The Great Outdoors
What’s more, as the seasons change, the volume of said passers-by just keeps getting better. “Spring and summer [are] upon us. That means people will be out and about enjoying the weather,” said Westmoreland. Making the most of Mother Nature’s cooperation relies on a few easy design principles: “Big, bold and colorful,” he affirmed. But by the same token, simplicity is key. “A message must be communicated quickly, efficiently and,” Scardino joked, “without traffic mishaps.”
The customer and logo that play together, stay together—particularly in this climate. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and a feel-good mentality can only help branding, “especially when consumers’ attitudes have become very negative,” said Daniel Berkowitz, president of West Chester, Pennsylvania-based Picnic Plus by Spectrum. Since people are traveling less, he added, the area of opportunity for outdoor leisure items is growing.
But every thriving business needs product differentiation. While picnic baskets and umbrellas are great for typical alfresco enjoyment, you should also consider products for Grizzly Adams types as well as items that can jive with the urban dweller’s philosophy: “I am out of the house, therefore I am outside” (don’t be fooled, they’re really in a restaurant or a gallery or something).
For example, wine and beverage carriers can do double-duty. They make stylish and convenient work of bringing your favorite bottle to a picnic—or a BYOB restaurant. “The coolers and totes must be fun and fashionable,” said Grethe Adams, president of Southern Plus Umbrella, Hartwell, Ga., noting that bright patterns or a punch of color helps them stand out.
Or, for those who take their outdoor lives sans training wheels, New York-based Compass Industries has tools with a more rugged bent. “Binoculars and pocket knives are perfect for the outdoors,” noted Mike Levy, vice president. He also pointed to the company’s offering of well-known flashlight brand Mag-lite as “the perfect outdoor companion,” and one of the most reliable lights for safety. “They are always needed and wanted for everyday activities,” Levy added.