Look anywhere this winter and chances are you can discover someone wearing canada goose, parka, or vest. The Canadian-based clothing retailer has been so successful at marketing its puffy, doughboy jackets as elite winter wear that they’re one of several season’s most in-demand brands. The company’s parkas, identified by the round, two-inch patch about the left sleeve and also the coyote fur-trimmed hood, once warmed arctic explorers and Canadian Rangers, but today are typically 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 becoming loved by 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 may go up to $1,700.
But those steep prices haven’t hurt business a little. Fortune magazine reports that during the last decade, Canada Goose has seen revenues explode from $5 million to greater than $200 million, with a bit of experts predicting that figure could rise to $300 million at the end of the year.
Component of Canada Goose’s success might be related to playing up its humble founding five decades ago in a tiny warehouse in Toronto (the outerwear remains manufactured in Canada). So when private equity firm Bain Capital acquired a majority stake inside the company in 2013 for any rumored $250 million, it needed to promise to keep the manufacturing there.
Canada Goose is a marketer’s dream, says Susan Fournier, School of Management Questrom Professor in Management and faculty director of your MBA Program. Fournier invented a subfield of marketing on brand relationships and researches how companies create value through their branding.
BU Today spoke with Fournier about Canada Goose’s ultrasuccessful logo and the ways they have formed relationships having its customers.
BU Today: The reason why Canada Goose this type of popular brand today?
Fournier: I don’t have their own marketing plan in front of me. All I am aware is the fact that their marketing originates from grassroots. They had a strong narrative, and then it started getting found by certain groups. People started to think about hardcore Canadians braving the cold, so it was a fad after which transitioned coming from a fad right into a strong brand. I believe it’s mostly about that and keeping prices high, not losing their mind with sublines like making lighter fall jackets, as an illustration. Also protecting distribution so that they don’t arrive for much less store like TJ Maxx or even an outlet. It’s that, being smart enough to never kill it.
So you’re saying that some brands damage whatever they have by expanding too quickly?
I believe that’s the way it is with plenty of things. Burberry comes back now in popularity, nonetheless they were at risk for some time, and the same thing was true with Calvin Klein. They made their brands too available. If you’re will be exclusive, availability-both distribution and pricing-will be the opposite of that, so you will need to balance that tension really carefully.
In a marketing campaign, there is the four Ps: product, place, price, and promotion. The pricing and the distribution are the most important for any brand such as this. It’s growing, everybody wants it, so it’s tough to say, “Well, we’re not going to make it readily available for everyone,” because you always want to serve shareholders making the greatest 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 must work a little harder to get it. This brand has exclusive distribution; it’s not everywhere. Those are two barriers.
There’s lots of hardy outerwear around-L.L. Bean, North Face, Patagonia. How have those brands convinced individuals who winter gear is fashionable or even a luxury item?
That’s interesting too. The North Face has exploded hundreds and hundreds of percent over the recent years, and they could risk blowing the whole thing up. But folks are still within their ultra down coats, so they remain hanging inside. But they’re type of at that close edge.
Eventually, many of these brands were only present in small communities, like L.L. Bean was once for fishermen and hikers, but then they broadened. I believe that’s the first step; you start out to shift the category frame that you think of this as. It’s not hard-core expedition wear, it’s about outer fashion. Outerwear remains outerwear, however you don’t have to go upon an arctic expedition anymore.
The first step is transitioning the brand to fashion. Remember Swatch? The innovation in Swatch was that watches had been about timekeeping, and they made it about fashion. They told customers that if they purchased a Swatch watch, it was actually like they had 10 watches due to interchangeable bands. Same task with eyeglasses. You used to have one pair, now people often times have several with some other designs.
Then it’s element of a trend that men and women are likely to pay more for. Everyone is paying more permanently quality things in general. Look at the iPhone as a great example. Who with their right mind goosejacka to invest $800 on a phone? But we’re succeeding enough as an economy, and it’s become easier for several people.
Have you thought about the backstory for brands like Canada Goose? Is it important to make a narrative around a product to be successful?
Over these narratives you feel like you get to know the founder as a person. They’re adventure seekers. It’s the exact same thing with Patagonia and L.L. Bean. I believe that’s a massive factor. Maybe more in contemporary consumption, a lot more so in the past 10 or two decades, this concept of a narrative is critical. There are many brands out there that when you don’t have got a story, plus a character with your story, you’re behind. Such as your English classes, you want a character plus a plot to produce a good story.
Possessing a story differentiates you and also gives your brand authenticity, which can be crucial for brands today. Harley Davidson is an excellent example-they may have this founder myth. The founders of Snapple were hugely necessary for getting Snapple off the ground; these people were window washers. When you dig into some of your top brands, every one has these mythologies. And they also get some credentials with regards to authenticity.
Canada Goose doesn’t do lots of advertising; it relies instead on product placement in movies and word-of-mouth. What’s so effective with that form of advertising?
That’s form of things i was returning to. The sweetness this is they don’t have a marketing plan using a capital M, meaning traditional stuff. Instead, they’re doing cultural branding. Cultural branding means you need your brand to naturally become portion of the culture-quite simply, placing the items in to the audience where you would like it to gain traction.
The technique is that you simply try and get men and women to make use of the product and talk about it with their friends. That’s not in the hands of the marketing team; that’s in the hands of the consumers. It’s considerably more powerful and credible, considerably more approachable. You wish to become part of culture. Whenever you become element of culture, then you can receive into a movie having a scene where characters are in a really cold climate. Hollywood wants brands that happen to be hot mainly because they convey a great deal of meaning, and yes it keeps going. Those who are fashion bloggers want the company because it’s a thing that keeps going. It has authenticity; it’s not likely to seem commercial, and it’s not pushing an item.
Why has Canada Goose decided to concentrate on the college market?
I don’t know the answer to that without seeing their marketing plan. I was able to see young adults as a target; I don’t determine it’s just college. However, you figure university students might are able to afford this stuff, and that it’s an excellent audience, one that’s hip. They’re not targeting youngsters.
A BU student developed a parody patch and raised money Kickstarter to manufacture the patches. Does Canada Goose benefit from parodies such as that?
This will depend about the parody, but eighty percent of parodies are type of good. If they’re choosing your main message, and discrediting you, that’s probably a bad idea. For instance, Matthew McConaughey did a series of Lincoln car spots, and other people made parodies that hit a touch too near to home.
But use the case of Snuggie. Those blankets were being offered on infomercials, then a parody world got ahold of which, and tons of parody commercials got loaded onto YouTube and that’s when that brand went nuts. A brandname wants individuals to accept them included in today’s cultural fabric.
Every brand would like to have this device which everybody wants, so the challenge would be to make it cool. The exam for Canada Goose will be coming, and let’s see when they can ride this wave instead of kill it.