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Brands We Like: Duluth Trading Co.

Eric Groves

By Eric Groves

At Flying Hippo, we don’t take branding lightly, and we love brands that know their audience and stick to their guns when it comes to voice, imagery and audience engagement. That’s why we’re fans of Duluth Trading Co.

Duluth Trading Co. has targeted their market and gone all-in on their niche. They make functional clothing that stands up to tough tasks and heavy labor. It’s not always stylish, but it works well and lasts. They’ve paired this basic mission — which many other clothing companies share — with a unique brand voice and persona that communicates with blue-collar humor.

Brands We Like: Duluth Trading Co.

Duluth trading company brand

A bit edgy, with heaps of humor, Duluth Trading plays up their rugged outdoors-man heritage to a mythical level. They also take “boring”, function features and improvements — like a bit more room between the legs — get the kind of comedic approach that catches consumers’ attention where it would normally be boring marketing messaging.

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Duluth has grabbed extra attention for the over-the-top humor in their commercials. Again, they take the simple product features and create a mythical and memorable message about their importance. It’s enough to get anyone to check them out.

Duluth trading company brand

Their brand stays grounded in their beginnings with an advisory board of sorts. Real tradesmen, identified by name and profession, who serve as product testers and ultimately approve new apparel. Not only is their brand story compelling, but they live and breathe it in everything they do.

Duluth trading company brand

As I’ve mentioned before, maintaining your brand’s voice on social media is increasingly important to success. Duluth stays in character on their various social accounts, playing off their dirty-handed bravado in a Mother’s Day promotion.

All in all, Duluth Trading has built a sort of grassroots following for their humor and grounded ethos. They’ve taken a brand aimed specifically at tradesmen and made it into an irresistible brand persona that resonates with anyone who seeks functional and durable clothing.

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