The North Face successfully re-energized its core in outdoor. By doubling down on exploration, the North Face indeed became The Explorer Brand once more. By driving innovation, segmentation and newness, it retook the leadership position in the premium categories. And by using its athlete team, it was able to tell authentic, inspiring stories. All this gave the brand a license to play in other segments, as well.
Almost single-handedly, The North Face injected new energy into the outdoor category. By focusing on younger consumers in brand and marketing, restyling its products, telling inspiring stories and developing new go-to-market channels, the brand was able to connect with new audiences and re-energize the entire market. Hiking was becoming cool again. And that was one of the goals.
Expand into New Segments
Based on the credibility of the brand in exploration and high-end outdoor, as well as a focus on innovation and design, The North Face was able to extend into new segments such as mountain lifestyle and urban and streetwear. We worked to specifically identify targeted strategies for new markets, including branding, product design, go-to-market approach, consumer experience and engagement tailored to the specific segments.
Reshape the Marketplace
The North Face realized that the market was changing and that its go to market approach needed updating. From an almost fully wholesale-led model, the company transformed into a consumer-centric, digital first approach. The North Face identified key retail partners to win with in various segments, both in traditional retail as well as online. Next to this, the brand accelerated the development of owned channels, such as brick and mortar and e-commerce platforms, and scaled monobrand store concepts with third parties. Also, lifestyle partnerships such as with Supreme helped to propel The North Face into the future.
Beneath the go-to-market activities lay a solid segmentation and differentiation model, ensuring that various channels did not compete with each other, but worked together to create maximum impact and omnichannel experiences.