TNF and Columbia Take Top Honors in Outdoor Brand Strength Report

TNF and Columbia Take Top Honors in Outdoor Brand Strength Report

What are the strongest brands in the specialty outdoor space?

This question and many more are probed and analyzed in the new Outdoor Brand Strength Report, which summarizes the bi-annual consumer survey conducted by The SportsOneSource Group to measure outdoor consumer awareness, attitudes, and intent to purchase outdoor product from specific brands.

The Outdoor Brand Strength Report is a follow-on to the iconic SportsOneSource Brand Strength Report that measures consumer attitudes to brands in the broader active lifestyle market, which was also released this summer. The Outdoor version of the report tallied responses from consumers participating in core outdoor activities.

The centerpiece of the Outdoor Brand Strength Report is the Brand Strength Index, (BSI), a rating system developed more than seven years ago by The SportsOneSource Group to more effectively measure and assess the overall consumer perception of a specific brand. Each brand measured was tested across four main criteria and those criteria individually weighted to reflect their importance in the overall indexing formula.

“The SportsOneSource Group has been producing the syndicated Brand Strength Report since 2007,” explained James Hartford, CEO and Chief Market Analyst at the market research, trend reporting and information firm that produces the study. “While the BSR provides a clear view of the strength of brands in the broader active lifestyle market, we felt it was important to also assess a brand’s strength within key consumer focus areas such as outdoor, performance sports and sportsman’s. The debut of the Outdoor Brand Strength Report provides a great picture how active outdoor consumers view the top brands in the outdoor industry.”

The survey targeted outdoor product consumers involved in backpacking, camping, hiking, mountaineering, bouldering/rock climbing and/or paddlesports that had purchased an outdoor product over the last year. Trail Running brands were not included in the survey. The category is included in the Performance Brand Strength Report that will be released in December 2014. The contrast and comparisons between the active lifestyle, outdoor and performance versions of the reporting are compelling.

It should come as no surprise that The North Face and Columbia vie for the top position as the top brand in the outdoor active lifestyle market. The two mega-brands found their strength in the view of the consumer from two different paths.The North Face ranked first in the SportsOneSource Outdoor Brand Strength Index and Columbia ranked #2.

The North Face was third in Brand Awareness, second in Purchasing and dominates in Non-Negotiable brands.  The North Face is the top-rated brand for Product Quality in footwear, and ranked in the Top 10 for Product Quality in apparel and equipment.

Columbia ranked second in the Outdoor Brand Strength Index, and Non-Negotiable brands, ranked sixth in Brand Awareness and dominates in Purchasing and Conversion. Columbia ranked fourth for Product Quality in footwear.

REI was the top vertical outdoor retail brand in the survey. REI ranked in the Top 10 in Brand Awareness, scoring somewhat higher with female consumers than male consumers in the attribute.

For more information on the Outdoor Brand Strength Report, contact Bethany Cooner, Director Market Research at or call her at 303.997.7302.