Outdoor and Activewear Market

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North Face: Marketing Analysis

The North Face did a women's campaign entitled "She Moves Mountains" to reach female consumers, partnered with YouTube influencers to reach the Gen Z market, and launched the "FutureLight" campaign to reach the weekend warriors. The company has collaborated with other brands such as Supreme. The screenshots of North Face's marketing example of each group are provided in this Google doc.

Global women's campaign: "She Moves Mountains"

  • One of the marketing campaigns employed by North Face that targets a female audience is their global women's campaign entitled "She Moves Mountains."
  • The campaign was launched in 2018 with the desire to celebrate "some of the most adventurous women from all corners of the globe." It also seeks to kick start "the brand’s longer-term commitment to be more inclusive of women."
  • This marketing campaign used digital as well as social media channels. They particularly used the phrase "(Name of the woman) Moves Mountains. See her story at thenorthface.com/shemovesmountains." This link shows a screenshot of that ad.

Partnership with YouTube influencers and Girl Scouts of America

  • To reach the Gen Z market, in 2019 the North Face has partnered with several YouTube influencers as well as with the Girl Scouts of America.
  • North Face invited young influencers such as visual artist Monica Hernandez, YouTuber Nathan Zed, Gwich'in youth leader Julia Fisher-Salmon, and climate activist Maia Wikler "to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as part of an expedition led by The North Face." This serves as "an integral marketing push to get North Face-clad influencers to share social content about the journey with their legions of followers."
  • Another part of the company's effort to appeal to young consumers is to partner with the Girl Scouts of America. Last July 2019, they announced the "Moving Mountains" program to "educate and inspire young women and enable the next generation of women to push boundaries."
  • This messaging also used digital as well as social media channels. The phrase they particularly used is "We'd like to take you to an Arctic expedition." North Face used that phrase in their invitation to the influencers and the YouTube influencer shared that in his YouTube video. This link shows a screenshot of that video.
  • This is in line with the company's desire to get Gen Z to go outside "to enable and inspire them to look up from their phone and go explore."
  • North Face partnered with Supreme for several of their limited-edition collections, including their Spring 2019 collection. Supreme is an American skateboarding and clothing brand.

Latest campaign: "FutureLight" for the weekend warriors

  • NorthFace's latest campaign, the FutureLight campaign, targets consumers who seek outdoor/athletic adventure on weekends, holidays or any other day. This campaign targets the weekend warriors, as well as the weekday warriors.
  • FutureLight is North Face's product branding campaign highlighting the brand's use of nano-spinning technology, making the product waterproof. The campaign "invites consumers to create their own epic stories of exploration and adventure."
  • This marketing campaign also used digital as well as social media channels. This is one of their YouTube ads. In their messaging, they particularly used the phrase "Defy the past; wear the future" as well as "Never Stop Exploring."
  • Also, they used these lines, “What if you could wear a jacket that feels alive? What if your gear could breathe as hard as you do? What if you could wear the future? What if … there was no if?” This link shows a screenshot of a FutureLight ad.
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Patagonia: Marketing Analysis

Patagonia stands out as a brand that is committed to sustainability and environmental conservation. Its marketing and messaging strategies are focused on getting consumers to conserve the environment by buying products that are manufactured using sustainable processes. Below is a description of how the company executes its marketing and messaging strategies. Also, here are screenshots of its messaging on various channels.

Female Audience

Gen Z Consumers

“Weekend Warrior” Consumer

  • When it comes to reaching the "weekend warrior" consumer, Patagonia uses a messaging strategy that amplifies the functionality, dependability, and durability of its products.
  • The brand boasts of a good selection of specialty products such as snow, surfing, fly fishing, mountain biking, and climbing gear. Patagonia strives to keep a vibrant online community for each sporting specialty it serves. These communities provide excellent platforms for consumers to share sporting experiences on how to use various products.
  • Also, these platforms are useful for building product knowledge. This works well to advance the brand's marketing strategy.


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Marmot: Marketing Analysis

Marmot has marketing and messaging efforts that are specific to women and "weekend warriors." To spread these messages, they use their website, social media, and online banner ads. More detail about their campaigns and messaging below.

