Icebreaker is a global outdoor apparel manufacturer and retailer headquartered in New Zealand. Launched in 1994, the brand created an entirely new clothing category – merino wool fibre active clothing for the outdoors. Today it is a global brand synonymous with quality, style and high performance, as well as sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. The brand is built on the stories behind where the raw materials come from. They have a great yarn to tell and want to tell it well.
Icebreaker had grown to a point where managing the brand across local marketing teams in eight markets globally, distributors in over 30 countries, retail sales staff in 2000 stores, customer services people and even external designers was becoming harder to control. Finding brand management software to communicate and distribute the brand values, brand stories and digital assets quickly and efficiently was vital to building Icebreaker’s business further.
One of the first Icebreaker garments was worn by the late Sir Peter Blake. He returned from the Southern Ocean claiming the fabric was “superior in every way to anything I had ever worn before”, and revealing he’d worn his Icebreaker for 43 days and 43 nights without changing.
This and other anecdotes which bring the brand to life can now be found in ‘thestation.icebreaker.com’, Icebreaker’s new online brand management software tool from Brandworkz. Communicating the brand personality, vision and meaning, ‘The Station’ is also where you find all the marketing and brand tools you need anytime, anywhere. Brandworkz digital asset management functionality means logos, photography and videos to sales training materials or even marketing campaigns can be accessed and used in any country. Even the latest in-store POS, new season photography and Web-to-Publish toolkits to allow teams to customise artwork, are available in their brand management software. Materials for PR agencies and the media can also be downloaded, saving huge amounts of time and resources, reducing the duplication of work and providing a holistic brand management system.
Icebreakers brand management software is the central go-to resource for Icebreaker’s brand management and digital asset management and the adoption rate for The Station by all users is 40% higher than expected. As would be expected, Marketing Managers locally and overseas are the most frequent users. Kent, an Icebreaker marketer in California, sums it up: “This is above and beyond expectations!! You totally hit the mark and have the exact right tool that we need.”
Retail teams globally make up 53% of users, accessing the latest in-store POS, new season photography and Web-to-Publish toolkits directly, without having to submit a brief for material to head office. With additional access to brand and product facts, the incredible benefits of Icebreaker’s outdoor products can be communicated to consumers consistently to increase customer trial, promote repeat purchases and build a word-of-mouth network. Nick, an account manager in Australia says “This has transformed the way we deliver assets to our retailers”.
At the end of 2012 the company posted turnover figures of US$200m. With a marketing strategy that eschews traditional advertising in favour of word-of-mouth and PR, a powerful, consistent brand is absolutely key to building sales and the business.
It is estimated that savings from reduced ad hoc requests for creation of marketing materials alone has saved $100,000 per year. Time to market for new collections has been reduced by 1 month and use of out of date imagery has virtually been eradicated since the implementation of Brandworkz brand management software. Marketing and creative departments now concentrate on creating strategic, highly effective marketing toolkits for retailers, thereby increasing sales.
The Station, built with Brandworkz technology, is a major part of making our marketing strategy a success, providing full brand and digital asset management as well as web-to-print technology to all our marketing and sales people. As a one-stop brand experience it is second to none!