Strategy Lessons From Luxury Outdoor Brands

By Madison Taylor
August 25, 2021
Young woman on a road trip with her best friend

Outdoor brands have grown significantly over the past few decades as outdoor recreation activities gain more participants and adventurous travel grows more popular. As brand competition has grown, some of these brands have dedicated themselves to the luxury space. Patagonia and Fjallraven, for example, have developed their entire business and marketing plans around the guarantee of quality products — and have seen a lot of success as they do so. What lessons can companies take from the methods in which these luxury outdoor brands price their products, create their brand image, and market themselves to the public?

1. Have Confidence in Your Product

Patagonia is famous for their Ironclad Guarantee. They pride themselves on being the best not just in quality, but in service and overall customer experience. Both Patagonia and Fjallraven price their products higher to reflect build quality.

Take pride in your own product or service. Pricing your product too low can give the impression of cutting corners or poor quality, counterintuitively hurting your sales. Your pricing method for the business you offer should reflect your confidence in the quality of work you provide.

2. Field-Tested Proof of Your Product Matters

It’s one thing to claim the best quality or durability on the market, but it’s another to test it both in the field and through customer feedback. Luxury outdoor brands often have a proven track record of quality testing in the most extreme conditions — proving to customers that their products are in fact as good as the companies’ claims.

In today’s hyper-connected world of reviews and social media, you can’t get away with dishonest or misleading claims about your products. If your product’s quality doesn’t stand up to your claims, people will know about it. Be sure to provide an ample amount of genuine and reliable feedback for potential clients and consumers to trust.

3. Make Your Social Responsibility and Sustainability Efforts Clear

Especially in the outdoor business, sustainability and conscious environmental efforts are a significant priority. When brands are conscious of their impact on their community and the environment while still working to make the best products to survive the elements, it proves consumers don’t have to settle for poor quality in order to contribute to sustainable efforts. If consumers can contribute to a conscious, sustainable brand and obtain durable, high-quality products, they will be more likely to spend a little more.
Get involved in your community and put honest focus in your company’s social responsibility. And certainly don’t be afraid to share about your engagements.

4. Stay Up To Date On Current Consumer Trends

Consumer trends are constantly shifting, and the outdoor industry does a great job adjusting to these changes — especially when it comes to product design. Taking the time to research the shifts in trends that are important to consumers is ever apparent in both their gear and apparel.
Remember to focus on creating products that not only look good, but feel good to the consumer by listening to their technical needs as well as their shifting design preferences.

5. Diversify Use for Your Products — Where Applicable

Convenience is an increasingly high priority for today’s consumers — we’re growing into a generation of wanting to do more, quicker, and with less. Outdoor product designers are responding to this trend by building products that are useful for multiple different activities.
Respond with high-quality products and services that clients can use for various activities. Ensuring their trust that the products will stand through a variety of uses can be an effective tactic for product development and marketing techniques.

Key Takeaways

The luxury outdoor brands consider every single aspect of their audience’s needs and interests and turn their products or services into solutions that consumers want to support. They embody the true meaning of what an outdoor brand should exemplify for the public, and they price their products accordingly. Years of research, testing, and various marketing techniques have continually benefitted the effectiveness of certain outdoor brands’ shift into a luxurious status. They always come back to what’s most important: creating a product that consumers can use for whatever they do, however long they do it for.