Mountain Equipment Co-op launches campaign with new branding
September 18, 2013 | Wing Sze Tang | Comments
The outdoor gear retailer aims to court young urban consumers
Mountain Equipment Co-op (or MEC to its fans) has unveiled changes to every aspect of the brand’s identity with a campaign developed by Toronto-based Concrete Design Communications.
After it revealed a revamped, more minimalist logo this summer, the company began unrolling a complete campaign this week that includes a fresh “look and feel” for its store environments and website, new marketing communications, and a national advertising campaign spanning print, online and outdoor.
The Vancouver-based retailer’s rebrand, which has been in the works for three years, is part of a larger strategy to shake off an outdated reputation as a niche purveyor of backcountry supplies.
“MEC took another look at its mission, evolving the products we’re offering and broadening the activities that we’re supporting,” says Anne Donohoe, MEC chief marketing officer. “The rebrand is about communicating those changes.”
The changes are reflected in Concrete’s inclusive campaign concept and tagline—“We Are All Outsiders.” It’s an attempt to diversify and woo younger urban shoppers who might be more interested in cycling, running or yoga than climbing.
“We saw 12% year-over-year growth last year in total sales. Backcountry activity still remains the largest part of our offering. However, if you look at where growth is coming from, approximately 70% of it came from activities such as cycling and running,” says Donohoe.
“What we found in the research is that people’s activity ‘fingerprint’ – what being active meant to them – is incredibly diverse,” says John Pylypczak, Concrete’s co-founder and creative director. “And we’re kind of saying as well, ‘This is not your dad’s Mountain Equipment Co-op.’ ”
The media buy for the campaign will leverage the existing marketing budget, but it will include advertising in vertical publications such as Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running and Gripped as well as digital media; a cover wrap for Metro in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal; and streetcar wraps.
The redesigned website will integrate social, video and editorial, including a “We Are All Outsiders” microsite (developed by Vancouver’s Pound & Grain digital agency), which will serve up inspiration with storytelling, athlete profiles and other content.
Additionally, MEC stores will host public events with prizing, clinics and competitions, and they’ll offer giveaways through social media in connection with “walking billboards” in the three largest cities.