Marketing and Messaging for Women

  • On its Instagram account and Facebook Page, Marmot features women hikers, campers, and skiers just as much as they feature men. Women are usually portrayed via action shots, showing them cycling on the road, hanging off a rock face, or walking through snow. Examples can be found in this document.
  • Marmot appears to be able to feature many women adventurers because of their Marmot Club Ambassador Program. This program allows explorers, adventurers, and athletes to be featured on their website and social media profiles. In one example, a female cyclist, climber, and runner shares her photos and writes about the importance of the outdoors to her personal life.
  • Posts that are specifically about women tend to emphasize strength. These women-specific posts tend to be on special occasions, such as International Women's Day, or about specific achievements of women, or about women-specific events. Marmot's International Women's Day post mentions celebrating "amazing women who make this world a better, stronger, more fierce, enlightened and dignified place." Another women-specific post is about the Women's Climbing Festival, mentioning "strong women."
  • Marmot's branding campaign, "Out There", integrates women into the visuals, with many of the photos featuring women skiing, climbing, and doing other outdoor and adventure activities.

Marketing and Messaging for Weekend Warriors

  • Marmot uses its website and Facebook Page as channels to specifically reach weekend warriors. Specific branding campaigns also use online banner or display ads. Examples can be found in this document.
  • On its website, Marmot published articles geared towards weekend adventures such as this article entitled "12 Camping Getaways for a Quick Weekend Escape" and a list of tips for winter weekend warriors. Marmot also posts guides to weekend adventure trips, such as this weekend guide to Santa Cruz, California.
  • The language in these articles specifically points out the weekend as the period for adventures, often contrasting it with office life. For example, the article on camping getaways states, "You’d love to take on an epic outdoor adventure, but, well, you have to get back to work on Monday."
  • Marmot also posts examples of weekend warriors on its Facebook Page. In one example, a post featuring one of their brand ambassadors specifically stated that she is a "weekend warrior" who works in the medical field.
  • For their "Out There" branding campaign, Marmot also specified a customer segment that falls under the "weekend warrior" category. For the "Resort" segment, Marmot describes the target customer in this way: "I work in the city, but my body, mind, and soul is nourished in the snow-covered mountains." It also states, "There's only so much mountain time that my busy lifestyle affords, so I ski at resorts to 'get my fix'."

Brand Collaborations

  • In 2016, Marmot partnered with RootsRated, an online platform that connects users with outdoor events and experiences. The collaboration, "Fall in Love With the Outside", was a cross-country tour that consisted of live performances, "pint nights", and tent pitching contests.
  • In 2018, Marmot collaborated with 3M to produce its "Featherless" line of apparel, which provided featherless insulation using recycled fibers.
  • Marmot also collaborated in 2019 with the apparel brand Opening Ceremony to produce modern, stylish outerwear — a sharp contrast to Marmot's more traditional designs.

Research Strategy

To provide Marmot's marketing and messaging information and examples, we searched through trade blogs and publications to look for interviews of marketing or advertising leaders and experts within the company who could explain the ideas behind Marmot's campaigns. We searched through press release sites and news aggregators to look for announcements of Marmot's recent marketing or branding campaigns from 2017 to later. We also searched extensively through the Marmot website and social media profiles for specific content catering to women, people aged 16 to 24, and weekend warriors. Despite our exhaustive searching, we could not find any articles, posts, or other information that indicated that Marmot specifically marketed to people aged 16 to 24. Our findings on Marmot's marketing and messaging for women and weekend warriors can be found above.

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Lululemon: Marketing Analysis

Aside from social media marketing strategy and campaigns, Lululemon also actively and directly partakes in various events to specifically target a female audience, Gen Z, and weekend warrior groups. Lululemon has also partnered up with other brands, including SoulCycle and Royal Ballet. The screenshots of Lululemon's marketing example of each group are provided in this Google doc.

