Start With Why

People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

  • Start from the inside out - why, how, what

  • Find what you are inspired and empowered by.

  • It’s not about the company. It’s about the customers.

  • Position products to customers by telling them why they need it in a simple message.

  • What does your company challenge?

  • When a company clearly states why they exist and what they believe, people will go to extreme lengths to include that company’s products and services in their life.

  • People don’t make purchasing decisions based on product benefits. A failure to communicate “why” results in question and doubt.

  • The best leaders and organizations give customers things we would never think of asking for.

  • Great companies win hearts before minds.

  • People care about story.

  • It is not logic or facts that drive us to try new things. Instead we’re driven by our hopes and dreams to try something different.

  • The most loyal employees and customers all love a good revolution and cause.

  • Our products are not symbols of what we believe, they are representative of what our customers believe.

  • Authenticity happens when you believe in everything you say and do

  • Mass market success cannot happen unless you penetrate the first 15% of the market.

  • The goal of a business is to penetrate those in the market who believe what you believe.

Why Brand?

Simply put, it’s not about you or your product. The outdoor industry is a community and your brand should amplify and reflect that. In order for outdoor businesses to succeed and connect deeper with today's target consumers, it's pivotal to have an internal team take ownership of brand as it relates to the company and its goals. This pillar of your business should constantly be keeping watch on internal and external efforts to ensure successful consistency, culture, and community. A brand effort is very broad as it could be anything from how the postman interacts with your front desk to a seasonal theme for a major marketing campaign. Additionally, it can be challenging as it's hard to measure a handshake, a sticker on the back of a pickup truck, or how a contest investment can be tracked back to sales.

Nonetheless, brand shepherds the business forward and to new directions through social media strategies, content creation investments, ambassador relationships, storytelling, and on.

A brand member should constantly be keeping an eye on market trends and product development opportunities. With boots of the ground, the team should build real relationships with the community and as you become a conduit between them and the business. Walk the walk, talk the talk, and ensure that the brand simply does good in the world through product that enhances people's lives, stories that inspire them to get outdoors, and choices that help protect and preserve our environment.

The Line: Direct vs Brand

It’s challenging balancing direct advertising efforts and brand efforts. Each has their own role in the success of a business and should both be utilized in marketing efforts. However, the trail does split when it comes to measurement. To break it down a little, here is a good way to think about it.

Direct: Very trackable, tangible, and measurable. Here you are able to set clear quantitative goals and KPIs to measure success.

Brand: Certainly more fickle as it’s hard to track a hand shake and a sticker on the back of a truck. However, since it’s clearly tough to always set clear data metrics to brand efforts it’s mandate that you stay narrow, focused, targeted, and tight with your brand efforts in order not to fragment your message and have too many unmeasurable irons in the fire. To support with this decision making, I recommend making a brand ecosystem to use as a filter in all brand decision making efforts.

12 Pieces of the Outdoor Industry Ecosystem

Like our mountains and fisheries, the outdoor industry is also an ecosystem. A community of organizations and participants that interact in various ways and places to create a whole system and world.

Today's Industry:

  • Too many overdeveloped/high tech products

  • Lack of focus of being everything to everyone

  • Eco-friendly and sustainability are almost synonymous with outdoors. There’s room for more ethics transparency.

  • Lacks a complete offering of outdoor apparel and products that have been thoughtfully designed for females.

Culture Shift:

  • Outdoors today means anything without a roof.

  • There’s a desire for the modern everyday explorer/adventure.

  • We’re entering into an “activist economy,” societal issues will continue to penetrate the consumer consciousness.

  • “Some of the most important adventures take place after work or on the weekend.

  1. Trade Organizations

  2. Vendors (Brands)

  3. Wholesale (Retail)

  4. Users

  5. Athletes

  6. Conservation

  7. Non-Profits

  8. Third-Party Agencies

  9. Third-Party Media Platforms

  10. Third-Party Services

  11. Freelancers

  12. Toursim and Destination Organizations

16 Content Shoot Commandments

When executing a content shoot, keep the following commandments in mind:

  1. Thou shall not shoot between 1-4pm if feasible.

  2. Thou shall scout thee location ahead of time.

  3. Thou shall set clear expectations with talent and content creators.

  4. Thou shall build badass shot lists and inspo boards.

  5. Thou shall not forgot goal, theme, and priority of the project.

  6. Thou shall not be afraid to call things off or put thy foot down.

  7. Thou shall have a get out of jail budget.

  8. Thou shall plan in advance and find the right people to work with.

  9. Thou shall be directive with models and content creators.

  10. Thou shall be aware of other departments when booking dates.

  11. Thou shall have a production assistant to help with logistics.

  12. Thou shall avoid too many cooks in they kitchen.

  13. Thou shall stay aligned with work backs and SOPs.

  14. Thou shall always push themselves and explore new content types.

  15. Thou shall meet any photoshoot dog ahead of time.

  16. Tho shall give the content creator time with the model.

7 Ways Brand Can Shepherd Your Business Forward

  1. Story, how to better tell your story, what are the sparks wIthin the story to elevate to potential customers

  2. Fact finding mission to understand the brand, history, strategic goals moving forward (revenue goals, product line goals etc)

