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Why Napapijri crowned John Doe as its comms partner


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

July 25, 2022 | 4 min read

Outdoor apparel brand Napapijri has appointed John Doe to lead its comms account in the UK. The client, joined with its new agency, tells The Drum how a stronger influencer strategy can put the brand on the map.

A still from a recent Napapijiri ad campaign

A still from Napapijri’s spring collection campaign / Napapijiri

Italy-headquartered Napapijri has managed to make the journey off the slopes and into the mainstream in recent years, but its marketing team wants to better reach younger and gen-Z consumers.

UK comms group John Doe was retained following a three-way competitive pitch to cover PR and influencer management.

According to its director of marketing Rob Taylor, the business needs to increase brand awareness if it’s to consolidate the progress it has made in recent years. ”Napapijri is a relatively new brand to the UK and we have a clear marketing focus on building brand awareness and mental availability.

”We’ve experienced strong UK growth in the last couple of years, but have a real opportunity to build on this momentum by establishing Napapijri as a better-known brand with a stronger identity in the UK.”

Napapijri is owned by VF Corporation, a group that also boasts The North Face and Vans. After an eight-week review process, Taylor says the team chose John Doe for its expertise in ”community and brand-building.”

How can John Doe build brand awareness for Napapijri?

According to Magin Trewhella, partner and joint chief exec at John Doe: ”Napapijri approached us with a goal to get very specific audiences talking about them. But to gain cut-through with the right people, we need to communicate with – not to.”

TikTok and gen-Z creators will be a key part of its plan to build that community, he says. ”To earn credibility in British culture, Napapijri needs to be seen in the right places, with the right people, telling the right stories.

”Gen Z is a core audience and we know the power and potential of TikTok’s platform to reach this audience group. But all channels are strongly considered – the role they will play for each of our audience group, and how we create compelling stories that people care about.”

Trewhella says that despite the ”bad reputation” of creator and influencer marketing, ”when done properly, influencer marketing gives ownership of a brand and its key messaging to the communities it wants to speak to. It allows specific groups to not only communicate what a brand stands for, but to help shape it and build it.”

Creator marketing, he notes, is the best channel to emphasize the brand’s ”intersectionality” to that audience. ”Napapijri is a brand built on defying labels and transcending boxes. Better influencer marketing allows us to not only raise awareness of that but actively live it – encouraging the brand to grow through the voices of the people who matter. John Doe and Napapijri’s influencer approach will ensure we speak authentically, truthfully and in a way that builds for the long-term – not just an immediate win.”

The aim, Taylor says, is ”to bring more people into the brand through clearly communicating who we are and what we stand for, which is all about crafting iconic outerwear for people who want to express themselves.”

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