Thursday, April 2, 2009

Love the madness.

I’m just going to say it: I think the digital direct marketing on the part of the Moosejaw brand is really smart, and also quite entertaining.

I really never thought I would find myself writing on this topic. Maybe Howard is putting something in the water at the 101 building; usually, I find the thought of direct to be quite unpleasant and likely to put me into a deep sleep. However, what Moosejaw has done with direct is running along the same line as my previous discussion of creation of original brand content, and I find it to be 100% awesome.

I was at Moosejaw in December of 2008 for a media event, which probably explains a lot (I am not exactly the outdoorsy type). On this chilly evening, the charming and knowledgeable sales associate working the floor was miraculously able to convince me to sign up for their e-newsletter. Not only did I get a ridiculously cute ice-skating date out of the deal, I also found myself completely engrossed in their e-newsletters each week. I get a lot of newsletters, coupons, etc., and I never really expect much out of them, but the Moosejaw Rewards program is completely golden. The formula is simple: entice with a deal, sweeten with humor. Click here for sample newsletter, entited: Free Moosejaw Hoody and my moustache regimen.

The deal: Purchase anything over $50 and any Moosejaw hoody will be freesville. Their sweatshirts are amazing. I’m sold.

The joke: Your mustache regimen? Say no more. I’m hooked.

Reasons that I find Moosejaw’s direct marketing schematics to be most excellent:

1. It’s on-brand, and it’s funny.
Moosejaw is known for being a top-notch vendor of the best of the best in outdoor gear.* Moosejaw shoppers are likely to be fiercely loyal to their sport, so it comes as no surprise that this audience would be receptive to loyalty messaging. The deals in their communication are consistent (once or twice weekly) and pretty sweet. As such, I am guessing they have the attention of their audience.

They’re also known for being a little goofy. Have you ever called one of their stores? Try it. If he/she doesn’t answer the phone with a rousing “MoooOOOOOOOOOOOoosejaw,” ask to speak to the manager. If nothing else, it gives the brand a little extra mustard. I have been to plenty of outdoor gear retailers in my day, but have never been a loyal fan of one before Moosejaw. I appreciate the added entertainment, you know? It almost distracts from the fact that I’m spending $150 on a fleece.

2. They know it’s funny, and they know it’s good.
Did you see the trick I did up there, where I showed you the newsletter as a webpage? Yeah. They know it’s funny, and they know funny is viral, so they helped me out by making it as easily share-able as possible. I’m guessing this is not a coincidence. Also, they are really providing value to their core consumers with their offers. You can also find them on Twitter, for easy access. And, for maximum convenience, all offers are housed centrally on Moosejaw In my humble opinion, funny, valuable, convenient content is a good formula for digital success.

I may be closer to the North Face girl in the bar than the girl climbing a mountain in her fleece, but I do know a few things about marketing. If you’re going to do loyalty programming and direct in the digital space, it helps to be entertaining and relevant. The Moosejaw case study spits in the face of boring email and direct campaigns. And, what can I say?

I love the madness.

*Yeah, yeah. How would I know, right? Well, my supervisor, Amy, is a serious surfer, wakeboarder and snowboarder, and I confirmed this with her before posting, so we’re good.


  1. "I appreciate the added entertainment, you know? It almost distracts from the fact that I’m spending $150 on a fleece."

    That's gold! Well said. I love it!

  2. I love Moosejaw! They do have some extraordinary deals!

  3. Thanks Nick. Glad you likey.

    And Katie - yes! The deals are phenom.

  4. having a "don't take yourself too seriously" personality certainly has it's charm. will have to look closer at how competitive their pricing is gonna be up against the REI.

  5. Totally! Am assuming that they throw this stuff out there to keep the deals competitive and make sure their true fans would never stray to REI. Unsure, seeing as I am not really their core consumer.

  6. Moosejaw sucks if you are a REAL outdoor enthusiest. Most of the staff and customer service morons don't know anything about outdoors, and it is obvious that everyone is faking it. The service is good, but they remind me of bank-tellers and overseas credit card call centers. As for the deals, well, everyone is giving them right now if they want to survive...

  7. Relax brother, not everyone at the company can be Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. There are plenty of knowledgeable people working there and if someone doesn't know enough to answer your question about a product, they're definitely sitting within shouting distance of someone who does and can get the customer the proper info. Have patience and just love the madness.

  8. Anonymous number 1: As a non-outdoorsy person, I was really crediting MJ more for their direct marketing strategy than their knowledge of the outdoors. It's not often you find direct campaigns that are inspiring or note-worthy.

    Anonymous number 2: I have always enjoyed my MJ experiences. Thanks for continuing the discussion and representing the madness, friend.

  9. *You give me too much credit.

    Anonymous #1 has a bit of a point in regards to pricing. I disagree on the knowledge of the staff though.

    Anyway, great topic to blog about. I have been enjoying the MJ emails for years...they crack me up! And since they are competing with such folks as REI, Patagonia, EMS, steepandcheap, etc., it is great to see a company doing something different and having fun while doing so!

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