Brand History at the Root of Filson's Success
Our customers are passionate about the brand, Egler said. The company's products often conjure up memories of their great-grandfather or grandfather wearing a Filson coat mining for gold or tending to the family's cattle. In fact, Filson customers frequently send their apparel back to the brand after putting it to use for 40 years, 50 years. The company couldn't create a better advertisement, Egler said. The retailer's marketing team (which consists of all of five employees) takes photos of these products and tells the stories behind the ranchers, loggers and miners that wore them.
Marketing History in a Modern World
While connected to its past, Filson realizes it must evolve with the times to continue to grow its brand. The retailer uses multiple marketing vehicles — email, catalogs, paid and organic search, behavioral retargeting via banner ads — to tell its story. One area where Egler sees an opportunity for Filson, and one in which he plans to invest, is video. The fact that Filson is one of the very few apparel retailers out there that also manufactures its products is a differentiating factor that consumers need to be aware of.
We have the opportunity to use video to tell our manufacturing story, including profiling the workers in our factory (many of whom have been with the company 30-plus years) and showing our products being made, Egler said. There's a tremendous amount of detail and craftsmanship that's put into our products; this message needs to bleed into our marketing, he added.
That said, Filson doesn't spend a lot of money to market its brand and products. It leverages the tremendous passion its customers have for the brand to help spread its message (e.g., customer reviews). Being a Filson customer is like being in a secret handshake club, Egler said.