Are third spaces the next sportswear marketing/com move?

Post initially published on my Linkedin Profile, link >here<

For those who would be wondering what “third spaces” are, here is a definition I found online: “the coffee shop considered as an alternative to a bar or restaurant as a place to socialize outside the home”. I would describe it more as a social living space that presents features similar to multiple public places: it is a bit of a restaurant, a bit of a bar and a cafĂ©, almost a hotel lobby-like space. Third spaces are hybrid forms of all the above. Basically is it a location where people socialize around working, reading or just hang out.

A couple of days ago as I was preparing my trip to Paris, I came across a one-of-a-kind-Parisian-health-guru third space (heaven on earth, according to me), Chez Simone. I got hooked straight away with the concept: a flat that offers fitness classes, an open kitchen where you see the owners cook and bake healthy vegan-style delicious recipes, and where you can just sit and get your work done. The interior design has been curated so well it feels homey yet ultra trendy. I forgot to mention Chez Simone opened in collaboration with Adidas. Since the brand (and its competitors) are focusing on women’s training, having such a trendy spot makes total sense.

In fact, as a third space, it offers a great socializing spot for women all ages with all fitness backgrounds. These women have at least two common interests: a passion for exercising and a dedication to healthy nutrition. That is not negligible. After talking with the lovely lady in charge of Marketing there, I understood that brands such as Adidas were getting more and more involved with similar space concepts; these concept locations are reinforcing brand awareness and bringing together a community that the brand gets to know almost personally. Places like Chez Simone are fully embracing brands’ values and are therefore part of brands’ marketing/com budgets. How clever! She told me Adidas even opened a similar location in London’s infamous Brick Lane neighbourhood, the 152 Brick Lane Studio, where all services and classes are TOTALLY FREE… Get your yoga pants right there girl!

As we come to a point in time where consumers have grown more critical towards “traditional” advertising and marketing processes, such alternatives are a great fit. Not only are these spaces/studios amazing locations (and highly Instagramable ones), they are also used as indirect ways to market products and to work on branding. It feels more subtle that a pushy campaign. I wonder how long it will take Nike and co. to launch their very own studios in Paris..

To be continued.

and if you are in Paris, definitely check Chez Simone out and let me know what you think.

x

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