Northstar Canoes was founded in 2015 by legendary Kevlar craftsman Ted Bell. With Good already baked deep in Ted’s reputation and brand DNA, our challenge was to launch the brand to an enthusiast audience, but on a start-up budget.
The Good Brands Index℠ showed competitors associated with big business and typical aluminum weekend rental barges. In the values true enthusiasts held, we found open marketing water in Northstar’s unmatched ability to deliver unfettered high-performance access to the escape they seek. They obsess about features like weight, hull design, stability and glide. Our advertising needed to stand out in pubs crowded with nature shots.
Good will win if we can demonstrate that Northstar is lighter, glides better and is more stable than any canoe in its class.
Illustration seems counterintuitive for a brand built around escaping into the wild, but by dramatizing our feature advantages with metaphors we communicate them quickly and indelibly.
Start-up campaign numbers are always impressive since you’re starting from zero. But this campaign led to sales that were 18.6% over Ted’s aggressive year-one forecast.
That was followed by a 30% increase over his year-two forecast. Now that the canoes are outselling themselves, Northstar literally cannot keep up with demand. Good wins.