Outdoor Retailer: January

The scent of adventure is in the air.

This is the show for risk takers, cliff dwellers, mountain enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies and the average admirer of them all (me).

We come here each year to meet with clients, connect with old friends and sneak a peek at the next innovations. This is where we first saw GoPro in a 10x10 booth pitching a small mountable camera in a box. This is where we first saw our new packaging designs for Patagonia, SmartWool, AlpineAire, Yakima, Hydro Flask and Stansport. And, this is where we’ve developed a reputation for thoughtful research methods paired with exceptional design thinking.

It is fair to say, we love this show as much as any national holiday.

Outdoor Retailer has gone through some dramatic changes, with Patagonia propelling issues around social responsibility (punching Donald in the face) and forcing the venue change from Salt Lake City to the current location of Denver. The next change was a splinter of winter from January to November and January, causing a gritting of teeth heard from at least a block from the convention center. Yet, we still persist, because a show and industry that has given us so much deserves a bit of forgiveness for stepping on their poncho.

We have arrived with a full docket of meetings, some interesting updates and new introductions in other parts of the city. We’ll be talking through some of our most recent special projects and some new online ventures coming soon.

Some of these special projects include:

Merging Brands
Working through all the challenges when brands are acquired, divested or merged with others. This is an effort of research, brand strategy, messaging and design in a variety of digital and physical forms. Our experience with this type of special project is as deep as it is long.

Refreshing Brands
Sometimes time and the marketplace passes a brand by and there’s a need to refresh the visual and written language of a brand. This effort can have a dramatic impact on selling into new retailers and offering shoppers a new reason to look at the brand in-market.

Inventing Brands
Inventing new is the most challenging effort for a brand team, but the results can be immense. This might start with the seedling of an idea or right when a name and brand are required to make the new venture real. We get excited to see new, just like everyone else, watching brands as they evolve.

We have a couple new special projects coming out soon, one in the e-commerce space and another in traditional advertising. More on these as we are allowed to make them public and share with our community.

As we sit here, the big blue bear stands tall looking over the entrance making sure everyone is getting down to business.

We’re here, we hope you are too.

Aaron Keller
Columnist, TCBmag.com
Co-Author, The Physics of Brand
Co-Founder, Capsule.us

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