The Dominion Post
Kathmandu rebrands with burst of colour
Kathmandu’s first significant rebranding in its 30-year history is set to move the outdoor equipment retailer away from the idea that the outdoors should be conquered.
Instead, Kathmandu chief executive Reuben Casey said the new messaging was focused on enjoying and preserving the natural world.
‘‘This is a reset moment for us, to be a lot more playful and fun and carefree,’’ Casey said. ‘‘Outdoor companies around the world are generally about snow, mountains, suffering and achievement. That’s not us.’’
The core message of the rebranding was that the outdoors was for everybody, regardless of what they looked like, where they were from, what they believed or what they were interested in, he said.
While Kathmandu had a long history of appealing to a broad range of customers, the target customer was now 25 to 34 years old, he said. ‘‘They are the biggest part of the market, they are the biggest participators in the outdoors, and they are the biggest spenders. We need to make sure we remain relevant
to that group in particular without losing the customer base that we have.’’
A focus on sustainable practices, including Kathmandu’s B Corp registration, fit with the values of that younger generation, Casey said.
Kathmandu started in Christchurch
in 1987 and is dual listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.
Aside from the ‘‘joyful’’ messaging that would run across its advertising, the the colour pallete of the new range would be broader and brighter than it had traditionally been, Casey said.
‘‘So it’s not just black and navy – there’s a good broad range of colours,’’ he said. ‘‘Colours bring us joy, they elevate the senses, and you see that when you are outside – there are beautiful colours in nature.’’
Kathmandu always had ‘‘good, functional gear’’, but function alone would not get the company to long-term success, he said.
‘‘We want customers to want to have that product, we want that desirability.’’
The rebrand is being driven, in part, by new staff hired over the last 12 months in product development and brand management.