Projects · Verbal Brand, Marketing Activation, Ongoing Marketing and Campaigns
Challenge: Established in 1945 in a small town in the Austrian Alps, Blizzard was esteemed for seven decades for innovation, quality, and performance, and enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as one of the winningest and most respected ski brands in the world. In 2014, Austrian slalom star Mario Matt won the gold medal in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. But as swiftly as he won, he retired and Blizzard was left without a marquee race name, and after only modest successes in the past decade, Europe no longer associated Blizzard as a race brand. In addition to its quickly deteriorating race identity, the brand had other identity issues. Over the years, it was referred to as “Blizz-ARD” not “blizzard” like the storm — it was so engrained that even internal stakeholders pronounced it incorrectly. That directly contradicted Blizzard founder Toni Arnsteiner’s intention when, in 1953, he chose the name Blizzard because it carried the same meaning and pronunciation in all western languages. The overall state of the industry also had begun to dip as seasons got shorter due to climate change making it even more challenging for hardgoods companies. Combined with a nearly non-existent marketing budget, Blizzard was falling behind.
Solution: TWIO Brand and Blizzard teamed up in early 2015 to remake the Blizzard brand. The goals were three-fold: to establish the brand as leader, not just in race, but in four main product categories; communicate across culture, geography, gender, age; and appeal to both the head and the heart. With those objectives in mind, we were commissioned to write the verbal brand study. We interviewed Blizzard’s global leadership, middle management, plus retailers and customers to determine where Blizzard could position itself in the ski industry. The study culminated with a 41-page brand book that included both a verbal and a visual guide so Blizzard executives to ski reps could speak coherently on behalf of the brand. We then developed their global marketing campaign — articulating the brand under the banner of “Feel / Free.” We designed the look and feel, including packaging, merchandising, and advertising (digital and traditional), and began managing their social media channels for all global audiences.
Results: The reemergence of the Blizzard brand, one that is associated with quality, innovation and lifestyle. It is back on top as the best-selling ski manufacturer in the world.