IT’S NOT NECESSARILY A NEW STORY: A BRAND EXPANDS TO INCLUDE EXPERIENCES - HOWEVER, WHAT MAKES HIGH-PERFORMANCE APPAREL BRAND ARC’TERYX NEW TRIPS PROGRAM UNIQUE IS THE UNCHARTED ESSENCE OF THE LOCATIONS OFFERED, A COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND ENCOURAGING MORE WOMEN IN OUTDOOR SPORTS.
Arc’teryx is all about showing, not telling, championing the doers nationwide. After all, the brand boasts the Coast Mountains in B.C. as its backyard, which are not just a source of inspiration, but also the perfect play and testing ground for the gear the brand creates. As consumer relationships grow and evolve, the line between buying and living continue to blur. It’s not enough to just provide customers with a product, the need for community is evident — and nothing fosters community quite like sport and the adventure of the outdoors.
The Trips program is an immersive travel experience ideal for experienced adventurers, providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity to participate in the main sports Arc’teryx makes products for, including mountaineering, trail running, rock climbing, and hiking/trekking — all while immersed in the culture of locations such as Chamonix, home to some of the highest peaks in Europe, or Dolomites, the largest and most spectacular limestone climbing area in the European Alps. The program launches next year with 11 guided small group trips to 10 remote communities in the U.S, Switzerland, France, Canada, and Italy. Trips will provide an expert, elite-level guide for each uniquely-crafted experience, allowing you to expand personal frontiers with confidence and awareness.
We chatted with Jurgen Watts, the senior manager of Brand Partnerships at Arc’teryx, about the Trips program and how to have the adventure of a lifetime.
WHAT MOTIVATED ARC'TERYX TO HAVE AN EXPERIENTIAL OFFERING FOR ITS CONSUMERS?
We want to become solid advocates for the outdoors, and to anchor our brand in such a way that it becomes synonymous with leading an active outdoor lifestyle. We see our Trips program as more of a community exercise, where we’re trying to inspire people to enjoy being outside, to explore globally, and to connect with the local communities. As a brand, we want to expand our connection to our customers beyond the sales floor, and the best way to do this is to provide them with truly unique experiential opportunities. We hope to inspire our customers to participate in the sports we design product for, and to take them from the sales floor to the great outdoors.
THE ADVENTURE TRAVEL MARKET IS SATURATED. WHAT SEPARATES ARC’TERYX?
We are focused on offering trips to off-the-beaten-path locations where participants can experience and enjoy a sense of remoteness, and truly immerse themselves in nature’s playground. We have also enlisted the services of world-class guides, who are equipped to deliver a remarkable experience, both from a skills perspective and a local knowledge perspective. Each of our Trips offerings are also priced comprehensively; participants just have to get themselves to the starting point, and we take care of the rest, from guiding and transportation to meals and accommodations.
DO THE TRIPS REQUIRE A CERTAIN SKILL LEVEL?
Given how immersive the itineraries are, and the remoteness of the destinations, participants are required to have experience and advanced skills in the activity of focus, be it trekking or climbing. Upon reserving a spot on a trip, Arc’teryx will schedule a phone call between the participant and a trip guide to ensure all participants have the skill level to meet the expected demands of the Trip. As meticulously designed as everything we do, Arc’teryx Trips move you to the next level of technical expertise, in stunning locations, alongside elite level guides and like-minded peers.
DO GUESTS NEED THEIR OWN GEAR?
Yes, we encourage it. It’s important that those attending are comfortable in their gear given the extreme nature of the trips. That said, we will be offering a few things to customers surrounding product experience. We will offer concierge fitting and product consultations through our brand stores where Trip participants live in proximity to retail stores. We also hope to integrate product demos for Trip participants, so they can try out relevant product that is activity-specific to each trip.
HOW WERE THE LOCATIONS CHOSEN?
The locations we’re offering for the Summer/Fall 2020 Arc’teryx Trips program were chosen based on a combination of bucket list travel destinations, and locations where we have a solid connection to guide partners and the local community. What these locations have in common is that each of them are remotely wild and breathtaking, and Trips participants can fully enjoy using our products and participating in a sport in a truly unique environment.
HOW IS ARC’TERYX FOCUSING ON EQUITY THROUGH THE TRIPS?
Historically, the outdoor industry has been primarily male-dominated in terms of news, marketing and social media, and we want to get more women to embrace the outdoors and enjoy participating in the sports they’re passionate about. To do this, we’re offering a selection of women-only trips led by female guides, which we hope will encourage women to not only participate in remarkable wilderness experiences, but to also connect with other women who share the same passions and interests.
HOW IS ARC’TERYX FOCUSING ON EQUITY THROUGH THE TRIPS?
Sustainability is very important to Arc’teryx, and through our Trips program we want to educate and inspire travellers to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. We’re doing this in a few ways:
- Providing Carbon Offsets for each trip, to offset any driving, flying and general vehicle use.
- Encouraging participants to pack reusables to minimize the need for single-use plastics and the amount of waste we generate.
- Dining in locally-run restaurants, and choosing food sources that are grown organically and locally.
- Our guides are also very mindful about practicing the “Leave No Trace” principles, and with every trip they lead, they are committed to respecting wildlife, disposing of waste properly, avoiding over-crowding (our trips are designed for small groups, so we limit the number of people we are bringing into wild spaces), and leaving areas in better conditions in which they were found.
- In each trip, our guides impart their knowledge of the local region and environment. It’s our hope that this increased awareness and appreciation of these wild spaces will build advocacy in caring for these places more.