In Sierra Trading Post’s most recent social media campaign, emailed to Retail Dive, the company launched a video called "Cliff, Diving," which encouraged customers to get in on the joke as the retailer mocked the extreme sport by filming everyday men and women named Cliff diving into a pool.
Unlike Patagonia’s recent politically-charged TV ad, which served more as a call to action for its environmentally-conscious customers, the TJX-owned outdoor outfitter had a lighter take focused on connecting with consumers as a self-proclaimed space for amateur outdoorsmen.
Sierra Trading Post’s campaign is highly visible on the company’s website as well, and seems to plant itself in opposition to outdoor retailers that take themselves too seriously.
"Let the extreme sportists have their cliff diving competitions in exotic locales. We have people named Cliff ...diving… in a swimming pool in New Jersey," the company’s website states. "At Sierra Trading Post we offer the selection, brands and prices you need to get outside and go wild. Not base jumping from Mt. Everest wild. We’re talking everyday wild — like an extra trip around the block while you speedwalk wild."
Interestingly, while the campaign is social media-focused, the retailer is in the midst of shifting to a more brick-and-mortar structure. Acquired by TJX in 2012, Sierra Trading Post started off as an off-price internet retailer and has since expanded to include 12 brick-and-mortar stores. A move that makes sense, Moody’s Vice President Christina Boni indicated in a note emailed to Retail Dive in February, since the off-price experience is difficult to replicate online.
"The value proposition of the off-price channel continues to resonate with growth being driven by its store footprint as the sector’s online penetration remains low," she said at the time.
Nevertheless, a strong social media campaign could help Sierra Trading Post — and TJX more broadly — make more of a dent in the online, off-price retail world. With discounters like T.J. Maxx most popular with millennials, reaching out on social media could be a good way to boost brand engagement. After all, 70% of the generation are willing to share or repost brand information from their favorite brands, and millennials are 2.5 times more likely to adopt a new brand if they hear someone talking about it in some capacity.
If that rings true in practice, then a similar marketing strategy might be applicable for both millennials and Gen Z, as the younger generation is also eager to interact with their favorite brands, from submitting product designs to their favorite brands (44% interested) to attending events sponsored by a brand (38% interested) and creating digital content (36% interested).
It will be interesting to see if TJX pursues social media campaigns further, whether through Sierra Trading Post or its other brands. And more importantly — whether those campaigns will help drive online sales for off-price retail.