How We Evolved Bearbottom Clothing — A Comprehensive Case Study
A deep dive into our strategy and design efforts.
Bearbottom is a no-nonsense, product-focused apparel company centered around doing good. Most internal efforts are allocated to strengthening their ethical production practices and innovating the best shorts on the market. This didn’t leave a lot of time for creating a strong brand, and we thought it was important to showcase Bearbottom’s efforts to the world.
After years of calling in design favors and third-party vendors, Bearbottom decided it was time to implement a cohesive and holistic strategy for their marketing efforts. We needed to get narrow, and clearly define the target market in a more nuanced way so we could speak to them clearly and authentically.
The founder was very proud of the philanthropical aspect of Bearbottom. We wanted this to be at the forefront of the brand, without labeling it as a non-profit. Essentially, we wanted to place emphasis on the product above all else.
Lastly, we also wanted to differentiate Bearbottom from its competitors by making it into a timeless brand. We wanted to shy away from gimmicky tactics and instead, build a brand that exemplifies adventure like Patagonia…but with shorts.
Bearbottom already had a strong sense of what the brand should be and stand for– but needed some help when it came to relaying it in its messaging and visual elements. It was important to craft a mission statement that clearly defined the goals of the brand.
During the brand consultation, we asked the founder what was the main driving force behind the company and its philanthropic efforts. He simply replied, “to just do good.” After hours of brainstorming with him, we formed the mission statement:
Doing good by creating products that encourage everyday adventure.
We adapted the mission statement to his response and kept it broad enough to be applicable beyond apparel. His vision is to be the go-to apparel company for the adaptable dude– quality, stylish, and affordable products that can elevate all your adventures from from the peak of Machu Picchu to the tabletop of Sunday Funday brunch. Bearbottom products essentially encourage everyday adventure.
Once the mission statement was developed, it informed all other design, branding, and marketing decisions to come. We now had the North Star we needed to make sure that Bearbottom would always be headed in a direction that was true to it’s core DNA.
We worked with Bearbottom to come up with a cohesive brand guide that was true to the core vision of the company. The brand guide was refreshed to incorporate new imagery, tone, color palettes, and textures. These new elements would ultimately be incorporated into the website and social media channels.
The objective for the new website was to increase conversions and place emphasis on the the brand’s philanthropic efforts.
When redesigning the Bearbottom site, we wanted to use protocols that our users would be familiar with. Big hero image, products on the home page, and an easily navigable menu were essential elements. But we didn’t stop with the layout.
Play the Long Game. Content is always king, so we reshot all of Bearbottom’s products to match the new look and feel of the brand. This was a massive undertaking, but ultimately served us in the long run by giving us endless quality content to use for the site, social channels, and newsletters.
Let the Data do the Talking. Some decisions are better left to instinct. We believe most are better left to data. So we left most UX decisions up to the only demographic that matters– the users. We conducted individual user testing and sent out a feedback survey, which received over 500 responses. Our team used the feedback to implement the new design.
After the website redesign, Bearbottom saw an increase of over 60% in conversions.
Bearbottom had no way of gathering feedback from previous customers, and their social communication was fragmented over a few different channels with no strong and unified presence. The name of the game with communication is continuity.
Social Media Content
Just the same way we designed a cohesive brand guide, we felt it was time to create a guide for social media strategy. Instead of just focusing on the branding, this guide would include topic buckets, user personas, tone, captions, and imagery examples.
- Organic following increased by over 12% to over 22K followers
- Page views totaled over 37K in 3 months
- Total Reach increased by 38% to over 406K
- Total Likes increased by 71% to over 23K
- Total Impressions increased by 44% to over 621K
- Total Engagement increased by 125%
We ran a series of ad campaigns to drive conversions for the summer months. The ads ran on Facebook and Instagram and used different forms of media including pictures, videos, and Instagram Stories.
- Website Purchase Conversion Value increased by over 22%
- Ad spend provided 4x return on investment
- Purchases increased by over 24%
Before we took over the newsletters, Bearbottom already had an email list with tens of thousands of subscribers. Our objective was to grow the existing list and drives sales to the site. We launched the newsletter with the new design elements and made changes to the layout to optimize conversions.
- New subscribers increased by over 45%
- Conversion rates on e-commerce products increased by over 23%
- Total transactions increased by over 72%
- Revenue from emails increased by over 75%
Bearbottom’s new brand positioning resulted in a substantial increase of conversions, sales, and engagement. Our efforts have allowed Bearbottom to evolve as a brand with a clear path to stand out amongst its competitors.
“The brand consultation 4am gave us was extremely effective for us. We defined who our customer base truly is as well as who we are as a company and brand. This has helped us to better position ourselves and give our customers the best experience possible.” -Rob Felder, CEO & Founder