Marketing/Messaging Description

  • To target a female audience group, Lululemon utilizes YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, its website, and social events. Lululemon uses female models in the majority of the thumbnail images of their campaigns.
  • On the International Women's Day in 2020, Lululemon released a campaign video to support gender equality and empower women who do male-dominated professional sports.
  • Lululemon also launched a YouTube series '#boobtruth' to emphasize the importance of sports bra where the speakers were free to break the misconception and share about the various conditions of their breasts. Additionally, Lululemon also offered bra fitting guidance for free to its customers.
  • As health and wellness have become a new luxury for women, the female audience tends to purchase activewear that can be worn in different social occasions. On its Twitter account, Lululemon posted a picture of its legging and implied that the product can be worn everywhere.
  • Lululemon also has multiple global and store female ambassadors to empower women through athletics and active lifestyle.
  • This company also actively and openly participates in women's empowerment conference, MAKERS, as the official wellness sponsor.
  • To target the Gen Z group, Lululemon utilizes YouTube, website, yoga events, and a loyalty program.
  • According to Forbes, Gen Z doesn't purchase a product based on its functionality, but also the 'lifestyle' that the product is associated with. In this case, as one of the brands that Gen Z loves, Lululemon markets its company brand as a fitness- and wellness-based lifestyle than just advertising its activewear.
  • To make sure that the healthy lifestyle that Lulemon keeps on advertising is not a mere branding, Lululemon hosts yoga classes at its stores for free to attract the consumers. As young people tend to do extensive research before purchasing something, Lululemon needs to be consistent with its branding.
  • Gen Z also tends to be interested in social values, such as diversity, sustainability, women empowerment, and LGBTQ representation. Therefore, to attract Gen Z consumers, Lululemon has launched various social campaigns to support gender quality and women's empowerment, as well as became the sponsor of the MAKERS conference.
  • This company also holds a loyalty program to capitalize on Gen Z's buying habits. By offering a loyalty program, Lululemon also expects to develop brand loyalty on Gen Z.
  • To target the weekend warrior group, Lululemon utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, its website, and weekend outdoor sporting events.
  • Lululemon primarily advertises an active and enjoyable lifestyle to attract customers and market its product.
  • In its official website, the activewear targeted for the weekend warrior or people who like to do outdoor sports activities is placed under the 'On The Move' category. The term 'On The Move' is considered more special and unique than using the common term 'Outdoor.'
  • Lululemon will be hosting its famous annual 'SeaWheeze Half Marathon' in Vancouver, Canada on August 15 to August 16, 2020. The company dubs this event as its "favorite weekend of yoga and run, party" and targets audiences who seek outdoor/athletic adventure on weekends. This event is also advertised on Lululemon's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels.
  • This company also has held various outdoor sporting events on weekends, such as Outdoor Classic, San Diego 10k, and NYC re:pair challenge.
  • On its Instagram channel, Lululemon posted an image of its employees enjoying hiking and meditation sessions in nature on the weekend.

Partnership With Other Brand

  • In 2019, Lululemon collaborated with SoulCycle to create an activewear collection that is not only pretty but also comfortable to wear. This collection is also available for men and women.
  • In 2018, Lululemon and Francesca Hayward, the ballerina dancer from Royal Ballet in London, launched a limited-edition collection that included tights, long sleeve, hoodie, jacket, pant, skirt, jumpsuit, bra, bralette, onesie, shorts, leg warmer, leotard, sweater, tank, and bag.

Research Strategy

To determine the marketing and messaging that Lululemon uses to target a female audience, Gen Z, and weekend warrior group consumers, we first assessed the marketing channels that Lululemon uses, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and its website. Then we also browsed through news, articles, and media publications that covered Lululemon's campaigns and events that were related to the inquiry. Then we looked through Lululemon's Pinterest channel to find out the brands it had partnered up with. Utilizing this data, we were able to collect additional information about their collaborations.
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Athleta: Marketing Analysis

Athleta has positioned itself as a top brand for all women's clothing needs. It uses its 'Power of She' tagline to inspire its female audience of all ages to push themselves and reveal the power within themselves. Here is a detailed summary of its marketing and messaging strategy as used on various female consumer groups. The screenshots of Athleta's marketing example of each group are provided in this Google doc.

A Female Audience

Gen Z (Age Approx 16-24)

  • Athleta's marketing to Gen Z is focused on passing factual information about the woman's body. For example, the mythbuster post on Twitter that breasts don't bounce back once they stretch cautions consumers who are keen on the appearance of their boobs to use quality bras and bra pads that offer adequate support when engaging in exercises.
  • This is anchored on self-image and how consumers feel about themselves when they use the company products. Another example is highlighting consumer satisfaction when products fit really well.
  • The brand's messaging to the Gen Z consumers is centered around empowering them to make informed decisions when buying activewear. This messaging is consistent with the company's motto to empower women to reach their limitless potential.
  • Athleta uses its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to reach Gen Z consumers.

