Outdoor sports brand Berghaus is launching its biggest ever marketing campaign, the first stage of a sustained five-year initiative to drive awareness and growth of the brand, as its owner Pentland Brands looks to grow its brands faster.
The campaign, created by VCCP, focuses on encouraging consumers to escape the stresses of modern life by reconnecting with friends and family in the outdoors.
The ‘Time to Get Out’ activity uses messages such as ‘Stuck in meetings about meetings?’ and ‘Is clicking Next Episode the most exercise you’ve done today?’ to convince people to get away from their everyday circumstances.
“If you look at the category today, most messages are about performance of the product or people,” explains Chris Tattersall, head of brand management at Berghaus. “We took a step back to find out who our consumer is and what motivates them. What we find is that life is pressured, but rather than reminding people of that we wanted to pull out these moments of realisation.”
The campaign will run across outdoor, press, video-on-demand, digital radio and, later in the campaign, on TV. It is the result of extensive research undertaken by Berghaus that it believes will be bigger and bolder than anything else undertaken by an outdoor brand in the UK and help boost growth.
The campaign is one of the first to launch since Pentland Brands, which also owns the Speedo and Ellesse, restructured as it looks to become a portfolio business and use its scale to grow the brands it owns. That involved switching to a matrix functions that saw people move within brands and functions and change ways of working to build people’s skillsets.
The changes mean functional specialisms such as sales, digital, HR and finance now work across brands, while a separate brand team is responsible for brand management and product. On Berghaus, there is a “lean” brand team of five but they can then pull on experience from across the business, including Pentland Brands’ in-house agency and its brand development team, which sits centrally.
The [brand development team] is like having our own internal best practice consultants, which is great because as a standalone brand that would be expensive.
Chris Tattersall, Berghaus
“The benefit has been that we have people who are really specialist and experienced in their specialism. [We understand] the brand and then the [functional teams] understand their channels. As long as there is communication from us on the brand it works really well,” explains Tattersall.
“Although everyone is in a different function, the people we work most closely with sit around the brand, so we have the best of both worlds – someone who is a specialist but understands the brand and works right alongside us whether that is social or ecommerce or shopper marketing.”
Tattersall joined Berghaus two-and-a-half years ago having previously worked in marketing at Amer Sport (which owns brands such as Solomon, Wilson and Atomic) and before that at William Grant & Sons. He was attracted to Pentland by the change to build real brands and learn from others in the business.
“The [brand development team] is like having our own internal best practice consultants, which is great because as a standalone brand that would be expensive,” he admits.
Berghaus is performing well, with both sales and market share rising although actual figures are not known as Pentland Brands does not break out revenues for individual brands. But Tattersall says the UK business is growing even before this marketing investment, which it is hoped will accelerate that growth. The campaign aims to attract new consumers to the brand by boosting awareness and relevance.
“It’s a concerted and sustained investment and it comes from a good place, a place where the brand is in the right shape to take this investment to grow and to get people outdoors.”