Newton Running Makes Strides in Consumer Engagement

Newton Running isn’t just a running shoe brand; it’s a tribe of running enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of their comfort zone. Because when you run with Newton, you’ve joined a worldwide community that encourages all of us to rise up and run.

We want to relay that same holistic view of our organization in our media and marketing approach and tell a dynamic, ever-evolving story. With social media, we can do just that. We get to tell the whole story of our company, and hear directly from our most valuable asset—our customers—in a continuing, dynamic conversation.

A shoe for every runner

Historically, Newton Running has maintained a loyal following of endurance athletes and elite runners. The Newton “tribe,” as we like to call it, developed in the triathlon and endurance racing worlds, building on the technology that originally made our brand.

Now, as our company looks to the future, we are excited to expand our marketing focus from endurance athletes to the everyday runner. To do that, we have shifted our storytelling to appeal to a variety of runners. Much of that evolving story has happened on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct marketing.

For instance, in spring 2015 we launched our new FEEL marketing campaign, condensing the power of Newton’s story into one simple word: FEEL. FEEL taps into the emotion every runner gets when they put on a Newton shoe and get inspired to rise up and run. It’s a combination of feeling free, alive, empowered, and a part of something. Our marketing channels this sensation by focusing on making each individual feel as great about running as possible and by making our product as accessible as possible for every consumer we encounter. The desire to tap into that emotion is exactly how “The Run It, FEEL It, Spell It Challenge”—one of our biggest strides yet in social media—came to be.

Get the feeling

This spring Newton Running partnered with watch and apparel brand Timex to engage runners of all levels, abilities, and regions in a dynamic social media contest. This was an opportunity for us to expand our new messaging and to encourage consumer engagement with our brand.

Runners were challenged to express how running makes them FEEL by spelling words or phrases with through their run routes, with the help of GPS tracking apps such as Timex GPS watches. Participants then submitted their spelled words via Twitter and Instagram along with our hashtag #FeelNewton.

The result was a nationwide conversation among Newton Tribe members—as well as the broader running community—about why running keeps them hooked. By using social media to encourage conversation, our FEEL marketing campaign was no longer solely in our hands; it had taken on a new level of engagement. Runners were crafting unique and creative routes and keeping our brand in mind, all with the aim of joining the conversation on social media.

Continuing the conversation

“The Run It, FEEL It, Spell It Challenge” yielded nearly 80 million impressions through earned and social media. For us, those numbers represent a conversation that has been brewing among our customers and was finally able to find its legs. We also benefited from passion-filled user-generated content. Ultimately, social media was the creative outlet that we and our consumers used to break new common ground.

As a running shoe company, we strive to give each and every runner a great FEEL, and to make each stride a positive one. Social media is one of the platforms we can use to hear how runners are responding to our product. And in the digital media world, as in the running world, every stride counts.

About the author:

Mike Nesladek is VP of marketing for Newton Running. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Nesladek made the move to Newton Running in 2014 from Anheuser-Busch InBev, where he spent more than six years working on brand development and integrated marketing strategies that spanned digital, social, and traditional media for brands that include Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, and Budweiser Select. Previous to Anheuser-Busch, Nesladek worked at Miller Brewing Company and on the agency side at DDB Chicago among other advertising agencies. He is an avid runner and cyclist.
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