On the occasion of 108 Paris by Kimjaly to be held on September 24 at the Parc de Vincennes in Paris, Sportsmarketing.fr spoke with Sandra Vom Hofe, Brand Director Kimjalybrand of the Decathlon group and partner of the event.
1/ Can you introduce the Kimjaly brand to our readers please?
It’s all in our name: Kimjaly, from kimjala the lotus flower in Sanskrit, symbol of spiritual awakening, is a plant that rises above water and a yoga posture, “the -Y of yoga which means the union of body and mind. Much more than a sport, this art of living provides access to physical and mental balance.
Our mission is to make the pleasures and benefits of yoga and meditation accessible to as many people as possible.
What is essential for Kimjaly is co-creation with our communities, including yoga teachers, prescribers of the practice to eco-design the fairest products for yoga and for the Planet.
2/ Kimjaly is a relatively young brand since it launched at the start of 2021, at the end of the 1st confinement, what were the challenges and challenges to make this launch a success?
The periods of confinement linked to the health crisis between 2020 and 2021 have highlighted the vital nature of well-being in the lives of everyone, of all ages. During these times, almost everyone practiced yoga!
Since 2016 already, the rise of the practice of yoga has prompted us to dedicate a design team dedicated to this unique practice. We operate as a start-up within the sports equipment giant. This is a real challenge because the yoga market is quite different from the sports market. Eco-design, experiences around practice, collaborations are as important in the eyes of our users as the technicality of the product.
Today, we are initiating a shift in our economic model by offering even more experiences, by teaming up with partners that make sense like Wanderlust, and even more eco-designed products like our premium collection which will be released in the fall. 2022.
3/ What are the ambitions and objectives of the brand?
Our creative teams, from engineers to designers via our product managers, are constantly driven by the fact of developing technical and eco-designed products. Producing in an eco-responsible way is the pillar of our project. This means reducing the impact of our products on the planet with greater respect for people. It means imagining how to reduce fabric waste, for example, by opting for minimal waste design cuts. It means favoring recycled materials in our clothing and accessories. It is to reduce the dyeing of fabrics. It means working with more and more European partners.
We don’t stop there: our marketing and logistics teams are also driven by more sustainability on, for example, inventory management, product maintenance and durability, limitation of promotional offers.
We design products for yogis made by yogis. We are committed to co-creating with them to offer an offer that is ever more fair to everyone’s needs.
4/ On the occasion of this festival, you are collaborating with Live! by GL events in the production and realization of the event, is this approach of partnership and collaboration an important element for the Kimjaly brand?
Yoga is union with oneself and with others. De facto, collaborations are essential and allow us to be closer to yogis. Engaging with the leader of yoga festivals in the United States, Wanderlust, was a no-brainer for Kimjaly.
An experienced yogi is obviously looking for technical, durable and environmentally friendly products. But he also seeks unique moments to live unique experiences. At some point in a yogi’s life, asanas (postures) are no longer enough. He needs to develop the spiritual approach, the ethical approach, the meditative approach, the Ayurvedic approach to yoga. This is only possible through the experience offered by quality partners like Wanderlust.
5/ Can you share with us the reasons that motivated your association with the Live! by GL events and Wanderlust ?
We are committed to associating with quality partners who share our values to promote this magnificent physical, meditative and spiritual practice. It is with great evidence that we are associated with Wanderlust and the 108 Paris de Live event! By GL events.
Each partner in this project works with rigor and passion to achieve a quality event for yogi.ni.s. Each with their skills (organizational, communicational, technical), complementary to each other.
Thanks to our association, yogis will have access to a carefully organized yoga festival, led by renowned and world-renowned yoga and meditation teachers, and will be accompanied by a brand of technical and eco-designed yoga clothing and accessories.
6/ Are you thinking of bringing this concept of event within the Decathlon network in order to combine brand event and business opportunity, in particular to present and highlight your product collections?
We are already doing that. Decathlon and its sports, fitness, running, surfing, etc., develop numerous partnerships to be closer to athletes every day. Through partnership, we associate our sporting and ethical values with each other. Another that complements what we do not yet offer such as living experiences, sports applications, event organizations. We are all winners in terms of visibility and credibility.
Today sports users are no longer just looking for a product. They seek experience. They care about brand values. Through the clothes they wear, they carry visible values and are true ambassadors. It is up to us to ensure this societal transformation by not stopping only at the product, by offering much more.
7/ Are you thinking of duplicating this concept in other sports areas of the brand and close to your target such as surfing for example?
Everything is imaginable! Collaborations between Decathlon sports are more and more frequent. Because our users often practice several sports throughout the year. When Decathlon was launched, the founders had the ambition to get the French into sport. Bet more than successful! So much so that we now have to think about combining products and experiences for those who practice two, three, four or even ten sports. Events like run & yoga, climbing & yoga, hiking & yoga, surfing & yoga (obviously). We will still take advantage of good years to make people love sports!
A big thank you to Sandra for her availability and for this exchange which allowed us to discover the Kimjaly brand and an equally big thank you to Alix Bourgeois from the Olivia Payerne agency for the connection and the opportunity!
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7 questions to … Sandra Vom Hofe, Brand Director KIMJALY – SportsMarketing.fr
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