  3. Create a message that is memorable and demands attention

  4. Work with focus groups and do research about audiences

    • Strategic partners

    • Develop profiles and personas to be define who we’re trying to reach

    • Could be paired with customer surveys too

    • Know everything you can about the target you’re trying to reach

    • Small focus groups vs large groups

  5. Create naming and copy ideas

  6. Help with product launches

  7. On-going evaluation and management of seasonal campaigns

    • Create systems around things you do every campaign

    • Explore doing new things

7 Steps to a Brand Style Guide

It’s valuable to have a outline of your brand guidelines and a point person to communicate to stakeholder’s to ensure on brand executions.

  1. An overview of our brand’s history, vision, personality and key values

  2. Brand message or mission statement – including examples of ‘tone of voice’.

  3. Logo usage – where and how to use your logo including minimum sizes, spacing and what not to do with it.

  4. Colour palette – showing your primary and secondary colour palettes with colour breakdowns for print, screen and web.

  5. Type style – showing the specific font that you use and details of the font family and default fonts for web use.

  6. Image style/photography – examples of image style and photographs that work with the brand.

  7. Applications

5 Things to Include When Developing KPI's

  1. High-Level Company Goals that outline what our organizational objectives are, how we plan on achieving them, and who can act on this information.

    1. Where We Are

    2. Where We Want to Go

  2. Department Level Goals

  3. On-Going Benchmarks

  4. After Action Understanding and Reporting

12 Steps to Campaign Teardowns

12 great ways to recap your campaigns and get better for the next one.

Email Campaign Flow

Email Results

  • Send Time

  • Open Rate

  • Revenue

  • Conversion Rate

  • Transactions

  • AOV

Email A / B Tests

Facebook Results

  • Dates Run

  • ROAS

  • Orders

Other Channel Results

Website Results

  • Users

  • New Users

  • Sessions

  • Bounce Rate

  • Page / Session

  • Average Session Duration

  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

  • Transactions

  • Revenue

Creative Recap

Landing Page Results

  • Page

  • Page Views

  • Unique Page Views

  • Average Time on Page

  • Entrances

  • Sales Results

What Worked Discussion

What Didn't Work Discussion

Actionable Takeways

4 Ways to Think About the Fickle Funnel

  1. Awareness

  2. Consideration

    • Signed up for email list

    • Website view

    • Social follow

    • Researching and reading reviews

  3. Purchase

    • Average Order Value

    • Understanding who is purchasing

    • Upsell and bundles

  4. Retention

    • Email flow

    • Re-targeting

    • On-going social

    • Nurture campaigns

    • Customer perks

    • Surveys

    • VIP mailer and catalog

    • Referral program

    • Loyalty program

8 Things To Consider When Building a Brand Budget

Building a brand budget is a necessity to be able to successfully complete the jobs to be done within a brand department. To keep things simple, I’ve put together 8 key items to consider when building the framework for your budget.

  1. Photo Shoots

  2. Travel and Entertainment

  3. Catalogs

  4. Wholesale Support

  5. Product Giveaway

  6. Gift Cards

  7. Events

  8. Miscellaneous

12 Must Haves For Building Your Brand's Guidelines

A brand guide is key to business success. It keeps you on track, acts as a filter in decision making, and is super helpful with on-boarding and developing business plans. There are certainly a few ways that you create your guide, but through my experience are some must haves to consider when putting yours together.

  1. History

  2. Brand Manifesto

  3. Mission Statement

  4. Values

  5. Uniques

  6. Culture

  7. Voice

  8. Tone

  9. Personality

  10. Point of View

  11. Visual Applications

  12. Copy Applications

7 Checklist Items For Scheduling an Instagram Post

Social media is not an after thought. Every day your customers are showing up on social and so should you. Here are a few tips to help guide you when curating and posting a post on Instagram.

  1. Schedule social posts at least a week ahead. Experiment with different copy and photo sequence ideas. Keep the full gallery in mind. Align posts with seasonal marketing campaigns and product launches.

  2. Post and social listen to your post.

  3. Use hashtags and something that relates to the photo.

  4. Tag the people in the photo and the photographer.

  5. Geo-location where necessary. Don't give site specific locations out of the respect of the area and knowledge.

  6. Have a diverse mix of content.

  7. Utilize supporting channels where necessary: Instagram Story, IG TV, Facebook, brand partners, influencers, and on.

  8. Track and measure metrics that are key to your business goals.

5 Must Have's For Building a Brand SOP

SOP’s are great for brand processes and systems. They help with onboarding, answer questions, and keep things consistent. When building an SOP, consider the following flow:

  • Title:

  • Department:

  • Purpose:

  • Procedure:

  • Related Documents:

9 Members of Your Brand's Community

Like I mentioned in the 7 C’s of Social Media Brand Building, it’s not about you, it’s about them. When building a brand divide your community strategies into different buckets so that you can treat them in ways that are specific to their role in your brand.

