L.L.Bean, the retailer, has tapped the power of psychographics as it seeks to engage consumers with a passion for enjoying the great outdoors.

Kathryn Pratt, L.L.Bean’s director/brand engagement, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Brand Activation Conference.

More specifically, she outlined how its “Be an Outsider” positioning, which championed the idea of spending time out of doors, even during the workday, fed into a clear customer mindset.

“Our customer file was aging,” Pratt admitted, “so we reassessed our target audience. We selected a group we referred as the ‘outdoor family enthusiast,’” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How L.L.Bean found “white space” for new positioning.)

In getting to know this consumer segment, Pratt continued, “We did an enormous undertaking, looking at different customer segments, trying to understand who the right fit for us was.”

And the findings revealed that gender, age, location and household income were not a unifying factor. “What matters is your connection to the outdoors,” Pratt said. “That’s the link that connects all of the people within this target audience.”

Some “outdoor” brands, she added, have an “extreme” perception, “presenting the top of the mountain, the bloody knuckles, and are highly aspirational.”

Others are “more fashion-oriented, appearing to be somewhat outdoors-related, but really more in that fashion space,” Pratt explained to the ANA confab.

Based on such insights, L.L.Bean realised that “white space that existed for us is to be an incredibly approachable, accessible outdoor brand.”

And, from that perspective, “outdoors” can mean maybe stepping out into your backyard or taking a lunchtime walk down the street from the office.

With a “sheer joy of the outdoors” brand positioning, the retailer started sending the message, “Outside is Inside Everything We Make”.

According to Pratt, “We really wanted to make sure that we were capturing that shared joy, whether that’s with your family, whether that’s with your friends, or whether that’s with your four-legged friends. We love dogs – and the outdoors.”

Sourced from WARC