🌱 'Creating a world moved by mountains': 3 communities your favourite brands are working with, and 3 things you can learn from Mammut.
Featuring Early Majority, Columbia, Sapling Spirits, Wild and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Connecting your customers with the great outdoors: How to drive social impact by partnering with thriving digital communities.
Brand Spotlight: Mammut: Creating a world moved by mountains.
In case you missed it: 🌱 Fashion's Financial Frontiers: How Early Majority's membership drove 24% of revenue in its first month, and 5 partners to scale your resale.
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Heura Foods, the plant-based protein company, have raised €40 million in Series B funding - the largest plant-based funding round of 2023. The funding comes with a collaboration with other plant based leader, Upfield, to accelerate the production of plant-based products internationally.
🎯 Hayman’s Gin announced that they are B Corp certified. Part of their application included their efforts to reduce their carbon production by 23% in 2023.
🎯 Sapling Spirits have launched their Climate Positive Vodka in Waitrose stores. For every bottle sold, a tree is planted with the information provided directly to the consumer via a unique code on the bottle.
🎯 Wild have launched their Love Heart case with Choose Love, the organisation which supports refugees and displaced people globally. Wild will donate £10,000 of the sales generated from the deodorant case to Choose Love.
🎯 Bolder Foods announced the production of their MycoVeg, an ingredient made from mycelium which can be used in non-dairy cheeses. The ingredient, produced using fermentation, aims to bridge the gap between dairy and plant-based cheeses by improving both the nutrition and texture of plant-based products. The aim is for MycoVeg to be used in products on shelves by 2025.
⭐️ Bond Pet Foods announced the creation of their fermentation-produced animal protein, which will be used in Hill’s Pet Nutrition products. Bond Pet Foods produced 2 metric tonnes of the animal protein which Hill’s will begin developing new products with.
⭐️ Kraft Heinz announced their plans to build a green-powered hydrogen plant at their Wigan baked bean factory, ready for launch in 2026. The goal is for the plant to supplement half of the factory’s current energy expenditure - saving 16 000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
> Quick Take
Connecting your customers with the great outdoors: How to drive social impact by partnering with thriving digital communities.
For a brand with impact at its heart, building a strong brand community is one of the most effective strategies to bring that mission to life. This week, we’re highlighting some of the thriving outdoor communities that brands are partnering with today, and how SME’s and start-ups can build communities of their own.
Forbes noted that to be impactful, brand communities should go beyond selling and instead provide value for members. Following the pandemic, more people are craving offline connections, united by similar values and interests (and a love for their favourite brands). Shoppers are increasingly interested in how sustainable brands are and how they foster connection. Small businesses, therefore, are well placed to build and access digital communities that can bring their brand and social impact visions to life.
The digital communities getting more people outdoors:
The outdoor apparel industry, in particular, has excelled in bringing their brands to life by engaging with brand communities.
Outdoor groups like Athene Club, Gorp Girls and Cmnground, that aim to increase accessibility to the outdoors, have grown significantly since the pandemic, bringing inner-city outdoor lovers into nature. They’ve partnered with brands like Timberland, Nike and Columbia, which has brought tactical gear to their target audience in outdoor settings. Let’s take a closer look…
Athene Club, with over 7k followers on Instagram and their 500-strong group chat, is an all-girls outdoor community focused on nature accessibility. Founded by fashion photographers Zaineb and Olivia, their aesthetic image has likely played a large part in their success. Athene offers outdoor brands an organic opportunity to connect to their audiences with their unique visual style.
Gorp Girls, playing on the ‘Gorp Core’ aesthetic coined in 2017, has also seen great US and UK success. This thriving community represents a part of “The New Outdoors”, a safe space for people of all identities and backgrounds to enjoy nature. GorpGirls founder, Hannah de Silva, suggests that people are now a lot more conscious about what they buy – whether it’s finding vintage/second-hand clothes or focusing on sportswear function and longevity.
