Niche retail on Instagram: How it markets itself

Some brands have built themselves and their community on Instagram and almost nowhere else. So how have they done it? And how can your brand learn from what they’ve done?

Here are our best takeaways from how Instagram niche retail markets itself.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Outdoor Voices

A lifestyle brand of activewear out of Austin, Outdoor Voices is known for their Instagram presence— and for the loyalty they’ve cultivated with their audience in that space.

As Racked writes in a piece from earlier this year, when OV launched, their laidback “athleisure” approach to the fitness industry differentiated them from the more hardcore, competitive advertising from the big, established brands like Nike, and Under Armor. Their aesthetic- color-blocked high-rise leggings and crop tops- has been widely copied in the past few years due to its popularity.

OV has launched new lines for specific sports like running, tennis and swimming since their founding in 2012, and they’ve solicited their fanbase’s feedback during the design phase to try and be sure they’re meeting specific needs and desires. They reinforce that relationship by sharing photos from customers in their gear in every kind of situation, from travel adventures to chaotic home-workouts.

This combination has earned them an incredibly loyal fanbase; one willing to jump to their defense when other brands have copied OV’s aesthetic—  and it might just be enough to keep them going where countless other fitness startups have failed.


Fashion is a very crowded space and Instagram is a very busy platform, so how is a new brand to stand out? Fashion brand /Nyden has a unique approach, partnering with influencers to crowdsource opinions on design features via Instagram Stories and the available interactive stickers, including polls.


As we wrote in our Campaigns We Love post about /Nyden, there’s no better way to encourage engagement with your brand than to ask your target audience to have an active hand in designing something they can then buy (using Instagram’s shop-able features, of course) and share with their own networks.

Their dedication to this community approach to designing limited lines takes them even further than OV in their quest to cultivate audience loyalty.

What other brands have a unique approach to retail on Instagram?

Tell us about it! @UnionMetrics on Twitter.

Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash