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Mr.

John Doe

Regan Communications Group

Altra Running Shoes Marketing Plan

Overview of Altra

Altra is an American company based out of Logan, Utah that specializes in the
designing, developing and marketing of running shoes for avid trail and road
runners. They now also offer new running and hiking apparel to accompany their
line of running shoes. The name Altra was chosen when the founder of the
company, Golden Harper, chose the name due to its Latin roots and affiliation with
the word altera which means to fix or mend something that is broken. This
name is fitting to the brand because the founders of Altra created the Zero Drop
shoe, which was a shoe that they made themselves by altering and cutting different
brands of running shoes in order to make a shoe that they felt had all the best
elements a running shoe should have. Altra has been ranked in the top 10 brands of
specialty running shoes (Frazier, 2015). They are also ranked number four in trail
running shoes (Frazier, 2015). Altras growth started in 2012 when they won the
Runners World Magazines 2012 Editors Choice Best Debut award. Only a year
later, in September of 2013, Altras annual growth rate jumped 300 percent and
opened 25 to 30 new markets (Johnston, 2013). Every year since their start in
2011, Altra has doubled their sales revenue and over 1500 retailers are now
selling the Zero Drop shoes (Verry, 2016). This proves that future growth is
probable in the coming years. Altras brand marketing claims to be working towards
utilizing social media, sponsoring running events and TV advertising in order to
reach a wider spectrum of the market (Verry, 2016). When branding and
advertising, Altra needs to keep in mind their competitive advantage when running
against larger, more well-known shoe brands. Altras competitive advantage is that
they are a specialty running shoe company that has created a shoe with better
running design and technology that will enhance a runners ability to be
comfortable while running or hiking. This is something that other running shoe
brands arent able to provide.

SWOT Analysis
The overall strengths of the Altra brand is that they offer a specialty running shoe
for avid runners and hikers. This shoe offers a custom design that makes the
experience of running or hiking more enjoyable and comfortable. They are also
coming out with new outdoor products like clothing and backpacks in order to
expand their brand. It also is a strength that a pair of their running shoes costs
between $60-$80. The brand offers specialty products targeted specifically towards
runners and hikers, which is one of their weaknesses. By only offering a product line
that is geared specifically toward active-wear and active, outdoorsy people, they are
limiting their amount of potential customers. This narrows down the customer base
and doesnt attract people who arent in the market for running and hiking shoes or
clothing. One opportunity they do have, if they are trying to strictly remain in the
outdoor clothing and apparel market, is to create new styles of specialty running
shoe. They could offer customers running shoes for dry weather, for when it rains,
breathable footwear and different designs like high top running shoes, low top
running shoes, or even hiking boots accompanied with the Zero Drop technology.
Altra has already introduced the Altra IQ feature on their shoes that helps runners
analyze their running biomechanics (Verry, 2016). One major threat to this company
is that other, more established companies have already created running and hiking
shoes that have loyal customer bases ready and willing to buy their brand over a
new one. Another threat is that they dont utilize social media as affectively as other
brands in the same market. To their credit, Altra has a well-established, updated
social media presence, with multiple Twitter accounts, a Facebook account and
Instagram account. In comparison to their competitors, they dont have the same
amount of followers as Nike, another well-known running shoe brand. Altra has
60,000 followers on Instagram, 300,000 likes on Facebook and 20,000 followers on
Twitter in comparison to Nikes 67 million Instagram followers, 30 million Facebook
likes and almost 7 million followers on Twitter. For a shoe company that started
around 2011, these numbers are solid for Altra. Nike is a leader in the shoe industry
that has been relevant for years, so it is unfair to compare the two currently. This
social media presence should be the ultimate goal for Altra, but without an
established following, it would be hard to generate national brand awareness. The
other threat to Altra is that they dont have any memorable nation-wide television
advertisements that can easily attract more attention to the brand, if the
commercial is successful.
Market Segmentation, Targeting, Product Positioning

The demographics for the intended audience that Altra targets is 20 to 40-year-old
men and women who enjoy outdoor activities and are avid runners and hikers.
Marital status and education dont come into effect because anyone can run or hike
regardless if youre married and have an education or not. This target demographic
lives an active lifestyle and habitually run or hike as a hobby and have no brand
loyalty and are interested in a more specific niche product like Altra running shoes.
Other brands like Nike or Reebok offer similar products, but Altras specific
demographic is looking for shoes designed and manufactured specifically for avid
runners who arent comfortable in normal running shoes.

