Rarely do you see somebody outside hiking, trail running, riding, skiing, climbing, paddle-boarding…without a smile on their face (usually, it’s only the people training for a triathlon/Ironman). For retailers, that smiley-face status represents an opportunity for a clear point of differentiation to their customers’ workaday lives: Smiles vs scowls. Wild vs penned. Adventure vs routine. Freedom vs work.
Good specialty retailers are connoisseurs of that differentiated experience that the outdoors represents: The smiles, the wild, the adventure, and the freedom. It is represented in all of the branding they do in and for their store, so that the store is a identified as destination that customers will seek as they search for alternatives to their current, boring norm.
The brands that these specialty stores sell have to support and celebrate that differentiation story that specialty outdoor is cultivating. These brands have an inspirational founding story that has relevance to the outdoor spirit of risk, reward and action that the outdoor enthusiast can identify with, even when they are at work.