Marketing Merino – “No Finer Feeling”

Merino wool is awesome. Plain and simple. But, as mentioned in my previous post The Australian Wool Market it is also big business. Australia is one of the largest producers of merino wool in the world and as such have a large industry organization, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Limited, whose sole purpose to actively promote all things wool.

In early December 2010, AWI launched a new marketing initiative to push merino wool. The new initiative is entitled, “Merino. No Finer Feeling”. Here is a snippet from the press release:

“Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) today announced the launch of a new global fibre education campaign to inform consumers about the benefits of Merino wool.

The ‘No Finer Feeling’ campaign is the result of extensive consumer research with retail and brand partners and features the iconic Australian Merino sheep acting as a reminder of the natural origin and provenance of wool garments.

Whilst a long term favourite of designers, an era of disposable fashion has meant younger consumers know little about the natural, biodegradable and renewable benefits of Merino wool. The campaign aims to position Merino as the premium, luxury fibre of choice making a connection between how it feels to touch, and how it makes the wearer feel. For a multimedia presentation of the campaign click here.

The three-year global consumer campaign begins in influential magazines such as Vogue, GQ and ELLE, targeting fashion conscious consumers. Initially launching in the UK, Japan and Germany, a wider global program is planned for 2011/2012 to include China, France, USA and Australia, with further supporting trade activities in China, Italy and France.

To support the campaign, AWI will use merino.com, a site providing consumers with information on the attributes and benefits of Merino as well as catwalk and brand information of where to buy Merino garments. This is supported by an i-Phone application providing Merino sourcing information for anywhere in the world.

“The Merino campaign has been created to communicate to a new generation of consumers, who need educating about this versatile and renewable fibre,” Mr Langtry added.

“We really want to bring Merino and wool into the 21st century and position it as a contemporary and fashionable fibre and this campaign clearly communicates that. By using media to ‘wake up’ our consumers and drive them to the internet, show them where to purchase, find out about and how to look after the garments, we will help break down the barriers to purchase at the high end of the market – barriers mostly to do with lack of knowledge of the fibre and its many benefits.”

Australian Merino sheep are renowned for producing the finest, softest and lightest wool in the world, creating a fabric luxurious enough to rival cashmere. This fineness ensures that Merino wool garments have superb drape and natural elasticity, effortlessly following the body’s form, which is why the fabric remains popular with designers across the globe.

As you can see, there is a growing push to promote the luxury component of the product.  I am interested to see how this is going to play out in the US.   Also, I wonder what if any additional push is going to be created for the outdoor recreational garment industry who in the US has been on the forefront of pushing merino in technical outdoor pursuits.   Let me know your thoughts on this new campaign and if it appeals to you as a merino consumer.

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