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Mar 21, 2019

Rocking the kinesiology tape market

Simon Bunyard, director at RockTape, talks to Mark Hayhurst about the brand and their plans for the future

Can you tell us the history of the company?

RockTape is a US company that was set up in California in 2009. We subsequently brought RockTape to the UK and sold our first roll of tape at the 2011 Brighton Marathon. We were then very fortunate to have the 2012 London Olympics on our doorstep which really kick started our business.

How is your company developing and growing?

RockTape has grown year on year since we started. Initially we started servicing professional athletes and teams who already understood the benefits of kinesiology tape, it then filtered down to medical professionals and fitness enthusiasts and now we are stocked across retail, both sports and pharmacy alike.

As we have developed, we have added different products to our range, including Protective Gear (e.g. knee sleeves, shin guards), Mobility (e.g. balls, bands) and Massage Tools (e.g. Rockblades), but the key philosophy remains - helping people to move more and move better.

What inspires you to create new products, how do you develop them and bring them to the market?

We pride ourselves on listening to our customers and our network of Rock Docs (medical professionals who have attended one of our courses). Rock Docs are dealing with patients day in day out and feed back what would help them to get people moving better. Likewise, we listen to our Rockstars (brand ambassadors) who know exactly what is relevant and required to perform at your peak.

We have seen from some of our competitors that if you sit still then you go backwards, so we plan on keeping moving in the right direction!

What can we expect from your company in the next 12 months?

More of the same! We just enjoyed a record month of sales for the business in January which is typically a quiet month! We have some new products coming out and will continue to keep things fresh and interesting for our customers and retailers.

How has the market changed in the last five years?

The market is even more competitive than ever. Every time we attend an event or a trade show there is a new competitor. Many do not stand the course and do not realise how important it is to have a quality product and resonant brand. I also think retailers now appreciate how important ‘Accessories’ are. Once they were an afterthought, now they are very much front of mind.

What do you feel has been the company’s greatest success?

I think we have successfully built up a network of customers who are proud to use and be associated with RockTape. We have professional sports people, medical professionals and weekend warriors alike regularly posting about us on their social media. Customers taking the time and having the inclination to do this is pretty inspiring.

We also have retailers saying to us that customers think that kinesiology tape is RockTape, in the same vein as vacuum cleaners and Hoover - that is pretty cool!

To what do you attribute your success?

I think we have always made a point of doing more than our competitors and exceeding our customer’s expectations. We attend more events, we post more on social media, we engage more with our customers and we make ourselves as easy to work with as we possibly can for retailers.

We also understand how important having a quality product is. While price is important, customers want and appreciate value and in our case that means being the stickiest and stretchiest kinesiology tape on the market. That is why everyone from pro teams to injured retirees choose RockTape!

What advice would you offer to retailers?

Continue to realise the importance of accessories. Accessories offer a great opportunity to add some additional income to a more considered purchase like a running shoe or set of headphones. Be sure to utilise all of the online assets that brands such as RockTape have available when listing products on your websites.

What services and support do you offer retailers who stock your product?

We are happy to tailor support packages to suit customer’s needs. We are a flexible and agile business and can work with retailers as required. This might be as simple as providing content for online blogs, social media or competition prizes. Historically supporting retailers at events with staff and POS has always been a huge hit.

How can a new customer open an account?

Simply email katie@rocktape. co.uk or call the office on 01206- 615-464 for information on pricing, terms and the marketing support available.

How important is social media and brand ambassadors to you?

We have always been very active on social and love to interact with our customers, likewise our retailers. The number of mentions we receive from people who have purchased our products is something we always get a kick out of, when that stops we know we are in trouble!

With regard to Brand Ambassadors, we think the smaller more authentic influencers work best. People tend to see through sponsored posts and are a lot more aware of this. We like people who would use our products regardless. If they have ten thousand followers then even better!

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