Far more than earthy red! Hamburg, March 2014, JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE is mandated to reposition the company Globetrotter and to develop its brand strategy for the brand relaunch. The working process couldn´t have been more exciting! And today: Since May Globetrotter can be found with a new image, in earthy red. A change which rose from the inside while still keeping its origins. With this relaunch, a new benchmark for the Outdoor scene has been defined. Julius Geis had the opportunity to lead this process during the last two years.
THE STARTING POSITION
Across Germany, Globetrotter is one of the best known specialized retailer in the area “Outdoors”. The company based in Hamburg has literally achieved cult status with its innovative adventure stores. Multi-channel concepts were part of the strategy at an early stage. With this, the company was able to set an example for stationary retail business. Globetrotter ranked amongst many fans as the unsurpassed number one. But also for other, not outdoor-affine persons, Globetrotter opened the doors for an active life in nature.
THE OUTDOOR-MARKET AND ITS CHANGE
In 2011 and 2012 the outdoor market turned. New competitors entered the market and the digitalization ran its course. Two years later the crises reached a new peak. The oversupply of products at the market accelerated the process of cannibalization, which not only affected the stationary but also the online retailers. Globetrotter was no exception.
For Globetrotter, the changes not only happened externally – the company also experienced an inner change. Since mid of 2015 Globetrotter belongs to 100% to the Fenix Group.
THE APPROACH, BRAND STRATEGY
It hasn´t been an easy process for Globetrotter to better know and define itself – in times of high dependency on external influences. The growing success of the online retailers increased the pressure on revenues directly.
Nevertheless, the common way could be find together with JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE. During interviews and small working groups the “new” Globetrotter has been discussed and purpose – values – and vision of the company redefined. The intrinsic brand model by JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE® lead the way during the further process. But most of all a new understanding of the brand and a new positioning profile have been developed. Nowadays Globetrotter does not only talk about a new market, but also about a clear positioning and vision – both internally and externally.
CONTINUING COLLABORATION WITH JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE®
The strategic phase took nearly two years. The core idea had to pass several hurdles. It was not only a matter of inner persuasion - the brand strategy also had to resist optimization processes of the new Holding (Fenix Group, FRILUFTS RETAIL AB)). And it succeeded.
For the following six months JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE® has been in charge as Interim Brand Manager during the implementation phase. Since May 2016 JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE resumes the role as external brand observer. He continuously sets external impetus during this exciting launch phase.
DIALOGUE WITH TORSTEN FISCHER, HEAD OF MARKETING
Julius: If you think back in time, to the beginning of our collaboration. How would you describe the situation of Globetrotter at that time?
Torsten: It was preceded by a very specific time, during which the market changed significantly. The crises lasted for about three years. The market exploded. We were facing an increasing number of new competitors – above all in online retailing. This led to a more and more aggressive price war. Due to the preceded years of success, we as Globetrotter participated initially in the play. However, after two years we had to realize that this type of selling was not our thing. It led us into a deeper stagnation.
We started to rethink with the moment we first met. We wanted to change and stay attractive and successful in the future.
Julius: How did Globetrotter define itself as a brand before our collaboration?
Torsten: We did not define us a lot as a brand. It went without saying that we were living what we were selling. We were still embossed by the founding spirit. It didn´t cross our mind that a retailer could be a brand at the same time.
Julius: You as brand manager are responsible for the strategic development of the brand. How did you and your team experience the changing process during the last two years?
Torsten: Naturally the changing process affected the mood of the people. That´s logical, since we have been on the road to success for years! We didn´t respond to the change and suddenly our sales were at risk. Initially we continued with old strategies, until we also adopted price-driven marketing strategies. Our newsletter, for example, highlighted information on prices and discount campaigns. It caused quite rapidly a kind of dissatisfaction among our employees. Week by week we created newsletters, which were more or less focusing the product prices. It had nothing to do with working creatively.
Julius: How difficult has it been for you and your team to convince the staff that a brand relaunch was the way to go?
Torsten: It wasn´t and still isn´t easy. Talking a lot to each other… But our colleagues are looking forward to the new way – this is often reflected to me during several discussions. Our employees themselves love to be outside in nature and that´s what the brand Globetrotter still wants today: real life, for real experience!
Julius: What can we expect from Globetrotter this year?
Torsten: We want to live a modern and fresh brand, which can survive at the market in the long-term and inspires young people to the new “Outdoors” – naturally without losing sight of our long-standing clients. I.e. we are going to present our new webshop with a completely new “shopping experience” in September. We also launched a great magazine concept with the new Globetrotter magazine, which offers a new insight, new horizons to the readers. Additionally, we are going to redesign the visual appearance of our stores. There is a lot to do, but I´m looking forward to it!
Julius: Thank you, Torsten!