Winter in New York this year has been full of four things: snow, ice, freezing temperatures, and Canada Goose jackets. A previously unknown brand has risen to fame in a very short time, boasting a 30% sales increase in 2014 and leaving similarly positioned brands in the dust. Mass purchases of its Hutterite down and coyote fur-lined jackets have increased brand recognition exponentially, its red and blue circular logo now ubiquitous in many US cities. Canada Goose has been especially successful in selling to college students studying in the often frigid northeast, as the aesthetic and price tag (averaging around $800 but up to $1500) matches these individual’s economic and taste profiles. Originally known for creating purely functional pieces, Canada Goose’s positive reputation gave them a useful jumping-off point when they began selling jackets under their own name in 1993.
Word-of-mouth and other recommendation based communication between existing and potential customers has meant low advertising expenses for the brand, allowing them to focus their efforts on more implicit marketing strategies to uphold their perception of being a luxury company. In the United States, the brand blew up when Kate Upton wore one of its jackets in Antarctica on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2013 Swimsuit Edition issue. Canada Goose has also put several hundreds of celebrities in their coats for the Sundance Film Festival in the hopes of creating a cult following. If the brand keeps up this growth, the US will become its largest market in 2015, partially promoted by a new e-commerce site also being rolled out this year. Despite the focus on selling to American consumers, Canada Goose remains adamant on keeping its purely Canadian identity, which above all includes producing all products in Canada. Has this brand has made a lasting impression on consumers or simply created an ephemeral outerwear trend? Only time will tell.