Look anywhere this winter and chances are you can see someone wearing canada goose rea, 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 in-demand brands. The company’s parkas, recognized by the round, two-inch patch about the left sleeve along with the coyote fur-trimmed hood, once warmed arctic explorers and Canadian Rangers, however nowadays are normally spotted on celebrities like Emma Stone. More recently, like North Face fleece jackets and L.L. Bean bean boots, the white goose down-filled jackets are getting to be well-liked by students.
What sets Canada Goose besides other outerwear companies are its exorbitant prices-$745 for the women’s coat, $245 for a hat at Bloomingdales. Prices may go as high as $1,700.
But those steep prices haven’t hurt business somewhat. Fortune magazine reports that during the last decade, Canada Goose has seen revenues explode from $5 million to more than $200 million, with a few experts predicting that figure could rise to $300 million at the end with this year.
Part of Canada Goose’s success may be related to playing up its humble founding five decades ago in a small warehouse in Toronto (the outerwear remains to be manufactured in Canada). So when private equity firm Bain Capital acquired a majority stake inside the company in 2013 for the rumored $250 million, it had to promise to help keep the manufacturing there.
Canada Goose can be a marketer’s dream, says Susan Fournier, School of Management Questrom Professor in Management and faculty director of 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: Why is Canada Goose such a popular brand at the moment?
Fournier: I don’t have their advertising campaign in front of me. All I am aware is that their marketing originates from grassroots. That they had a powerful narrative, then it started getting found by certain groups. People started to consider hardcore Canadians braving the cold, and so it became a fad after which transitioned from the fad in to a strong brand. I think it’s mostly concerning this and keeping prices high, not going insane with sublines like making lighter fall jackets, for example. 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 praoclaiming that some brands damage what they have by expanding too quickly?
I feel that’s the case with a lot of things. Burberry has come back now in popularity, nonetheless they were in peril for a time, and the exact same thing was true with Calvin Klein. They made their brands too available. If you’re going to be exclusive, availability-both distribution and pricing-may be the opposite of that, so you will need to balance that tension really carefully.
Inside a advertising campaign, you will find the four Ps: product, place, price, and promotion. The pricing as well as the distribution are the most significant for the brand this way. It’s growing, everybody wants it, so it’s tough to say, “Well, we’re not will make it available for everyone,” because you always would like to serve shareholders to make the most important profit.
Is price the principle barrier for accessibility?
I believe distribution, too. Barriers to accessibility would also be, “Can you get a hold of it?” You need to work a bit harder to discover it. This brand has exclusive distribution; it’s not everywhere. Those are two barriers.
There’s plenty 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 they could risk blowing the whole thing up. But folks are still to their ultra down coats, therefore they will still be hanging in there. But they’re type of in that close edge.
Eventually, many of these brands were only present in small communities, like L.L. Bean used to be for fishermen and hikers, however they broadened. I think that’s the first step; you start to shift the course frame that you think of this as. It’s easy-core expedition wear, it’s about outer fashion. Outerwear remains outerwear, however you don’t need to go on an arctic expedition anymore.
The first step is transitioning the manufacturer to fashion. Remember Swatch? The innovation in Swatch was that watches was once about timekeeping, and they managed to make it about fashion. They told customers that in case they obtained a Swatch watch, it absolutely was actually like they had 10 watches due to the interchangeable bands. Exact same thing with eyeglasses. You once had one pair, and today people frequently have several with various designs.
Then it’s part of a trend that folks are able to pay more for. Individuals are paying more forever quality things on the whole. Glance at the iPhone as being a great example. Who in their right mind goosejacka to enjoy $800 over a phone? But we’re doing well enough as an economy, and it’s become a little easier for a lot of people.
What about the backstory for companies like Canada Goose? Will it be important to create a narrative around a product to achieve success?
In these narratives you really feel like you get to know the founder as a person. They’re adventure seekers. It’s the same with Patagonia and L.L. Bean. I think that’s an enormous factor. Maybe more in contemporary consumption, much more so previously 10 or twenty years, this idea of your narrative is critical. There are many brands on the market that in case you don’t possess a story, as well as a character in your story, you’re behind. Like in your English classes, you need a character along with a plot to create a good story.
Having a story differentiates you and also gives your brand authenticity, which can be crucial for brands today. Harley Davidson is a superb example-they may have this founder myth. The founders of Snapple were hugely important for getting Snapple off the ground; they were window washers. If you dig into a few of your top brands, they all have these mythologies. And so they possess some credentials in terms of authenticity.
Canada Goose doesn’t do a lot of advertising; it relies instead on product placement in movies and word-of-mouth. What’s so effective concerning this type of advertising?
That’s kind of the things i was getting back to. The beauty the following is they don’t have got a marketing strategy with a capital M, meaning traditional stuff. Instead, they’re doing cultural branding. Cultural branding means you want your brand to naturally become portion of the culture-in other words, placing these products in the audience in which you would like it to gain traction.
The procedure is you try and get customers to make use of the product and talk about it with their friends. That’s not at the disposal of the marketing team; that’s in the hands of the consumers. It’s a lot more powerful and credible, a lot more approachable. You wish to become part of culture. Whenever you become element of culture, then you might get right into a movie having a scene in which the characters will be in an extremely cold climate. Hollywood wants brands which are hot mainly because they convey a great deal of meaning, plus it keeps going. Individuals who are fashion bloggers want the emblem because it’s an issue that keeps going. It has authenticity; it’s not going to seem commercial, and it’s not pushing a product or service.
Why has Canada Goose chose to focus on the college market?
I don’t know the solution to that without seeing their marketing plan. I really could see adolescents as being a target; I don’t determine if it’s just college. But you figure college students might have the capability to afford this stuff, and therefore it’s an effective potential audience, one that’s hip. They’re not targeting younger kids.
A BU student created a parody patch and raised cash on Kickstarter to produce the patches. Does Canada Goose reap the benefits of parodies such as that?
This will depend about the parody, but 80 % of parodies are kind of good. If they’re opting for your main message, and discrediting you, that’s probably not a good idea. For example, Matthew McConaughey did a number of Lincoln car spots, and individuals made parodies that hit a touch too in close proximity to home.
But use the case of Snuggie. Those blankets were for sale on infomercials, then your parody world got ahold of these, and tons of parody commercials got loaded onto YouTube and that’s when that brand went nuts. A product wants men and women to accept them as part of today’s cultural fabric.
Every brand wishes to have this product everyone wants, hence the challenge is usually to ensure that it stays cool. The exam for Canada Goose will be coming up, and let’s see when they can ride this wave instead of kill it.