The market for specifically designed running shoes is a niche market, but it has
potential. There are over 64 million joggers in the United States in 2016 according
to statista.com (Kristoffersen, 2016). This shows the potential and value that this
market can potentially have. Long time runners are always looking for the next best
running gear that will help them run more comfortably and have gear that is more
reliable and technologically sound. Altra offers these runners a product that can
deliver on all levels. Other companies offer products that may be similar, but the
market that Altra is trying to reach is more secluded and niche as opposed to the
average person trying to buy a pair of everyday, comfortable sneakers from Nike.

It wouldnt be difficult for Altra to reach their intended market due to the
commercial attractiveness of the product. The product is affordable and proven to
be one of the best shoe brands on the market today. The difference between Altra
and Nike is that Nike makes shoes for everyone whereas Altra makes specialty
shoes specifically for avid runners and outdoor hikers. Nike has a wide variety of
products that vary in every aspect whereas Altra offers shoes that serve a singular
purpose. The current position of Altra in the shoe market is shown on the graph
below:
Positioning Map of Altra

Sport
Adidas *Altra
Jordan
Nike
Indoor_______________________________________________________________________Outdo
or
Converse
Vans

Casual

Implementing Marketing Mix

The feature product offered by Altra should remain as a running shoe that offers a
more comfortable running or hiking experience that reduces injury and puts less
pressure of the front of the foot and allows an even distribution of pressure
throughout the entire foot to relieve stress on the ankles and front of the foot
(Harper, 2016). The fundamental purpose of marketing is to create value by
developing a variety of offerings, and Altra has done that by not only offering a
specific type of running shoe incorporated with specific technology, but also offering
apparel like shirts, shorts, jackets, windbreakers, socks and backpacks. With a
diverse range of products accompanied with the new Zero Drop technology
incorporated into their running shoes, Altra is offering a diverse product line that
differs from competitors like Nike and Reebok. Price is everything a buyer gives up
in exchange for a product. Two of the most important questions all companies
should ask themselves is how much are the customers willing to pay and can a
profit be made at that price point? I believe that the price point for Altra shoes
(between $60-$80) is a reasonable price point. If they are making a decent profit
margin on each pair of shoes sold, the $60 to $80 range is affordable for those
associated with the target demographic. The price range isnt too expensive
compared to the rest of the market and would allow the majority of avid runners to
afford Altra shoes. The best way to distribute Altra shoes is to utilize online websites
and sell them through the Internet either on their own website or through sites like
amazon.com. Obviously, the traditional method of distributing the shoes to retailers
and shoe stores is important and will work if placed in the correct section of the
store. The shoes would also need to be present in outdoor and sporting goods stores
like Dicks or Sports Authority. This would ensure that the product gets to the right
customer when the customer wants it. Promotion is the ability to inform, persuade
and remind potential buyers about a product or service to influence their opinions or
elicit a response. For this specific demographic, I would suggest that Altra promote
their shoe and apparel line through social media, TV advertisements and, most
importantly, at nationally recognized running events. This could be any event like
the Boston Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon and Philadelphia Marathon, to name a
few. If they could sponsor a team or a person and have them wear all Altra gear, it
would be a quick and easy way to get the brand name out in the open, especially if
the person they sponsor finishes first in the marathon. It would be a great
promotional effort if they also sponsored their own marathon or promoted another
marathon by posting signs along the raceway and setting up a booth along the
marathon to attract interest in the brand and perhaps sell some Altra shoes and
apparel at the event. These events would be densely populated with the target
demographic and their families, focusing strictly on business to consumer
marketing.

Citations

1. Johnston, Mark (2013-09-02). "100 miles? Orem runner has run it five times
and counting". Daily Herald. Daily Herald (Utah). Retrieved 2013-09-11.
2. Frazier, Lance (2015-03-06). "In four short years, Icon's Altra shoes have
carved out a significant niche". The Herald Journal. The Herald Journal.
Retrieved 2015-03-14.
3. Verry, Peter (2016-03-11). "All in Stride" (PDF). Footwear News. p. 47.
Retrieved 2016-03-10.
4. Kristoffersen, Helle. "Number of Joggers and Runners in the U.S. 2016 |
Statistic." Statista. N.p., Apr. 2016. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.
<https://www.statista.com/statistics/227423/number-of-joggers-and-runners-
usa/>.
5. Harper, Golden. "Our Story." Our Story | Altra Running Footwear. N.p., n.d.
Web. 07 Dec. 2016. <https://www.altrarunning.com/our-story>.