The North Face: Finding True North

Ogilvy Shanghai

Advertiser: VF Corporation
Brand: The North Face
Country: China

Objectives

Around the world, The North Face is the leading brand of outdoor adventurism. It is widely accepted as the main pioneer of the outdoor categoryi and it generally enjoys the number one position in every market it competes in.ii

Except China. Unlike the USA where the brand enjoys a long history of pioneering stretching back to 1968, in China, The North Face began seriously pushing its brand as late as 2009.iii Consequently, the market was crowded with nearly 600 competitor brandsiv and The North Face found itself in the unfamiliar position of the 'underdog'. This was a problem because the premium Chinese outdoor market was now a $1Billion USD market growing at 30% each year and was increasingly seen as 'mission critical' for VF Corporation's expansion plans for China.