In China, when individuals think of the outdoors they associate it with poverty, and the lower classes living styles, but North Face is known to “Never Stop Exploring.” Therefore, when North Face merchandise expanded into China, the brand saw an opportunity to change that mindset and not only sell jackets, but sell an adventure and an experience. Most of the Chinese live their lives as modern as possible. North Face sought out to discover a younger and more adventure-hungry demographic. “Chuppies” or the urbanized Chinese demographic seemed to be the most susceptible to North Face’s idea.
The idea behind the “Red Flag campaign” started extremely simple, with the hopes of just getting people outside. The North Face Red Flag campaign gave consumers 6 days to travel all around and plant red flags in every new location that they explored. Eventually, this simple campaign idea turned into competitions, rugged adventures, real-life consumer examples, and an extremely successful marketing campaign. This campaign inspired people to get outside and explore, in turn leaving over 600,000 flags in newly explored areas in just those 6 days, and also increasing the brand recognition and creating a market for adventure needs in such a typically globalized part of the world.
“True climbers don’t look for the easy path, they look to challenge themselves; they choose to ascend a mountain from its icier, more difficult ‘north face’.” And thus, North Face became successful in China
By Alex Loseke