How Oner Active empowered women by rejecting mass marketing

Picking a specific audience and embracing them pays off.

The power of niche marketing

Kennyatta Collins is a freelance brand strategist. Follow him on LinkedIn.

At its core, niche marketing allows brands to stand out in crowded markets and foster deeper connections that build deeply committed communities. Sometimes, the devotion good niche marketing inspires can feel almost cult-like in its fervor. 

As brands like Gymshark make mass marketing their mantra, U.K.-based athletic brand Oner Active forsakes the status quo in favor of a covenant to niche marketing. Catering to the specific audience of women who embrace strength training as a lifestyle, the brand amassed a community of over half a million women worldwide and over $30 million in revenue in three years. By focusing on this segment of the fitness industry, Oner Active provides richer experiences to its audience and can further integrate them into the marketing efforts that drive growth for the brand like community-centered activations and community-casted brand campaigns. 

People who make the pilgrimage to the brand’s website are introduced to its story through a declaration that “nothing is clearer to [them] than the belief that every woman should include strength training in her life to enhance both physical and mental well-being.” This statement may seem bold given strength training’s long reputation as a male-dominated endeavor, but data indicates that women are participating in amateur weightlifting in ever-greater numbers. 



Oner Active leverages founder Krissy Cela’s experience and network as a launchpad for its campaigns and activations. With 3.3 million followers on Instagram and 2.4 million subscribers on YouTube, Cela’s fitness journey is a testimony that gives women with similar interests a reason to trust the brand she’s building. 

Using community-focused activations to reinforce the connection between the brand and its audience became standard after the success of Oner Active’s first birthday online event in 2021. Attendees received an exclusive look at new pieces of the limited-edition collection through try-on hauls, live shopping experiences and dedicated workout sessions. Each activity mirrored popular content themes the community would see from the brand through its affiliates or on owned social pages. This made the 22,000 community members in attendance a part of the celebration while also seeding ideas on how to share their Oner Active stories with friends and families. Building on the success of the first online event, the brand added a quarterly in-person event called “Stronger Together,” bringing their sponsorship team together to eat, train, create content and build camaraderie doing what they love.

“Everything we do will be with (the community) in mind, every questionnaire we do, every survey we take, every campaign we build, how can we continue to nourish the community we have, is a message that will never change,” says Cela in the Oner Active YouTube documentary series

Oner Active’s “Extraordinary Stories” campaign drew in over 100,000 views as it once again challenged the market’s perception of what a strong woman looks like. “We wanted to do a campaign that was fearless, resilient and extraordinary… we worked hard as a team to understand the voices that are not currently being amplified enough and found women who could showcase and celebrate their own extraordinary stories,” says Cela. Featuring a series of moving videos of women from the Oner Active community exhibiting their training routines and sharing their stories of overcoming traumatic experiences, living with health conditions or embracing who they are regardless of beauty standards, the campaign became another strand in the chord that weaves the community and brand together. 

Oner Active’s embrace of niche marketing allows it to take advantage of these trends as it stays committed to its mission as an advocate that brings women who strength train from the shadows of obscurity and into the spotlight to be celebrated and find community with others who do too.



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