“My mom was the best kind of coach growing up, and she had this saying ‘TYB, baby. Try your best, baby.’ Whether she was sending me to school or soccer practice or a slumber party, she’d say ‘TYB, baby!’ And that’s kind of this ongoing model we have at Outdoor Voices. It drums up enthusiasm and energy.”
ALO Yoga and Outdoor Voices share overall business and online marketing strategies (see Part I and II of series), but their messages are a lesson in contrast: where ALO is exclusive, Outdoor Voices espouses and demonstrates inclusivity. “We really wanted to create a brand that celebrates activity rather than making it competitive,” OV founder and CEO Tyler Haney said in a 2016 CNBC interview. “We talk about our customer as someone who is active but not defined by it. For that reason, we get people from all walks of life.” She created the brand, she says, to “Give customers an alternative to the macho competitive feeling of existing [brands] that focus not on enjoyment of activities but on doing everything better, faster and stronger.
Operationalized, this means focus on fabric and fit; key partnerships with fashion houses like APC to elevate OV’s fashion status; and product design, marketing and in-store events that focus on being active, not an athlete. Outdoor Voices social media campaign focuses on real people getting out and doing things, and wearers can gather in their (relatively few—80% of sales are online) brick and mortar stores and go for dog walks, runs and more. “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best,” says Haney, 29. “With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.”
This philosophy (and the understanding of consumer behavior, market trends, and gaps within them) resonates with the public: Haney made the Forbes 2016 30 Under 30 List, her company has raised nearly sixty million dollars from investors and has had triple-digit growth year on year since its founding. The company is not yet profitable, but Haney says it’s “close.”
Listen to Haney talk about why she thinks her company was able to raise capital here: Forbes' newest podcast, Million$,
Read this article from The New Yorker (it’s short)
Read this article in Vogue
Get out and do things!