June 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

A conflicted group

(Page 2 of 2)

Under Armour also included a much more prominent store locater on its product pages. Telling a better brand awareness story online promotes business across all channels, including its retailer network and Under Armour's own consumer direct business, Rogers says. "The new store finder ensures consumers can find all stores near them to touch, feel and try on Under Armour gear, but online we focus on telling the innovation and leadership product stories that create strong desire for our products across all of our distribution channels," he says. "A rising harbor lifts all ships."

The risk of alienating dealers and retailers by selling online directly to the public will remain a lingering issue for many manufacturers, Rose says. But a bigger threat consumer brand manufacturers face as a group is holding back on e-commerce at a time when consumers are becoming even more digitally connected through tablets and smartphones to their favorite brands. "The consumer brand manufacturers that understand that more people are always digitally connected these days and use the web more than ever before will win," Rose says.

mark@verticalwebmedia.com

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