“Weekend Warrior” Consumer

  • With the 'Power of She' tagline, the Athleta brand packages its messaging to inspire the “weekend warrior” female consumer. The video ad on the company website features a variety of female activewear products in use for a wide range of outdoor activities such as rock climbing and swimming.
  • These products are portrayed as comfortable and tough enough to inspire athletes to push beyond the known limits and reveal their hidden strengths.
  • The same message is reiterated by Allyson Felix, the company's brand ambassador, in her Ultimate Journey, Ultimate Self feature. She says that the journey to the ultimate self as an athlete is exercising active patience where nothing is certain and nothing is off-limits.
  • This messaging is used to drive its activewear marketing strategy by highlighting the importance of training hard with dependable products such as the Athleta's Ultimate Tight in Supersonic Fabric. It's specially made for toughest training and ultimate comfort in high performance with a cool-to-the-touch design.
  • Athleta uses both its website and social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram to communicate its 'Power of She' message to its "weekend warrior" consumer.

Athleta Partnerships

Partnership with Peloton

Partnership with Allyson Felix

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Columbia: Marketing Analysis

The Columbia company has marketing campaigns that are specific to women, generation Z, and the weekend warrior consumers. The marketing message includes "tested tough," and "magic begins outside." Screenshots to marketing examples for each group have been entered in this Google doc.

Marketing/Messaging Description

Columbia markets its products through social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, the company's blog, and the official web page. The company has specific adverts that target each of the following audiences.

Female Audience

  • The women's section on the web page highlights the different campaigns targeted at women. For the advertisement of women's products, some key messages include; "pardon my trench," "what moves you," "everybody outside," and "tested tough."
  • Twitter shows that the Columbia company focuses on the female audience by releasing track kits for female athletes, "the gears that take our athlete to the finish line."
  • The Columbia company creates awareness of breast cancer on the company's Twitter platform. The company donates $1 from every Columbia pink sportswear to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The messaging behind this is "prevention is key; let's save lives together."
  • On YouTube, there is an advert on the women's product, Vitesse out dry, and long sleeve hybrid shirt. The advert projects the superiority of the company's products and its unique features like waterproof and sweat-activated cooling.

Generation Z

  • Columbia company markets to the Gen Zers on Twitter and its web page. The message of the campaign is "take Mickey on your next adventure with the Mickey capsule collection," and "here comes Mickey mouse."
  • The Columbia company partnered with DJ Zedd, a record producer popular with young consumers. The company aims for Zedd to share the launch of a new product on his Instagram, reaching about 6.2 million followers.
  • Columbia uses its web page to market products for kids. Some of the slogans used are "play all day" and "reel fun."

Weekend Warrior Consumer

  • On Twitter and Instagram, Columbia runs advertisement that targets trail runners. The Columbia Montreal athletes attempt the fastest known time around Mt. St, Helens. This advert ran with the slogan "Chewed up. Spit out." The Columbia company advertises different sports wears for outdoor athletic events. On Facebook, the message is, "When there is no shade for miles, bring miles of shade with the Montrail short sleeve."
  • Twitter showcased another campaign, "magic begins outside." This campaign highlighted the company's rain-ready coat, unique for its iconic Mickey ears. This product could be proudly displayed or tucked in. The official web page and the Facebook platform advertises different rainproof products, "Drizzle to downpour" and "don't seek shelter, wear it."
  • Social media marketing campaigns focusing on outdoor athletic activities are evident on the company's YouTube page. Adverts specific to mountain climbers, hiking, fishing, and testing the limits of gears prove that the company uses this platform for marketing its products. The "directors of toughness" travel round using the Columbia sports gear and testing the limits of these sports wears.
  • "Embracing the elements" is the title of the Disney themed outdoor campaign. On Twitter, this campaign reaches about 130 thousand of its followers. On Instagram and the company's blog, the Columbia company post images of trail runners using Columbia sports gears.

