Fashion Publishing Blog Post #4: Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices is an athletic-wear and athleisure brand made for everyday activities and recreation. They are all about “Doing Things” stating “We believe in Doing Things—moving your body and having fun with friends.” 27 year-old Tyler Haney launched Outdoor Voices in 2013. After being a track star her whole life, she found a gap in the market where no brand embodied the powerful combination of feminine and athletic. She attended the Business program at Parsons at The New School in New York City where she fell in love with technical fabrics, which became the basis of Outdoor Voices. The name is a play on words which comes from adults telling children to use their “indoor voices.” The brands’ goal is to celebrate activity, rather than make it competitive, said Haney. Competing in a very oversaturated athleisure market, Outdoor Voices (OV) is taking on major brands including Lululemon and Nike. However, their neutral color palette and objective to make the lines functional for activity and everyday has allowed them to grow a large following and community.

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In terms of business, OV has raised $9.5 million from investors and is continuing to grow and evolve. The brand has been so successful and continues to find success because they put their focus on the customer and what they want. Available items for women include leggings, shorts, skirts, pants, sports bras, tanks, tees, long sleeves, sweatshirts, dresses, bodysuits, accessories and shoes. Men’s products include tops, bottoms, accessories and shoes. They are known for their OV Kits which contain easily mixed and matched pieces to build your perfect workout. Product is also divided into activity, such as dog walking, running, spinning, yoga, outdoors and travel. OV is known for Haney’s love of fabrics. Within each of these categories there are lines based on different fabrics including: TechSweatTM which molds to your shape and stays dry during high intensity workouts; Cloudknit which is their soft, stretchy fabric for low impact material; Sweatee which is their technical performance cotton with drirelease technology to wick away moisture; EcoMesh which is 100% recycled, breathable mesh, and more. In terms of products, the patterns and colors are fairly simplistic and neutral with classic and limited time seasonal patterns and colors.

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OV’s advertising is focused on word of mouth and sharing customer images using #DoingThings which allows customers to share images of themselves in OV product, doing things. They heavily use social media and sponsored posts on different platforms. Once you have fallen in love with OV, they have very strong email marketing which keeps you up to date on new lines, colors and even shares different customer and staff favorites. OV does a great job at maintaining and building a strong sense of community. When I received my first order from OV, it included a hand written postcard from a staff member thanking me for my purchase and encouraging me to let them know if I needed anything else—they always go the extra mile. As OV grows, a new type of advertising I would recommend would be the creation of an OV Ambassadors program in different cities or college campuses. Students already get 20% off select styles when the sign up for an OV University account, so an ambassador program would be the next step in promotional activities. This would allow their audience to interact with the brand in a more personal way and reach people authentically through word of mouth, events, and expanding the OV community. They could work with campus organizations and leaders to develop the program.

This is only the beginning of Outdoor Voices and as Tyler Haney’s vision continues to expand so will the power of #DoingThings.

 

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