Fitt Insider has teamed up with the Fitness & Active Brands Summit for a two-day event devoted to the innovations, investments, and opportunities developing in fitness and wellness.
Leading up to the event on December 4-5, 2019 in Los Angeles California, we’ll be sharing interviews with select brands and individuals participating in the event.
This time we spoke with Nate Checketts, co-founder and CEO of Rhone — a men’s activewear brand designed with the athlete in mind.
Founded in 2014, Rhone is a premium men’s activewear company, engineered for an active lifestyle. Filling the void between big-box retailers and high-end yoga brands, Rhone delivers best-in-class products designed specifically for men.
Currently, Rhone is sold in all Equinox locations, at Nordstrom, REI, JackRabbit, Peloton Studios, and more than 350 gyms and specialty stores across the country.
Earlier this year Rhone introduced a loyalty program for customers – what role does that play in growth plans for Rhone?
Our main goal is to better serve our community of customers by getting to know them on an individual level. We know instinctively that no two people are exactly the same, but companies and brands tend to treat customers as a single group with the same interests. Brands often assume that their customers adopt the same purchasing habits, marketing reaction, or consumption rate and methods.
Through a robust program like Rhone Rewards, we place an emphasis on learning the unique habits of each individual customer. From there, we work to tailor our brand experience, communication, recommendations, and marketing specifically to that person. Many brands are too quick to group individuals based on a preconceived notion of who their target consumer is, and often overlook the nuances of the brand-to-customer relationship as a result. At Rhone, we’re looking to disrupt that tendency in favor of an experience that really takes into account who our customers are.
Good (or bad) corporate and wholesale partnerships can make or break a brand – how do you choose which partners are right for Rhone?
For us, it all boils down to the relationship wholesale accounts have with their customers. We place a high value on consumer experience and we want our customers to have a great experience no matter where our product is sold.
When evaluating partnerships, we take into account how a wholesaler interacts with their customers and how that might affect a customer’s experience with Rhone and our larger community. Where our interests align, those partnerships can be highly valuable for us.
How do you measure the value of partnerships?
Measuring partnerships can be difficult, and truthfully many partnerships are forced without giving enough thought to their impact. At Rhone, we try to bucket our partnerships into 3 categories. We want our partnerships to:
- Give more value to our community
- Expand our reach and awareness
- Drive revenue
In an ideal scenario, a single partnership would achieve each of those objectives and provide value for us in multiple ways.
It’s important to consider the net value of a partnership relative to its cost. Sometimes forced partnerships can be more burdensome or time-consuming than they are valuable. When a partnership is working, however, it can be an incredibly efficient way to reach new consumers, expand our community, and ultimately drive growth in new areas.
What are your top tips for performance lifestyle brands with high-growth ambitions?
- Customers crave authenticity. To every extent possible, it’s incredibly important to live your brand and to make it authentic and relatable. When you radiate authenticity, others pick up on that and will naturally gravitate towards your brand.
- Don’t be afraid to go slow in the short-term so you can go fast in the long-term. Too often upstart brands come out hot without laying a solid foundation for what’s to come. It’s important to build a solid core before really looking to take off in new areas.
- Get to know your customers. Spend some time with them in a physical environment and ask questions. Community feedback and relationships can be vital for an upstart brand looking to gain traction. Even with the utility and reach of online communication, there’s still no substitute for face-to-face interaction with your customers.
- Define your brand’s voice and be consistent in every execution with it. This ties in with having an authentic brand, and it can be incredibly beneficial to have consistent and authentic messaging that people can relate to.
- Hire the best people possible. It’s cliché advice but it’s given for a reason — your team is the most important decision you make. From top to bottom, surround yourself with people that are motivated, intelligent, and versatile.
For more from Rhone, head to the website.
For more from Nate >> register for the Fitness & Active Brands Summit here.