Ambassadors:

  • Curate a close group of people that share your brand’s passion and live your brand’s lifestyle. Aim to pick people that are good communicators, involved in their communities and participate in the activities your products are designed for.

Influencer:

  • Influencers can be very time consuming and hard to track. The goal is to leverage these individuals to post about your brand on their platform, which in turn helps increases your reach and follower-growth. One way to leverage influencers is by reaching out to them because their a fit, mentioning that you would love to send them gear, and you would love to see it on your feed in action. Set clear goals and expectations. If their work is good, it could be repurposed on your own platform for social and customer validation advertising tactics.

Community Program:

  • Currently, we are looking at community programs through the lens of exclusive seasonal programs to support major marketing campaigns and themes. The programs provide members with behind the scenes opportunities to interact with the brand and exclusive gear deals.

Pro-Program:

  • For industry employees, offer pro-deals for product.

Content Creator:

  • Keep a roll a deck of content creators that we use for lifestyle, studio, and brand content projects. Keep a separate one for models and props.

Brand Fans:

  • Energized about your brand, loves the product, outgoing, wants to share with friends, cares about organizations that align with his beliefs. Send stickers and give them ways to interact with the brand. Awesome UGC opportunites here.

Retail Staff:

  • A good way to connect with the front lines of the industry and a core user group. Incentivize them with sales contests and design badass in-store POP.

Loyalty VIP Program:

For your slam dunk customer group, send them thank you notes, discount opportunities, early releases to product, and more.

Brand Staff:

  • Often can be an after thought, this is a big one. Your staff are where it all starts, the culture builds, and the work gets done. Treat them well and make sure they’re psyched on your product every time they are in the office or headed out on the weekend.

7 Ways How to Think About Brand Ambassadors

I believe that brand ambassadors are a great way to help grow a brand. Here are a few things to consider when building an ambassador program:

  • Curate a close group of people that share your brand’s passion and live your brand’s lifestyle. Aim to pick people that are good communicators, involved in their communities and participate in the activities your products are designed for.

  • Pick a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, parts of the country, and interests.

  • Design a few ambassador divisions to help with diversifying your crew.

  • Support your ambassadors through: money, seasonal collection gift cards, early access to product collections, trip/business sponsorship, content creation projects, and gear testing opportunities.

  • Invite your ambassadors to your office, send them monthly emails, and introduce them to each other.

  • By being an ambassador, individuals have a unique opportunity to interact with the brand on a daily basis and be involved in product ideation, content creation, and other exclusive brand opportunities.

  • These are real people and they have their own vibes, loyalty, and time. It’s okay to restructure your ambassador list season by season. It’s nice to also have them on for a while, as it helps with building relationships. Generally, I’ll have a top 5, middle 5, and then the 5 you have to have, but never respond.

2 Must Have Paid-Advertising Content Types

There are two (but not limited to) paid content advertising sets that help brands succeed on Facebook and Instagram. When building advertising content for these channels, it’s important to think about two types of content that you want to be using:

Seasonal Collection/Campaign Focused

  • Here you promote your latest products and campaigns with new inventory and stories

Evergreen Collection/Brand Focused

  • These are ads that you always have on deck and ready to turn on. They’re money ads that aren’t tied to a season or a product that might drop.

Both of these content types can be used for prospecting and re-targeting. Generally, it’s not best practice to prospect with a product you aren’t deep in inventory in or an experience that might not directly tell the consumer what you offer. Prospecting ads are a great way to serve them with a product specific item that they were looking at on your website. Aim to avoid using hard dates like Fall 2019, so that you can turn that ad back on in another season if you need it. For these types of strategies, the goal is usually optimize for a conversion that’s a purchase and not for brand awareness.

Building a Content Strategy

For Tier 1 and Tier 2 product launches, create a marketing campaign theme to support the product and help tell an engaging story. That’s really the key. Create a theme that tells a bigger story and highlights where your products thrive and the activities they’re designed for.

Utilize the theme as a resource to build your shot-lists and design look and feel for the campaign's content and assets. Themes are best created after the product team has walked you through the new collection and the why behind it. Once you've landed on your theme (generally it's nice to pitch 2-3 ideas), then create a work back flow to accomplish all the jobs to be done to go to market with the campaign. Once you've identified the jobs, divy up the responsibility, and create on-going check-ins to review work and stay tracking.

Use the theme as a brand filter throughout the campaign process. After launching the masthead of the theme, create mini product stories for each product launch that align and are used as on-going marketing stories. Begin scheduling out the flow of each product’s launch underneath your seasonal theme/campaign. Design marketing materials for each channel and support with inspiring lifestyle storytelling.

Theme assets could include (but aren't limited to):

  • Campaign Catalog Brief

  • Catalog Shotlist, Scenes, and Logistis

  • Catalog Shotlist Visual Inspo

  • Paid-Advertising

  • Email Marketing

  • Website PDP and Collection Pages

  • Blog and Storytelling

  • Organic Social

  • Wholesale

  • Pubic Relations

  • Community Program