Eddie Bauer has a lot of stories to tell

Discussion
From “Breathtaking: K2 - The World’s Most Dangerous Mountain” – Eddie Bauer
Mar 10, 2022

Outdoor apparel brand Eddie Bauer is launching a new content hub for all of its in-house and user-generated content.

Eddie Bauer Stories is a section of the Eddie Bauer website that will act as a content destination for fans of the brand. The debut follows the launch of Eddie Bauer Studios in 2021, a segment of the business that creates video content.

The new portion of the website launches in conjunction with the release of the second season of Eddie Bauer’s “Outdoor Curious” series, which features tips from experts on topics like mountaineering and camping. Episodes are available on Eddie Bauer’s YouTube channel.

Eddie Bauer is not the only outdoor brand to see the value of creating a broad range of digital content to entertain and inform loyal customers.

REI launched its REI Co-Op Studios content arm in 2021. It is dedicated to the creation of films, podcasts and editorial programs.

The REI YouTube channel features a number of regularly updated, lifestyle-focused shows, such as a cooking show (“Cook Out with Chef Maria Hines”), a yoga practice show (“Deeply Moving with Elena Cheung”) and a camping show (“Miranda in the Wild!”). The REI e-commerce site features product assortments associated with some of the digital programming.

Customer stories, the likes of which are featured on Eddie Bauer Stories, have become popular marketing tools in the outdoor world.

An article on Outside Business Journal from fall of 2021 details campaigns from three brands — The North Face, Houdini and Kari Traa — all of which are based around soliciting and publishing user-submitted customer stories.

Brands in other areas of apparel have gotten even more innovative with their digital content.

In luxury apparel, brands like Saks have begun to run livestreaming shopping shows which allow visitors to interact with people representing the brand in real-time and purchase featured products.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely is content creation à la  Eddie Bauer and REI to become table stakes in the outdoors retail space? What are the keys for retailers and brands seeking to differentiate with video and other forms of content?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Such a great move for outdoor and performance retailers. Investing in content creation is a very smart strategy. "
"Having their own customers tell their stories helps less experienced customers create a vision of what they can do."
"I think the real Holy Grail will be the brand which figures out how to leverage their UGC and build a brand community with that as a focal point."

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17 Comments on "Eddie Bauer has a lot of stories to tell"


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Chuck Ehredt
BrainTrust

Engaging customers with content and experiences has been demonstrated in other categories for some time now. As the concept for the metaverse evolves, this type of immersion will become even more important as customers want to experience a brand and (maybe/probably) buy along the way. The North Face also introduced quite a lot of new content last year as part of the re-launch of their loyalty program. If brands want to build more emotional relationships with their customers, they are going to have to engage in the way customers live their brands.

Jenn McMillen
BrainTrust

To make a content strategy really sing, Eddie Bauer needs to make sure its content and values are working in concert, or the whole thing will read as inauthentic. Or worse, like they’re dilettantes. REI has the credibility in this space because they are a tip-to-toe outfitter; Eddie Bauer has nice outdoor wear, but would you trust only their gear to take you to the top of Mt. Everest?

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

Eddie Bauer’s creation of a content hub is a positive development in the wake of the brand’s acquisition by Authentic Brands. It demonstrates that Authentic Brands is investing in bolstering the Eddie Bauer brand rather than treating it as just another intellectual property holding.

Liza Amlani
BrainTrust

Such a great move for outdoor and performance retailers. Investing in content creation is a very smart strategy.

Meeting customers how they want to engage with brands and providing education, training, and product knowledge will only help create more brand loyalty.

The more consumers know about the brand, the more invested they will be in spending time with the brand and its platforms.

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

If ever related content and an immersive customer experience were a fit for retail, these two companies are perfect examples.

Rick Wilson
Guest
2 months 13 days ago

The key for smaller retailers who want to emulate the lifestyle content universes of these brands is simple: your budget doesn’t matter, the platform doesn’t matter – the content just has to be relevant to your business and customer, and that’s it. You can achieve this with a million-dollar fashion shoot on the beach, or a 10-second hand-held iPhone selfie video posted to IG – as long as what you show and say is in tune with what you sell and how your customer lives.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

At the moment, I don’t think we know whether all this content is valuable and contributes either to sales or to brand strength. It is quite easy to film and post this type of content. Whether anyone watches it or is moved by it has been a problem for 20 years. I’m cautious about its value.

