Things going swimmingly for Speedo despite goggle malfunction ~ Brand Mix

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Things going swimmingly for Speedo despite goggle malfunction

Speedo's rout of its swimsuit competitors continues apace. 24 out of the first 25 gold Olympic gold medals have gone to swimmers wearing Speedo suits including the five (so far) won by Michael Phelps.

And lucky for them that Michael Phelps is so good that he can win races literally with his eyes closed. In the 200-meter butterfly final, his Speedo goggles filled with water but he still managed to win. Had he lost, the picture of him throwing his goggles away in disgust at the end of the race could have undone much of the benefit that Speedo has gained so far.

As it was, it was just a minor bump in the road and the Speedo marketing team can look forward to a tidal wave of opportunities to leverage all this success.

1) Speedo drowning its Olympic competition: Beijing Brand Battle
2) Speedo Rides Wave of Olympic Success: Advertising Age
3) Speedo Tossed Aside, but is Clearly Dominating: The Marketing Fresh Peel


Chris Wilson said...

Yesterday after the 200m IM semifinals, I caught Phelps dumping water out of his goggles again. I hope those aren't his lucky goggles because it looks like he needs a new pair.

BIG Kahuna said...

I thought Speedo might benefit as well but how? The suits are for professional swimmers there's no real benefit for the average person. And as you know Americans aren't keen on the name Speedo as it is commonly reffered to as a "banana hammock" for men.

I know Europeans love the small suits (I can pick them out on the beach in St. Thomas). It's really interesting to see the cultural differences between Europeans and Americans when it comes to swimsuits (especially for men). So how do you think it promotes the brand from a consumer stand point? I'm struggling with the benefits myself.

Martin Bishop said...

I think Speedo benefits two ways:

1) It will sell a whole bunch of LZR suits--apparently demand is high

2) It will regain perceived cred as the swimming performance brand, so that it will become the brand of choice for swimmers (like Nike for runners).

The image that people will have in their minds about Speedo going forward will be less banana hammock and more Phelps winning gold after gold after gold.

BIG Kahuna said...

I get swimmers buying into Speedo for sure. I'm just not connecting fat guys like me buying Speedo. Like most American males I wear long board shorts. And even though Speedo makes board shorts I'm not sure there will be that tie in. It will be interesting to see from the consumer if they indeed run out and buy Speedo because of this.

Chris Wilson said...

Big Kahuna,

You're obviously not who Speedo is targeting. Even though they may make some casual swim wear, swimming for sport is their bread and butter.

I think you might be underestimating just how many people swim for competition. Plus we can't forget the market for swimming goggles, which is shared by a wide range of consumers I'm sure. (I used to work as a life guard for a number of years, so I've witnessed this one.)

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