Merrell uses virtual reality to refresh brand

Merrell, an outdoor-apparel brand uses virtual reality to get back outdoors and re-engage with its core consumers – adventure lovers. They ran a “walk around” Oculus Rift experience at the Sundance Film Festival in January. They said this will be the first of many virtual reality activations.

Merrell Virtual Reality


Gene McCarthy, who became president of the company in August 2013 wanted to redefine its brand voice. “We don’t own this brand, consumers do. We just manage it for them,” said Mr. McCarthy. His primary goal was to move to a more modern form of marketing.

This new form of marketing aimed to inspire adventure and encourage people to explore the outdoors.  The company decided to invest in digital technology in an effort to reach a broader consumer base and revive the brand as its core customers, who are mostly over 40-years-old, start to age.

Why It’s Hot: 

We have seen bigger brands take on a virtual reality, but Merrell targeted their demo very well. They went to where they will find the younger generation and gave them the opportunity to take on this cool experience. It’s something that I can see a lot of brands doing in the future. Everyone wishes they could test something out before they buy it and this gives you the opportunity to.

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