Partnerships With Other Brands

  • In 2018, the Columbia sportswear company partnered with the Oregon Department of Transportation. This partnership was for the Litter control pilot project. It involved supplementing litter removal on Sunset Highway 64, and 405. This project was funded by Tim Doyle, the CEO of the Columbia sportswear company.
  • In January 2014, Columbia sportswear company partnered with Swire Resources Limited, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Limited. In 2018, the Columbia company bought out its joint venture partner. However, Swire is still the exclusive distributor of Columbia Sportswear in Hong Kong and Macau.
  • I: CO partners with Columbia Sportswear company in a rethreading recycling program. All of Columbia's stores would accept unwanted clothing apparel and shoes. I: CO then helps bring these items back to life. The program aims to help reduce the number of shoes and clothing that end up in landfills.

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REI: Marketing Analysis

REI has won much admiration for it's carefully thought out and socially responsible marketing. They aim to cultivate a community of people "who love being outside and want to invest in the world around them". They lead by example by investing 70% of profits into outdoors, non-profits and causes close to the co-op collective's heart. REI has run several highly successful and notable campaigns targeting the female audience, Generation Z and weekend warrior customers including their iconic "force of nature", "brothers of climbing" and "opt outside" campaigns. The screenshots of REI's marketing example of each group are provided in this Google doc.

Marketing & messaging used to target a female audience

  • REI has built their "force of nature" campaign targeting women explicitly. Here, they refer to women as "forces of nature that are seeing an "unbalanced narrative when it comes to whose stories are worth celebrating in the broader culture".
  • As part of this campaign, they invite women to share stories of "moments nature has taken your breath away, your first hike, that time you tried something new and it didn't go so well, or went surprisingly well. Tell us about the fears you've faced, the adrenaline embraced, or something about the inspiring women who got you outside," which then get featured on their website prominently as print stories, blogs or podcasts.
  • A couple of story examples like the one of Latoya Snell, a New York based Mother, Chef, Runner and Blogger, and that of Yeeni Castro climbing Mount St. Helens for the first time can be found here and here respectively.

Marketing & messaging targeting Gen Z

  • REI hired Kelton Global, a Consumer Insights and Brand Strategy Consulting firm with a specific mandate to build a marketing campaign aimed at earning and maintain Millennial loyalty. This team apparently went camping and shopping and dissected similarities between their existing loyal Gen Y following using a creative mixed-methods methodology.
  • The campaign produced several compelling still photos for REI's marketing use including one post an "immersive camping interview" featuring a team of Millennial campers wearing REI gear.
  • The key deliverable from this exercise was a video titled "Brothers of climbing" featuring really well-made interviews and testimonials from a group of Black climbers who describe their experience starting to climb for leisure though this isn't the norm at all in the community, sponsored by REI. This was also apparently done in partnership with a non-profit titled Brothers of Climbing that encourages under-represented groups like women, people of color et al. to take up climbing as a hobby.

Marketing & messaging targeting "weekend warrior" customers

  • REI initiated the #optoutside movement on a Black Friday several years ago, explicitly targeting weekend warrior customers. It is a "call for action" to go outside every weekend with an "Opt to Act Plan" comprising 52 weeks of simple challenges designed to reduce one's environmental impact, get active and "leave the world better than you found it".
  • The challenges are posted on REI's website on a special #optoutside movement page. One can certainly see how, this campaign targets the "weekend warrior" by egging them to get outside (in REI gear, of course) and builds a certain socially focused branding for REI alongside this, aligned with REI's values.
  • #optoutside has become quite a viral social-media hashtag chronicling people out doing these activities, with 14 Million posts on just Instagram and has won plenty of admiration as well.


From Part 02
From Part 03
  • "Sometimes city life can be a bit much. You need a respite with more green space, some fresh air, and wooded trails to clear the mind. You’d love to take on an epic outdoor adventure, but, well, you have to get back to work on Monday. But still, wouldn’t it be nice to sleep under the stars for at least a night or two?"
  • "So if you’re looking for some outdoor time as a remedy to the urban grind, here are 12 options to brag about on Monday morning at the office."
  • "There are 168 hours in a week, and for the weekend warrior—those who spend their lunch breaks perusing online forums for beta and daydream about faraway ridgelines on their commute—the 48 hours between Friday night to Sunday night are sacred."
  • "Up your cardio game by doing a few weekday runs each week, whether it’s at lunch or before or after work. "
From Part 04
From Part 06