Tell us about Odlo and your role with the brand
Within the UK and Irish markets, Odlo is a bit of a well-kept secret. While the brand enjoys a strong market position and profile within Europe, due to its renowned technical excellence and heritage and credibility in sports underwear and baselayers, it’s not so well established in the UK and Ireland.
Initially, my role is very much to build strong partnerships with our existing retail and e-tail customers, improving the offer to the consumer and helping to build brand identity and awareness across all channels.
Odlo has engineered active layers since 1946 and is continually focused on improving athletic performance. While the brand’s background was originally in Nordic sports such as cross country skiing, the brand now offers a lot to all active individuals of both sexes undertaking any number of active lifestyle sports and pursuits.
We have some great routes to market, but at the same time are keen to develop into more active sports areas, maintaining our core ethos, but building our market by expanding into more sports and generalist avenues.
Tell us about your spring/summer 17 ranges
Traditionally, due to our winter expertise and winter sports bias, Odlo would focus less on our spring/summer ranges, but as we move forward this is now very much not the case. Within sports underwear and baselayers, Odlo is a brand for all seasons and provides a year-round sales opportunity.
Our Evolution range epitomises this, offering year-round performance for men and women with products ranging from extra light through to extra warm. In addition, we will be launching our innovative Ceramicool collection, which uses high tech garment technology to keep body temperature low. This reinforces our relevance to spring and summer opportunities.
On top of this, our cycling range goes from strength to strength, offering key products priced from £50-£70 that provide technical excellence and great design, as well as amazing value for money.
Can you give us some insight into Ceramicool technology?
Ceramicool is the first active cooling technology available in the market as certified by EMPA, the world renowned research institute for materials science and technology. It’s demonstrated that it can reduce skin temperature by up to 1ºC.
This is made possible by ceramic particles being integrated into the fabric. The ultra light yarn and special fibres create tiny air channels that dissipate the heat. The fabric also has antibacterial properties and provides UVA protection.
Ceramicool features in some amazing new garment designs that add to the commercial story. It’s a phenomenal product that has to be seen and tested to be believed.
Why did Odlo decide to launch a training/gym range?
Regardless of whether you ski, climb or cycle, you need to be fit. It’s therefore logical that Odlo should create training wear to provide seamless support for these activities.
We provide a great alternative to the mass market training and gym options and key areas for us are performance bras and first and second active layers. We’re building our presence in this area and have enjoyed strong sell out for this SS16, as well as a great reaction to what we have to offer for SS17.
What marketing plans do you have in place for the new ranges?
We will be undertaking a number of integrated trade and consumer marketing initiatives to support our new ranges. Support will include PR, digital and press advertising and ambassador activation, as well as sales support materials.
What type of sports retailers stock your brand?
Our main retailer base currently consists of outdoor, cycle and running specialists, which is our main focus as we build credibility. In time, our offer and price architecture will appeal more and more to sports stores and department stores.
Do you provide retail marketing support/training?
Yes – this is an essential component of the Odlo trade proposition. We provide excellent branded merchandising units, a variety of POS branding materials, as well as expert product training for our partners.
Fastest growing part of the Odlo business?
The cycle, run and training/studio areas are Odlo’s fastest growing and this growth is building our credibility in sports underwear.
The core of Odlo’s business and our main USP is our performance sports underwear and baselayer offerings. These provide a multitude of benefits at a number of price points.
What’s the brand’s key objective for the next 12 months?
To build on the strength of our performance sports underwear and ensure we deliver consistency of execution in-store, covering all the seasons and demonstrating our 12-month relevance.
We also want to ensure our constant innovation and genuine newness in the market is widely appreciated.
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