David Spear
BrainTrust

This type of content is rich and rewarding on many levels. No doubt authenticity rules, along with frequent rotation. With this in mind, I think the best combination is a series of homemade + celeb/professional videos and podcasts that highlight a unique story where the products/brands play an extremely important role in the overall success of the event. Tips, insights and education will go a long way in galvanizing others’ interest in purchasing said items.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

The most powerful component of brand loyalty is emotion. Time spent in the great outdoors creates an abundance of experiences — happy, engaging, emotional experiences. Documenting these experiences and sharing them as part of a retail strategy makes abundant sense. This goes way beyond a brand saying, “Here’s my stuff and it’s on sale.” This is about a brand incorporating “how to” as part of its brand promise. Yeah, absolutely table stakes.

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

Adventure travel and weaving stories around apparel has been a thing since the Banana Republic days. It is exactly how brands establish themselves, by tying their products to lifestyles and activities.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

Telling relevant stories in engaging ways that connect the audience with the brand and build communities is powerfully primal and effective. Technology enables storytelling with innovative ways of creating, disseminating, and engaging customer experiences.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

I ask myself every time a discussion like this comes up, how many people will really take the time to watch them?

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Peer storytelling is an effective way to build consumer community and brand loyalty. I think it will be table stakes, not just in outdoor retailing, but in more and more forms of retailing. Why tell your story as a retailer, when your customers can do a better job?

Evan Snively
BrainTrust
Evan Snively
Director of Planning & Loyalty, Moosylvania
2 months 13 days ago

Outdoor lifestyle companies certainly have the advantage when it comes to creating captivating content that is relevant to their brand. Most have sponsorships or ties to professional athletes/influencers, however I think the real Holy Grail will be the brand which figures out how to leverage their UGC and build a brand community with that as a focal point.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Content matters because content is a key part of the retail experience. Good content is already table stakes for outdoor retail and in most cases for other retail sub-verticals. Since the democratization of product information (i.e. the internet) came about, content has been king. Good content (or rather relevant content) was critical to site visitors and store visitors alike. The differentiation is directly tied back to experience. In the case of Eddie Bauer and REI, we see holistic marketing that encompasses marketing campaigns, in-store demos, videos and tips, blogging, vlogging, and fan based UGC. Add in product recommendations (Amazon’s power punch), strong store appeal (Target style) and coordinated marketing to make a superlative experience for customers.

Brian Cluster
BrainTrust

Content creation is important for outdoor brands because many of their outdoor enthusiastic customers have aspirational fitness and experiential goals. Surprisingly, brands such as Red Bull have already demonstrated that exciting and highly experiential content can be a good platform to share the key aspects of the brand and cement loyalty for customers that align with that lifestyle.

I think that it is important not only to create exhilarating content about extreme adventures, but also to have educational content for consumers just starting their journey in the outdoor lifestyle. It makes the brand accessible for new customers.

Having their own customers tell their stories helps less experienced customers create a vision of what they can do. The products enable these incredible adventures but the customers are the star.

Anil Patel
BrainTrust

I think REI and Eddie Bauer are doing a great job in bridging the gaps in outdoor retail space through their content. Both of them are setting long-term trends and guiding their customers about how they leverage those hiking products. To differentiate from these brands, other similar ones would need to set new dimensions to a product and redefine it. And creating content is the only way to achieve it.

Secondly, retailers would be able to differentiate through content only when they focus on breaking through the conventional styles of using a product. Digitally savvy consumers love exploring and experimenting with new products. Customers don’t always know how to use a product. Or there can be a million other features of a product that users are mostly unaware of. Only content can help create new practices for consumption and inspire customers to try it.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Such a great move for outdoor and performance retailers. Investing in content creation is a very smart strategy. "
"Having their own customers tell their stories helps less experienced customers create a vision of what they can do."
"I think the real Holy Grail will be the brand which figures out how to leverage their UGC and build a brand community with that as a focal point."

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