A Brand Born in
the Mountains
Moves to
the City

Vaude

Vaude is an outdoor outfitter that has been offering unique and sustainable outdoor goods for over forty years. In 2015, they asked us to help them move mountain spirit into the city — in the form of messenger bags, backpacks, and bike bags.

A Brand Born in the Mountains Moves to the City

There was only one challenge involved in designing unique urban bags for the busy metropolis: we’d have to find a way to integrate the spirit of the great outdoors into fast-paced and diverse city living. In doing so, we could help Vaude to retain its brand values — centered on adventure, quality, and being Germany's most sustainable brand — while at the same time opening up new doors for the family-owned outdoor brand. The new bags would also need to appeal to the urban masses and match their lifestyle.

We started by imagining what it is that people might take away from nature and bring to the city in the most emotional sense possible. Some of the feelings from being out in nature translated sweepingly well into city living, including: adventure, being prepared for anything, staying organized, and always discovering something new along the way. Looking at current trends in big cities — such as urban gardening and bike sharing — spurred further thoughts about equating an outdoor brand with new movements in big cities across the globe.

Street Research and Personas

Using Hamburg as our rich source of street research, we segmented busy urbanites into several categories and then created several personas. We also looked at the similar products and fashion styles that each persona would choose based on their lifestyle.

From a strategic standpoint, we could feed the new designs for Vaude into each persona to perfectly cater to the user's unmet needs. For the City Nomad — a person who is constantly on the go, sometimes without a plan but often caring for a small family — we ideated a durable, yet semi-stylish bag optimized for housing everything from theater tickets to groceries, toys, cosmetics, and more.

Vaude backpacks, messenger bags, and bike bags

Launching in 2016, we’re looking forward to the brand’s new growth and even happier to say that we’ve helped an adventurous brand on its own adventure — finding success where it may not have been imagined in the past — and right our backyard, Hamburg.

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