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Carhartt taps 'makers and doers'

News, 12 November 2015

ORLANDO, FL: Carhartt, the apparel company, has driven growth in both its core brand metrics and sales by appealing to "makers" and "doers" – an approach allowing it to reach a broader audience than ever before.

Tony Ambroza, the organisation's svp/marketing, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando.

"What we've done is: we've focused on the 'makers' and the 'doers'," he said. (For more, including how Carhartt has built its marketing muscle, read Warc's exclusive report: Carhartt builds its brand with makers and doers.)

"This isn't just about an age. This is a mindset. This is something that's really permeating America in significant ways. That's how we start to broaden our brand."

On the one hand, he asserted, Carhartt continues to champion blue-collar Americans working in some of the most physically demanding jobs imaginable – and who have represented its primary customer base for more than a century.

"At Carhartt, we celebrate – and care about – them every single day, because we really value what they do and mean," said Ambroza.

"What does it mean if your household income is $50,000 year – [and] you have three mouths to feed, a mortgage over your head to deal with and all your costs are going up – to spend $150 on a coat? You have to respect that and you have to remember that."

On the other hand, the brand has increasingly been able to engage members of the "maker movement", whether they are craft brewers, 3D printing pioneers or manufacturers of "reclaimed" furniture.

This new kind of customer prioritises personal responsibility, hard work, physical exertion and attention to detail – the same values that characterise Carhartt's established clientele.

As a result of this dual-audience strategy, the firm has seen lifts in awareness, affinity and consideration – while annual sales have leapt to almost $1bn.

"There's been staggering growth as we look at it around the country," said Ambroza.

Data sourced from Warc