Monday, 11 April 2011

Brand Positioning: Hi-Tec - You've Got to Believe!

One of the most important things in managing a brand is positioning it positively relative to competitors in the minds of consumers in target markets. The brand needs to communicate the key values of the products and the business.

HI-Tec Sports is a privately owned British company which produces quality light-wheight shoes for the mid-price market segment. (
Previously known only as sport brand, today its shoes are associated with a leisure lifestyle.Hi-Tec's four key brand elements are 
  • Pride: delivers more tha competitors
  • Honesty: keeps its promises
  • Fun: creativity, new solutions
  • Hunger: constant product development
Hi-Tec developed those elements to be closely associated with the product with the aim to emphasise these factors within its unique selling proposition.

Hi-Tec succedeed in bulding a unique brand image and reaching a worldwide audience thanks to a successful viral marketing campaign which is a self-generating activity in which people pass on information to other consumers through the internet.

It can spread a marketing campaign more widely and more quickly than traditional advertising thanks to consumers becoming advocates.

(Lounched on YouTube on 28/4/2010)

(See also the fundamentals of STP applied on ice cream industry
Hi-Tec's marketing objective was to reposition its brand opening new markets. Their marketing strategy was aimed to:
  • introduce a new brand category to the market
  • make people excited about the technology in its footwear
  • gain maximum exposure for Hi-Tec with measurable numbers
  • create a sense of 'cool' about the brand. 
At the heart of the marketing process is the marketing mix: the 4 P's

Target: Outdoor sportpeople such as trail runners and trekkers. 
  • Product:  innovative waterproof footwear that provides high performance
  • Price: sold at value for money prices
  • Place: sold online or through premium retailers
  • Promotion: achieve new markets penetration through the Internet. 

Hi-Tec used an approach that prompt customers to take action and consider the product as part of an exciting experience: an excitement thet needs to be shared. As a result many customers then become advocates sharing the video and reccomending the brand to others.

If a business can get its customers to promote products, it will have achieved one of the ultimate goals of marketing.

The Impact

The Liquid Mountaineering video caught the imagination of millions of people reaching an impressive 9.120.000 views in april 2011 and being shared thausands of times on Facebook and Twitter.

- There have been featured in the press including The Sun, The Guardian and the Sunday Times.

- TV coverage from U.S.A. to Russia.

- Some people (like me) wrote blogs about the video.

- Some others set up groups to try the 'running on water' sport for themselves.

Reasons of success

The Liquid Mountaineering campaign doesn't follow the usual forms of advertising.
Hi-Tec wanted to emphasise the spirit of 'fun' in its brand through a piece of pure entertainment:
  • The brand is never mentioned directly.
  • The documentary style and semi-scientific approach to 'running on water' gives the video a strong realism. This aims to get consumers thinking about the video raising controversy about the truthfulness of the video .
  • To add realism, one of the video participants set up a blog the previous year . This  created excitement in the build-up to the event.

Oh, I nearly forgot. If you can't get the question "IS IT TRUE OR FAKE?" out of your mind... is the answer

See you soon my dear Hitchhikers!


  1. ha ha ha ha how funny - what a brilliant case study - works so well

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