Therefore, outdoor brands are in a position to access these communities, really listen to them and build strong brand advocates. For example, Columbia’s The Hike Society host hikes led by digital creators like Cmnground and Soft Girls Who Hike, to show not just the functionality of their products, but what they stand for and who advocates for them. Partnerships that have helped build an authentic connection between brand, mission and community.
So, how do you do it?
Building authentic partnerships through real-life community events could be the key to unlocking your most loyal fanbase and driving social impact. To make this a reality:
Identify your mission, audience and medium for connection.
Build relationships through social media and community events. If you’re a food and drink brand, host a supper club or drink tasting. If you’re a homeware brand, host a sip and paint class. If you’re a cosmetics brand, host a live workshop.
Voila! Build community around the real-life extension of your brand.
Keen to access already thriving digital communities? Building strong relationships with influencers and digital creators that breathe life into your identity will be the key. If their values align with your own, fostering a partnership can help authentically communicate your brand and mission.
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> Brand Spotlight
Mammut: Creating a world moved by mountains.
Drawing inspiration from our current focus on challenger brands, this week we shine a spotlight on Mammut: a tactical outdoors-wear brand with a 160-year journey that epitomizes genuine passion, top quality, and a unique marketing strategy.
Mammut's 1862 beginnings in Switzerland echo those of many startups; they persevered beyond humble origins thanks to their clear mission and belief in fully embracing life. Today, Mammut showcases how these ideals can be realized through a commitment to innovation, athlete partnerships, and environmental stewardship.
3 things every brand can learn from Mammut:
Innovation: Mammut's dedication to innovation has been unwavering. From pioneering the production of the first glacial rope from nylon yarn in 1952 to the Extraordinary Jacket (a collab between Mammut, Nespresso and HeiQ using recycled coffee pods), to the most compact UIAA-certified avalanche shovel just last month, Mammut consistently pushes the boundaries of outdoor apparel and equipment.
Our top learning: Stay true to your product and company values. Avoid rushing out new products simply for the sake of it. Innovation requires patience and alignment with your brand's ethos.
Athlete Engagement and Education: Mammut's marketing strategy revolves around inspiring outdoor enthusiasts to embrace the mountains. One aspect features community initiatives like the Close the Loop circularity project across climbing gyms and communities in Switzerland and the global awareness raising #togetherforglaciers campaign. The second aspect is the showcasing of their athletes. A singular underlying passion unites them all: to continuously redefine the limits of what's possible in sports and protect their playgrounds.
Our top learning: Collaboration is key. Utilise the expertise of others and leverage your brand's platform to amplify important messages. Stay authentic to your brand vision while engaging with your audience.
ESG Responsibility: Mammut's commitment to sustainability has grown with the brand, including appointing a new head of ESG just two weeks ago. While it's impossible to encapsulate everything Mammut has achieved in 160 years, their social and responsibility reports provide transparency around their values, practices and progress. A quick nod from us to the likes of ClimbAID (since 2020), Fair Wear, STAND.Earth and UNLESS who help hold Mammut to account.
Our top learning: In an industry where brands often strive to present themselves as flawless, Mammut's willingness to transparently share highs - like becoming the first company from the outdoor sector to conclude a Direct Air Capture agreement with Climeworks - and lows, like acknowledging the need to improve within their value chain, sets a powerful example. By celebrating achievements and fostering a culture of openness, brands can inspire others to join the journey towards a more sustainable future. (we love how Mill and Tony’s Chocolonely have done this too)
Mammut's journey offers valuable lessons for brands of all sizes. By staying true to their values, fostering collaboration, and embracing responsibility, brands can emulate Mammut's success and contribute to a more sustainable and impactful future. All with a sprinkle of wanderlust, a jaw-drop at serious athlete skills and a love for the great outdoors.
Take a closer look at Mammut:
> In case you missed it
🌱 Fashion's Financial Frontiers: How Early Majority's membership drove 24% of revenue in its first month, and 5 partners to scale your resale.
Featuring SOJO, The North Face, Levi's, Asket, IKEA and more...
> Follow up with…
Webinar: Online Deep Dive | Corporate Carbon Footprint - 15th February
Event: Future of Fashion - Blue Earth Summit - 20th February