Daily Insights

Outdoor Voices Gets Heard

By: Cassidy.McGrain@gartner.com | Jun 03, 2019

Outdoor Voices doesn’t claim to reinvent the Instagram wheel, but they do paint it pastel. The social media savvy brand is once again coloring outside the lines. Last May, Outdoor Voices dropped three exclusive brand collabs over three weeks inciting a flurry of excitement on their Instagram handle.

The focus is engagement. In addition to increasing their use of product drop related posts this year, brands studied in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Activewear saw a 38% increase in engagement in this type of content. Outdoor Voices dropped three collaborations with popular outdoor and lifestyle brands, all debuted on Instagram on three consecutive Tuesdays in early May. The brand kicked things off with a Teva collaboration, giving the velcro sandals a bright facelift by adding their signature color blocking to the typically neutral sandal. Brand loyalists responded: Outdoor Voices’ posts relating to the Teva collab saw a 66% lift in interactions relative to the average. The following Tuesday, the brand announced an exclusive Madewell x Outdoor Voices line. Both touting themselves as lifestyle brands for everyday use, the brands fit together seamlessly. The announcement post received 64% more interactions than the average post. Finishing up the spring drop streak, Outdoor Voices announced a Hoka collab, adding onto a series over the past year that adds their punchy colors to the traditional Hoka shoe form to create a uniquely Outdoor Voices themed shoe.

But simply getting people’s attention is not enough. In addition to frequently building anticipation through its many brand collabs, Outdoor Voices is adopting features to capitalize on the momentum these posts create.  As a frequent users of Instagram Stories and Highlights, the disruptor brand was chosen to be one of the first brands to roll out the new Instagram check-out feature which allows users to add-to-cart directly from posts. With more than 130 million people tapping product tabs on Instagram posts monthly, this feature has the potential to reach a large prospective customer base to brands when officially rolled out.

Will Instagram be the new shopping app? It’s too soon to say. But brands can learn how to make the most of the growing possibility from Outdoor Voice’s Instagram strategy and willingness to experiment with new features when considering their future on the platform.