Timberland is out to prove to millennials that it's not their parents' boot company.
A new campaign, "Best Then. Better Now," seeks to capitalize on the brand's heritage while moving in a more contemporary direction. The shift has been two years in the making -- Timberland was acquired by VF Corp. in September 2011. Since then, the company has moved to a more streamlined global structure, setting the tone for a more cohesive marketing approach.
"It's been a big change thinking of ourselves as not just a footwear brand but as a head to toe -- or toe-to-head -- lifestyle brand," said Jim Davey, vp-global marketing at Timberland. "This campaign is the first big step in relaunching the brand."
VF is expecting big things from the brand. According to industry publication Footwear News, the company plans for Timberland to grow 50% by 2017 to $2.3 billion in sales from $1.5 billion. And Steve Rendle, group president of VF's outdoor and action sports Americas division has called the brand "the next big growth story."
Ad Age: Why did the company feel it was time to take a different approach to marketing?
Mr. Davey: We spent the last two years on the road talking to consumers and understanding what it is they love about the brand, and what are the opportunities to restage or re-portray the brand. … It comes down to growth. How are we going to keep growing? …We needed to add a new sense of style.
Ad Age: How has your approach to creative and media changed, as a result?