Hobie Polarized – Brand Refresh
An iconic So Cal surf brand looking for a fresh perspective in the eyewear market. We were hired to reposition the brand with the goal of increasing brand preference, loyalty, and ultimately market share. Target consumers included water enthusiasts such as surfers, boaters, fishers, and stand up paddlers.
Our first step was to get a better sense of Hobie Polarized in the marketplace. We quickly discovered that the eyewear brand was lacking a strong emotional connection with its consumers. Its primary marketing message was it’s functional benefit of polarization and that was not creating a true point of differentiation. Hobie Polarized was coming across as dated and unexciting and failing to really leverage its deep and iconic So Cal Hobie roots.
The eyewear market is saturated with many brands, but there are only a few that stand out as leaders in the sports category. We determined that those brands are successful due to their strong aesthetics and the emotional connections that they create with their consumers. We also deduced that the opportunity for Hobie Polarized was to skew a bit younger as there were already several dominant brands marketing to a more mature demographic.
Part of our recommended strategy for increasing market share included a launch into the camping and hiking segments of outdoor sports recreation. Hiking and camping are not only extremely popular and increasing in participation every year, but they also go hand-in-hand with existing Hobie Polarized target markets. We believed that the Hobie brand would not only be relevant to those new markets, but that the opportunity for growth in those segments would be both significant and timely.
Our recommendations were two-fold. First, we recommended that Hobie Polarized leverage its unique, iconic brand heritage to re-energize the brand and create that much needed emotional connection with its consumers. Secondly, we recommended that it expand its target to include the hiking and camping segments of outdoor sports recreation. We believed these strategies would not only strengthen the brand’s foundation, but would also allow it to grow and flourish.