Written by Joy Yang
Despite its bulky and arguably unfashionable appearance, Canada Goose is a brand whose presence has been spreading like wildfire among college students.
When someone says the phrase “luxury brands”, names like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry come to mind, along with images of leather bags, limited edition shirts and gold plated belts. While these brands have grown in popularity among millennials on college campuses, there’s another luxury brand that has been steadily rising from the shadows.
Despite its bulky and arguably unfashionable appearance, Canada Goose is a brand whose presence has been spreading like wildfire among college students. In fact, walking around the NYU campus on a cold December night, one can see the plethora of NYU students buried under these high-end jackets, with each coat ranging anywhere between $500 and$1500 dollars.
This is not to say, however, that Canada Goose doesn’t face the same issues that many other luxury brands do too. Animal activist groups such as PETA, for example, have strongly criticised luxury brands’ usage of authentic fur in their products, and more specifically Canada Goose’s usage of authentic coyote fur as well as duck and geese down in their Parkas. However, while companies like Armani and Gucci have made the switch to synthetic fur to retain customers, Canada Goose’s refusal to has not seemed to impact its sales at all. In fact, its year -over-year growth from 2017 to 2018 increased by 27.8%. So how is it that a luxury brand company like Canada Goose able to cultivate a cult following among college students in a luxury market that is rapidly losing millennials?
- Direct-to-Consumer approach
In 2014, Canada Goose moved away from wholesale in favor of a more direct-to-consumer approach. By selling products directly to consumers, the company was able to minimize the cost of having a third party involved. The brand’s decision to shift towards e-commerce also allowed it to capitalize on the new digital age, as more and more millennials opt to buy clothes online rather than in-store due to convenience.
Canada Goose CMO Poriadjian-Asch discussed in an online interview how the company has shifted its focus towards leveraging digital strategies to build and engage its growing number of consumers. As of last year, Canada Goose’s direct-to-consumer revenue doubled to almost $105.6 million as the company added seven more e-commerce stores and five company-owned stores to its chain. Its direct-to-consumer approach also helped to boost its margins, which tripled the company’s share prices before it even went public March of last year.
What’s one thing a Canada Goose Parka can do for you that a Gucci belt or a Louis Vuitton Handbag can’t? Simple: keep you warm! In fact, one of Canada Goose’s main selling point is the bold life-time guarantee that a customer who purchases its jacket will never feel cold again. When Anh Tuan Tran, a freshman at Stern, was asked for his reason for purchasing the jacket, he stated matter-of-factly that it was due to the jacket’s high quality and ability to keep him warm. Further interviews done around campus garnered similar results, with most students stating “warmth” and “quality” as the main reasons for their purchase. Although Canada Goose uses real fur in their products, at least it serves a purpose: to keep its owner nice and cozy, while also giving them the reassurance that they’ll be able to continue using this product for years to come.
- Celebrity Endorsements
While no brand is complete without having endorsements from celebrities, Canada Goose takes the saying “go big or go home” to heart. Canada Goose’s partnership with Drake and its collaboration with Drake’s clothing brand October’s Very Own has allowed it to reach new audiences and create unique pieces that attract the attention of millennials. With over 40.9 million instagram followers, Drake undoubtedly has the influence on increasing millennial purchasing of Canada Goose.
While other luxury companies are facing a decrease in purchasing from millenials, Canada Goose does not seem to have this problem. With its direct-to-consumer approach, practicality, and appeal to millennials through celebrity endorsement, it’s safe to say that Canada Goose is here to stay.