s practical for all occasions. Comfortable, yet stylish. Trendy, yet functional. High quality, yet machine washable. (That one still shocks me.)
Entrepreneurial Tip #3: When you define your most important values and beliefs, you also start to define your ideal client.
ADAY’s Innocent Personality also shines through on their “Our Story” page. They paint a picture of the lifestyle they live and how similar they are to their target audience. This is smart for two reasons. It helps their audience humanize their brand. Yet, it also ties in why their clothing line is the best fit for that lifestyle. They sell clothing that can help you simplify your life. Clothing that helps you spend less money on “things” so you can spend more on experience. Yes I’m still talking about clothes! This is the brilliance in this brand. ADAY does an exceptional job of creating something more than their product. It’s a movement. It’s a way of life. And it’s one their ideal clients value.
Entrepreneurial Tip #4: Develop your brand around a lifestyle.
One of the most important branding lessons you can ever learn is to tell stories. Incorporating stories into your brand will bring your business further than any sales tactic. This is one of the core values Kaye and I stress with our clients. This is why we started paying such close attention to ADAY. They understand the importance of stories and this helps their brand thrive. They share why they became a brand, why they wanted “technical” clothing, why they visit their factories, how they source materials, and more. They write and TALK about it – on their website, in interviews, and through guest speaking opportunities. They even share stories of their influencers. They have models that wear their clothing who are also entrepreneurs and world travelers. They’ve given life to their brand.
Entrepreneurial Tip #5: Bring your brand to life through stories. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or rebranding a company of 100 employees. Stories are the key to relating with your audience and humanizing your brand.
Like many other tech-savvy brands appealing to today’s modern consumer, ADAY has a strong social media presence. If you’ve been following the *Unlocking Big Brand Genius* series for long, you’ll notice a common theme. Brands that “get it” are utilizing social media. ADAY has a heavy presence on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter. They are posting minimalistic imagery which is on-brand with their Sage and Innocent Brand Personalities. They are partnering with influencers that hold similar values and live similar lifestyles. They consistently post on each of their three social media platforms. Plus, they’re utilizing strengths of each of the different platforms. (Ex: Gorgeous imagery with minimal text on Instagram and retweeting any time they’re mentioned on Twitter)
Yes, that was the quickest summary I’ve ever written on social media presence, but for good reason. ADAY is acing social media. But, I wanted to call out a different area of marketing that ADAY is utilizing that sets them apart. This is a tactic that all budding entrepreneurs should take note of.
Speaking opportunities! More than ever, consumers want to know the faces behind their favorite brands. ADAY understands this and tells stories to help their customers humanize their brand. Further, they get out in the public and talk. Try googling ADAY. You’ll find countless interviews. ADAY’s co-founders talk about entrepreneurship, their brand, values, fashion trends, and personal failures. You also find their employees interviewing within their areas of expertise.
Now, visit ADAY’s Twitter account. They’re constantly retweeting live speaking events where Nina or Meg are present. Plus, they share recent podcasts where Nina or Meg guest interview. Try Facebook. You can see photos of live events where Meg and Nina are joining in and meeting other entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurial Tip #6: Get visible. Often. Take advantage of every relevant opportunity that comes your way. Live events, written content, social media posts, podcasts, guest interviews, expert requests… be loud with your brand and your expertise!
ADAY describes their target audience as the “conscious customer.” They don’t target towards impulse shoppers. They target customers that understand we need to change how we live our lives. We need to lessen our impact on the earth to improve our future. They draw in conscious women who understand that everything we do today impacts future generations. Their target audience VALUES that ADAY’s clothing is “machine wash cold” because this “saves over 2,000 pounds of CO2 per year vs. hot wash.” Their customers buy because ADAY is transparent about where their materials come from. They holds their factories accountable to high ethical and environmental expectations.
Entrepreneurial Tip #7: Identify what’s important in today’s society that you are also passionate about and apply that to your branding.
So would you spend a bit more on a piece of clothing that is sustainably manufactured? Or that’s cold wash only instead of dry clean? Or that you can wear no matter what the season? Would you own less clothing if you had the essential pieces of *smart* clothing that you can wear no matter where the day takes you? If yes, then you are one of ADAY’s target customers.
ADAY understands something very valuable. Investing in your brand is the key to success. They understand the value in creating more than just products. They value the art of storytelling for their brand.
That being said, there’s always room to bring things to the next level. With that in mind, I have a few recommendations I’d make to the genius minds at ADAY.
Further Utilize Email List:
When I first visited ADAY’s website, they offered “8 Tips that help you put fitness into flying” for anyone that travels a lot. This is the original opt-in I used to sign up for their email list. I received this e-mail right away, but that was almost two weeks ago and I hadn’t heard anything since. So, I tried a couple different opt-ins throughout their website with different email addresses. Now I’ve received a welcome email and a separate welcome from Nina & Meg. The first recommendation I’d make is to focus on developing all opt-in leads equally. Welcome sequences are one of the key factors for developing and nurturing audience relationships. ADAY has mastered it’s ability to tell stories. So why not tell those stories to new leads? Right from the start, ADAY could share why their clothes are different. They could give more detail to Meg and Nina “behind the brand”. Additionally, they could talk about influencers that love the products as much as ADAY does.
Entrepreneurial Tip #8: Use your e-mail list to create raving fans that understand your expertise.
Further develop influencer campaigns:
ADAY has a fabulous network of entrepreneurs and influencers that wear their clothing. This is demonstrated through Instagram and Twitter. Influencers may use the hashtag #thisisaday or #adreamaday to share Instagram posts wearing ADAY’s clothing. They also feature models/entrepreneurs, but don’t fully develop those stories. It would be a fabulous addition to their website to have an area where they talk about these individuals in more detail. They could do interviews or publish articles. They could “tell their story” about the modern lives these influencers are living and why they value the clothing ADAY creates. It would be especially interesting to do an interview series on real-life entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who value simplicity or living an unconventional life. Many modern day entrepreneurs would fit perfectly with ADAY’s values. It could be a fabulous way to deepen the importance of those beliefs.
Entrepreneurial Tip #9: There’s a power in other people telling stories on your behalf that reiterate your strongest values. It’s also a strong way to add credibility to your brand.
More details on their technical clothing:
I *love* the idea of “technical clothing for the future”. I was so interested that I especially scoured the website for *why* their clothing is different. ADAY mentioned that they find and create “technologically advanced fabrics” chosen for specific qualities such as “thermo regulation” or “wrinkle release”. They also explain that their textiles are breathable, pilling resistant and quick drying. They could take this further and provide details of the fabrics or the process behind these qualities. I know this would be a complex balancing act. They can’t get too complex or spill competitive secrets. But the theme fits perfectly with BOTH of their brand archetypes. The Sage side of their brand wants to educate their consumers to why they are the smart, sustainable choice. Their Innocent personality wants to be transparent about processes surrounding manufacturing and sourcing. This creates the perfect opportunity to give more facts behind the product.
Entrepreneurial Tip #10: Use your archetype to further develop your stories and content.
ADAY was founded in 2015. At first glance, it’s amazing how far the company has come in two short years. Yet, when you analyze their branding… you understand why success is their only option. They understand the value of building a brand that connects with their customers on an emotional level. They realize the value in stories. Their passion about their product shines through in everything they do. I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing amazing developments from this brand in the upcoming years. Plus, I can’t wait to see how much “smarter” their clothing will become!
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