The clothing industry has faced its ups and downs over the past year, as many consumers limited their expenses during the pandemic, prioritizing necessary purchases over non-essential clothing items. However, as the outdoors began to feel more and more like a sanctuary and safe place, winter clothing brands began capitalizing on an opportunity to present their products as must-have items during these colder months, positioning their brand as relevant in the eyes of consumers.
Leveraging corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, strategic partnerships, immersive experiences and social media campaigns, some of the top winter clothing brands have effectively broadened their reach.
Patagonia Asks Consumers To ‘Buy Less, Demand More’
Patagonia launched its new “Buy Less, Demand More” campaign to encourage consumers to purchase fewer new products and, instead, invest more in used clothing alternatives made sustainably. In order to encourage less consumerism, Patagonia created the “Worn Wear program,” within which consumers can purchase used products from the brand. On the Patagonia website, shoppers are presented with opportunities to buy new items or purchase refurbished items for less. Consumers simply click the “browse used” button and are directed to the secondhand options for comparison shopping.
“No other company is selling used alongside new items, and this exciting new development is our latest commitment to keeping our products in use longer,” said Patagonia's VP of global sportswear, Helena Barbour.
In addition to the new website offerings, Patagonia is spotlighting the clothing industry’s significant contribution to the current climate crisis. Working to lessen the negative impacts of mass consumption, a Patagonia video highlights how one clothing item can be used multiple ways, as opposed to buying multiple products that consumers don’t really need. Patagonia is leveraging multiple channels to spread its message, including the brand’s website, social media channels and real estate within retail stores. In addition to helping consumers become more responsible, the Patagonia campaign is reinforcing its quality message by showing the expected durability of the brand’s products.
Canada Goose Uses Celebrity Influence, Custom Landing Page & Strategic Partnerships
Canada Goose welcomed well-known model Kate Upton as its newest “Goose Person,” AKA brand ambassador, to promote its 2020 spring collection. The campaign featured a documentary titled “Bare Existence” which still lives on a dedicated landing page on the brand’s website. The film, and broader campaign, work to promote “conservation for the Arctic.” Canada Goose shared, in its official press release, that the documentary “shows a unique perspective on the important work that PBI [Polar Bears International] does every day to fight climate change, aiming to drive awareness and understanding of the global significance of the Arctic.” Both Upton and the Canada Goose brand have deep ties to PBI, making it an ideal duo to support the non-profit organization. The spring 2020 collection was an expansion of the PBI collection, previously launched by Canada Goose in 2007.
Canada Goose has seen positive growth over the past year, despite the retail industry experiencing challenges during the pandemic. Bloomberg last week reported that the brand “soared as much as 28%, the most since 2018, after revenue and earnings for its key quarter came in well above analysts’ estimates.” The brand’s ecommerce sales for the period ending December 27 increased by 39%, according to Bloomberg.
The North Face Leverages Social Media Advertising To Tackle Inequality In Exploration
In its newest global campaign, “Reset Normal,” The North Face is encouraging consumers to “reset their lives through exploration.” (The brand believes exploration can have a positive impact on the countless people across the globe that are struggling to adjust to the ongoing effects of COVID-19.) Through the campaign, The North Face is bringing attention to the current inequalities in exploration and is working to make the outdoors “more accessible for communities of color.” In its official press release, The North Face shares, “Currently, communities of color are three times more likely to live in nature-deprived places and often face racism and other systemic challenges when they do explore.”
In an effort to create equality, The North Face created a new fellowship program, called the Explore Fund Council, which committed to donating $7 million to help reach its goal of “bringing together passionate experts across culture, entertainment, academia and the outdoors to develop ideas and potential scalable solutions to help support access to exploration.”
The North Face leveraged both Facebook and Instagram for its campaign advertising efforts, tapping various partners and brand ambassadors to share videos highlighting how they will be “resetting their normal” on social media, while encouraging followers to do the same and spread the message. “For 10 years, we’ve been working to reset the barriers to exploration and make it more accessible for all,” said Steve Lesnard, The North Face’s global VP of marketing and product. “But 2020 has proven we need to radically accelerate that work and collaborate with a broad-reaching community to help us do so.”
The Reset Normal campaign gave The North Face a strong opportunity to broaden its customer base, building affinity and trust among consumers seeking brands that display socially conscious initiatives, support progressive causes and spread relevant, meaningful messages.
Mackage Creates Immersive Retail Experience Through Contactless Pop-Up Store
Mackage, a brand of high-end outerwear, launched a pandemic-friendly shopping experience, perfect for the consumer looking to browse in person, while still maintaining a contactless experience. Through a new immersive pop-up shop at Showfields (which offers curated retail concepts), Mackage created a museum-like display of its various capsule collections, ranging in price points. “The look and feel of the ground when people walk through and browse the display, and the fact that it’s a curated selection, not a full collection, gives people a reason to come back and see what’s next,” said Eran Elfassy, Mackage founder. “Showfields is a contactless shopping experience.”
The pop-up was likely to resonate with existing and new consumers, as it gave them the experience of in-store shopping (which so many consumers are craving) and seeing the details of each Mackage piece, while still feeling safe and comfortable. “We’ve kept busy during COVID by working harder and becoming more innovative and adapting to the new reality,” added Elfassy. “We took it as a productive challenge. We had to reform everything and see how we could make the best of it.”
Moncler Promotes #MonclerVoices On Social Media
Moncler, an outerwear brand famous for its puffer coats, is spotlighting the voices of fashion creators in its newest digital campaign, “Moncler Voices.” From artists to stylists to designers and more, the campaign encourages all those in the fashion industry to take to social media and create an “intimate image that portrays the answer to one question: ‘What does Moncler mean to you?’” Using the hashtag #monclervoices on Instagram, the campaign features user-generated content (UGC) from a multitude of fashions creators, all circling back to their relationship with the Moncler brand. The hashtag currently has more than 2,500 submissions, bringing a significant amount of organic traffic to the brand’s social pages.
By leveraging the safe and serene aspects of the outdoors – and subsequent need for winter clothing during these colder months – winter clothing brands have an opportunity to broaden their brand awareness. However, these brands must continue to be innovative in their messaging. Optimized digital advertising strategies, strategic partnerships and alignment with causes that matter to today’s consumer will significantly help brands as they seek to acquire and sustain customers in a fluctuating marketplace.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Carolyn Harding