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Lifestyle Brands the Key to Outdoor Marketing

How to be not just a Brand but an Icon
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Outdoor Lifestyle Brands, what does that mean? To be honest, it is a rebrand of the old days of marketing. It is what classic brands like Disney, McDonalds, and Corvette achieved during the marketing revolution. More accurately, it is called “iconic branding”, the idea that your product and services come to be a part of people. Most of us get warm and tingly with the viewing of our childhood favorite Disney movie. We remember eating those McDonalds Hotcakes as a kid with vivid distinction. Some of us grew up knowing we wanted that Corvette or Mustang, with almost no knowledge of the inner workings of what it was, and then, for that matter, learned all about them because it quite simply was cool.

So as outdoor brands how do we go from a product to a lifestyle? It is actually a complicated question and although everyone would love Dangerous Cow Publishing to put all the facts on the table, we do not want to put our services out of business (That would not be Iconic). We will however blow the lid off of one first important and cost effective way to become a lifestyle brand- blogging.

Our identity as a brand is one of the first and most important steps to creating feelings associated with what we do. Take Project Upland for example. The first thing we think of in upland hunting is expensive shotguns, elitist outfitters, and an almost uninviting environment. Ironically that world makes up the smallest part of upland culture and is not the viral reputation of the #ProjectUpland hastag.

That is the obvious part of the brand and it’s the “what” of why we are in business. It is the reputation that proceeds that creates an iconic identity. People have come to recognize Project Upland for challenging an image of the 1% “elite” with the lifestyle of the hardcore. It is a brand that says no. That actually is not the upland culture that is a part of me. It is the open door brand that creates not just high quality films but a safe haven for knowledge and entertainment.  It challenges conventional wisdom and has no holds on rustling some feathers along the way.

All of this has come to be something people know when they hear the words Project Upland which Segway’s to the important result of that reputation.

We know we have a success when readers say things like “This resonates with me to the core. Great piece.”, “Thanks for your articles. I genuinely appreciate and enjoy reading them”, and “Awesome our lives need more of this and less of the hustle of everyday life”. Those are just a few examples of words that come from people who can see themselves in the footsteps of your brand.

It is about capturing people’s imaginations with ideals that they feel are real and achievable. It is truly about being real and honest while maintaining a strict run of creativity and personality. This all easily theorized about but harder to achieve.

“You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?”

Phil Knight - CHAIRMAN AT NIKE

We can all recall the conversation in advertising. “I have a good product”, “I have a good idea”, or “I have great information to share”. More often than not followed with a mentality that the honesty and integrity in quality alone will breed success. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although Northwoods Collective will point out that this integrity is important it is far from everything.

The facts are you can have the best product in the world, but if it does not look awesome, and make you feel cool, no one will buy it.  And you can have the worst product in the world and if you package it right and make it feel good, everyone will buy it.

Those statements reflect onto all our branding. It is one of the most important factors in why you need amazing photography work and not subpar budget work to promote even film “the king of content”. It is the aesthetics that make people feel that product, the same product that makes you look twice on the shelf because the label was awesome. It flows, has the “feng shui” if you will.

These details reflect on all aspects of our brands, from the shape of a font, the size, to the colors. A specific color edit to photograph that becomes subconsciously recognizable. All of these aesthetics screaming a single brand identity that transcends from just a blog to reference for people, an association, a want, and a need for the adventure we put into our own imaginations.

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