October 20, 2014 / BRANDS ARE LIKE PEOPLE
October 20, 2014
Eddie Bauer is undoubtedly one of America’s most iconic brands, steeped in a rich history of adventure dating back nearly 100 years to its founder and namesake. This entrepreneurial outfitter was responsible for designing the first down parka, and outfitting the first Americans to summit Everest as well as pilots duing the U.S. Air Force in WWII. And in the ‘90s, Ford released its limited edition Eddie Bauer Explorer.
Although Eddie Bauer was the original American outfitter, after a number of owners, each with different expectations, the brand drifted from its core purpose in pursuit of growth. And its journey away from authentic outfitter to a catalog-centric brand offering stretch pants and accent pillows was part of its downfall. Add to this the arrival of laser-focused competitors like The North Face and Patagonia, and it suddenly became a battle for the outdoor outfitting space.
Bulldog was hired by Golden Gate Capital and its new management team to help find the brand’s authentic core and build a brand platform to serve as the foundation for revitalizing and rebuilding the brand. We worked closely with the Eddie Bauer leadership team to frame a clear picture of the future state of the business and a new vision, mission and values to drive them back to success.
We spent countless hours in the company’s archives and were inspired by the captivating story of Eddie Bauer’s entrepreneurial inventiveness and his passion for the outdoors. From there, we knew that the Great Northwest and the brand’s rich heritage with a modern translation had to play integral parts in the overarching brand platform.
As we designed the brand platform, we created a visual story that highlights a love for adventure whether it be in the great outdoors or in your own backyard—after all, true adventure can be found anywhere.
We also explored a refreshed identity system. Inspired by other great American brands like Ralph Lauren, we set out to simplify and modernize the visual identity. We developed a more streamlined version of Eddie’s original signature paired with a classic font to create a system of consistency and cohesion across all facets of the brand.
The result is a brand with a newly defined sense of purpose and a newfound passion emanating from every department, every catalog spread, jacket detail and photo shoot. Our journey together reaffirmed Eddie Bauer’s position in the world of adventure so they can continue outfitting America for the next 100 years.
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