What differentiates On Running as a leading sports footwear brand? It’s simpler than you think. On framed themselves not as a ‘performance enhancer’ but as a ‘protector’ when it comes to running and runners. In other words, their running shoes are not just about performance, but mainly about comfort.
Since their founding in 2010 in Switzerland, On has grown exponentially – even expanding into clothing and accessories – thanks to their patented CloudTec cushioning technology which promises ‘soft landings and explosive take-offs’ for athletes and amateurs alike.
The Brand Story Canvas
|Context||The sports footwear landscape is a crowded one, dominated by the likes of Nike and Adidas. But these brands mainly focus on the performance aspect of their products. Comfort is secondary. In fact, cushioning and comfort were long touted as a hindrance for performance in the past. On saw things differently. To them, comfortable shoes push performance, because if you’re comfortable, you’ll feel your best to do your best.|
|Trigger||A new technology that balances comfort and performance. This unique angle attracts not only runners but also positions On as an accessible brand for non-runners – from nurses, who are on their feet all day, to new mums pushing prams.|
|Hero||A passionate, honest and style-conscious running buddy – whether you’re training for a marathon or running errands.|
|Ideal||To revolutionise the sensation of running.|
Running should be fun. It shouldn’t hurt and you shouldn’t come home with sore feet and blisters. By creating comfortable shoes, On hope to entice more sedentary folk to take part in the race and start a running revolution.
|Plot||On is transparent in everything they do. From sourcing supplies to testing their products in the Alps and selling shoes in their stores. And now, On has even created a sustainable subscription service that allows customers to swap out run-down shoes for new ones. The old pair is then recycled in its entirety.|
|Themes||Through the themes they cover, On manages to expand the running experience beyond the shoe. With athlete highlights they communicate more on the professional athletes wearing their products. Conversely, their “Dedicated to the run” series tells more personal stories about how running has changed some people’s lives. They also produce content on sustainability (in line with the plot), as well as city and nature guides to inspire and entertain runners.|
|Resources||On’s main resource lies in the technology and design behind its shoes, that allow runners to feel as if they were “walking on clouds.” This is supported by patents, such as CloudTec and Helion. The company also relies heavily on the Swiss brand for its storytelling, as well as athlete partnerships.|