It’s (not) a Small World After All

It can be difficult for established brands to truly understand how crucial it is to adjust their storytelling in emerging markets. I’ve seen it from both sides - highly respected European brands trying to make their way in the US, and American powerhouses struggling to connect with markets on the other side of the pond.

I liken it to bringing your kind of crazy (but totally loveable) friend to a party where nobody knows him. Ya gotta build a foundation of trust first…let everyone see some of his finer qualities…you know, tell them stories about how you guys became friends, the really kind things he’s done, share some casual conversation about mutual interests…and then BAM! When the crazy comes out, it’s like, oh…okay…well this is all part of his story and we dig it.

Perhaps not everyone can relate to this analogy, so here’s an actual work example.


Eider’s global marketing provided this advertisement to be used for all markets, explaining that they wanted to be creative and different. The issue was that in many secondary markets, the Eider brand was still relatively unknown. So while this creative would’ve perhaps meant something in their home market, where readers knew who Eider was, in our market it would’ve been akin to throwing money away. It simply wouldn’t make sense to this audience. We needed something that conveyed the same message, that Eider is creative and different, but that also more directly illustrated exactly what Eider does – which is make really good looking ski threads.


I worked with the global creative team to develop the following alternative materials that managed to be product focused, yet still creative and different in their simplicity. In a sea of ski media’s action-focused imagery, this creative stood out, while perfectly communicating the Eider brand promise – technical and stylish ski apparel. In response, we received several emails inquiring about the jacket:


It’s not about telling a DIFFERENT story in emerging markets, it’s simply about adjusting HOW the story is told, so that the audience can clearly understand who you are and what you’re all about.