Look anywhere this winter and chances are you can find someone wearing canada jacka, parka, or vest. The Canadian-based clothing retailer has become so successful at marketing its puffy, doughboy jackets as elite winter wear that they’re among the season’s most popular brands. The company’s parkas, recognized by the round, two-inch patch in the left sleeve as well as the coyote fur-trimmed hood, once warmed arctic explorers and Canadian Rangers, but today are normally spotted on celebrities like Emma Stone. Recently, like North Face fleece jackets and L.L. Bean bean boots, the white goose down-filled jackets are getting to be preferred among college students.
What sets Canada Goose besides other outerwear companies are its exorbitant prices-$745 for the women’s coat, $245 for the hat at Bloomingdales. Prices could go up to $1,700.
But those steep costs haven’t hurt business a lttle bit. Fortune magazine reports that over the last decade, Canada Goose has seen revenues explode from $5 million to greater than $200 million, with many experts predicting that figure could rise to $300 million in the end of the year.
Element of Canada Goose’s success could be related to playing up its humble founding five decades ago in a tiny warehouse in Toronto (the outerwear is still produced in Canada). And whenever private equity firm Bain Capital acquired a majority stake from the company in 2013 for the rumored $250 million, it was required to promise to help keep the manufacturing there.
Canada Goose is actually a marketer’s dream, says Susan Fournier, School of Management Questrom Professor in Management and faculty director from the MBA Program. Fournier invented a subfield of promoting on brand relationships and researches how companies create value through their branding.
BU Today spoke with Fournier about Canada Goose’s ultrasuccessful brand name and the ways it offers formed relationships having its customers.
BU Today: The reason why Canada Goose such a popular brand today?
Fournier: I don’t have their marketing plan before me. All I know is the fact their marketing arises from grassroots. That they had a strong narrative, and after that it started getting picked up by certain groups. People started to take into account hardcore Canadians braving the cold, so it became a fad and after that transitioned from a fad in a strong brand. I think it’s mostly concerning this and keeping prices high, not losing their mind with sublines like making lighter fall jackets, for instance. Also protecting distribution so that they don’t appear for a cheap price store like TJ Maxx or perhaps outlet. It’s that, being smart enough to never kill it.
So you’re proclaiming that some brands damage what they have by expanding too quickly?
I feel that’s the situation with plenty of things. Burberry has come back now in popularity, but they were in peril for a while, and the exact same thing was true with Calvin Klein. They made their brands too available. If you’re likely to be exclusive, availability-both distribution and pricing-will be the complete opposite of that, so you must balance that tension really carefully.
In the advertising campaign, you will have the four Ps: product, place, price, and promotion. The pricing as well as the distribution are the main to get a brand like this. It’s growing, everyone would like it, so it’s difficult to say, “Well, we’re not going to make it available for everyone,” simply because you always wish to serve shareholders to make the greatest profit.
Is price the primary barrier for accessibility?
I believe distribution, too. Barriers to accessibility would be also, “Can you grab it?” You have to work a little harder to discover it. This brand has exclusive distribution; it’s not everywhere. Those are two barriers.
There’s a lot of hardy outerwear out there-L.L. Bean, North Face, Patagonia. How have those brands convinced people that winter gear is fashionable and even a luxury item?
That’s interesting too. The North Face has exploded hundreds and countless percent over the last few years, and so they could risk blowing the whole thing up. But everyone is still within their ultra down coats, therefore they are still hanging in there. But they’re type of at that close edge.
Sooner or later, several of these brands were only present in small communities, like L.L. Bean was once for fishermen and hikers, then again they broadened. I feel that’s the first step; you start to shift the category frame that you think of this as. It’s not difficult-core expedition wear, it’s about outer fashion. Outerwear remains to be outerwear, however, you don’t will need to go on an arctic expedition anymore.
Step one is transitioning the brand to fashion. Remember Swatch? The innovation in Swatch was that watches was once about timekeeping, and they made it about fashion. They told customers when they obtained a Swatch watch, it was actually like that they had 10 watches as a result of interchangeable bands. Exact same thing with eyeglasses. You once had one pair, now people frequently have several with different designs.
Then it’s component of a trend that men and women are likely to pay more for. Individuals are paying more permanently quality things generally. Look at the iPhone as a great example. Who within their right mind goosejacka to spend $800 on the phone? But we’re doing well enough for an economy, and it’s become easier for a number of people.
What about the backstory for companies like Canada Goose? Could it be important to make a narrative around a brand to reach your goals?
During these narratives you sense like you can understand the founder as being a person. They’re adventure seekers. It’s the same thing with Patagonia and L.L. Bean. I feel that’s an enormous factor. Maybe more in contemporary consumption, a lot more so in past times 10 or two decades, this concept of your narrative is essential. There are so many brands out there that in case you don’t have a story, as well as a character inside your story, you’re behind. As in your English classes, you need a character as well as a plot to make a good story.
Using a story differentiates you together with gives your brand authenticity, that is crucial for brands today. Harley Davidson is an excellent example-they may have this founder myth. The founders of Snapple were hugely essential for getting Snapple up and running; these were window washers. When you dig into some of your top brands, every one has these mythologies. And they have some credentials when it comes to authenticity.
Canada Goose doesn’t do a great deal of advertising; it relies instead on product placement in movies and word-of-mouth. What’s so effective concerning this kind of advertising?
That’s type of things i was returning to. The wonder here is they don’t possess a advertising campaign using a capital M, meaning traditional stuff. Instead, they’re doing cultural branding. Cultural branding means you want your brand to naturally become part of the culture-to put it differently, placing the merchandise in to the audience where you would like it to gain traction.
The procedure is basically that you try and get people to make use of the product and speak about it using their friends. That’s not in the hands of the marketing team; that’s at the disposal of the consumers. It’s much more powerful and credible, much more approachable. You need to become part of culture. If you become element of culture, then you may get right into a movie using a scene in which the characters happen to be in an extremely cold climate. Hollywood wants brands that happen to be hot since they convey lots of meaning, and yes it keeps going. Those people who are fashion bloggers want the brand because it’s something which keeps going. It has authenticity; it’s not going to seem commercial, and it’s not pushing something.
Why has Canada Goose chosen to target the college market?
I don’t know the response to that without seeing their marketing plan. I could possibly see teenagers as being a target; I don’t know if it’s just college. However you figure college students might have the ability to afford these matters, and that it’s a great potential audience, one that’s hip. They’re not targeting youngsters.
A BU student launched a parody patch and raised cash on Kickstarter to manufacture the patches. Does Canada Goose benefit from parodies like that?
All depends about the parody, but 80 % of parodies are kind of good. If they’re choosing your primary message, and discrediting you, that’s probably not a good idea. For example, Matthew McConaughey did some Lincoln car spots, and individuals made parodies that hit a little too near home.
But go ahead and take case of Snuggie. Those blankets were being sold on infomercials, then this parody world got ahold of which, and a lot of parody commercials got loaded onto YouTube and that’s when that brand went nuts. A brandname wants individuals to accept them within today’s cultural fabric.
Every brand wishes to have this product everyone wants, so the challenge is to make it cool. The exam for Canada Goose is going to be developing, and let’s see if they can ride this wave and never kill it.