• Apparel
  • Channels
  • eCommerce
  • Full Brand Management
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Photography
  • Retail Store Displays
  • Social Media
  • SMS
  • Videography

Spawning an outdoor lifestyle brand in a sea of subpar competitors.

Born in the warm, verdant waters of the Florida coast, the GILLZ family of brands began with a humble, but impassioned origin. Designed by and for avid fishing enthusiasts, the highly technical and innovative GILLZ GEAR® and it’s more fashionable, but still strongly performance-oriented sibling brand Reel Life®, were absolutely adored by any angler that discovered them.

However, exposure beyond the hard-core fishing community was limited and the early advertising approach focused on the tech, lacking any real personality. The brand needed new life and new energy to remain relevant. That’s when James Ross Advertising came aboard.

On a mission to go fishin’

We started by defining the brand’s mission and understanding the deep passion of the target audience. From there, we created new graphic standards and a strong, category-defining set of brand guidelines that completely embodied the fishing enthusiast’s lifestyle.

We wanted to ensure that people who love fishing in particular, as well as the coastal outdoor lifestyle in general, could see themselves wearing the brand.

We quickly tacked to get GILLZ back on course by reskinning their existing ecommerce website with the imagery and messaging that heralded a new attitude. We incorporated new visual iconography, new product photography and updated content.

Hooking the audience with Influencers … and a powerful “Anthem Video”

To further tap into the psyche of the target audience, we invested in building strong influencer relationships with industry professionals, primarily successful or well-known anglers, captains and guides. In addition to typical social media influencer marketing activities, we also tapped these leading industry voices to be the face of GILLZ GEAR in photo shoots and video shoots, adding a unique and authentic edge to the imagery.

The best example of this is the GILLZ GEAR Anthem Video, where we capture and imbue the soul of GILLZ. Action packed, with jumping fish, speeding boats, salty air, struggling fisherman, splashing water, high fives and a sweet music bed – the video perfectly positions GILLZ to our core market – the avid angler.

Casting the net with social media marketing

Creating a lifestyle brand means tapping into a community that shares the same passions. So, a variety of social media assets were also deployed quickly, including carousels, slideshows and video, to increase engagement with the new approach, spread awareness and drive traffic to the website.

To build deeper relationships with the community, we created a series of exciting contests. Promoting them on social media and the website, these effectively spread awareness, drove brand loyalty and sales, as well as contributed to our database for future marketing initiatives.

Email marketing brings the community closer

The next step in developing the new brand approach for GILLZ was establishing an ongoing email program. We started with campaigns that promoted themed promotions throughout the year. As we grew our data sets and opt-ins increased, we were able to reach out to more customers and engage them one-on-one to build more brand advocates.

Expanding the brand to broad retail and eCommerce sectors

As GILLZ expanded technical proficiency and brand impact, retailers began to take notice and distribution partners grew. James Ross Advertising guided branding and marketing support with robust catalogs created for partners to help market and merchandise the brand within third-party retail locations and on eCommerce sites. We designed and created point-of-sale displays that were deployed within partner stores, and honed product descriptions to suit eCommerce standards at some of the world’s largest retail websites.

We also chummed up the branded websites, adding more on-brand messaging and imagery, while also implementing eCommerce best practices that enhanced the user experience and increased conversion rates.

Brand marketing grows with performance apparel explosion

With its technical prowess, GILLZ is well positioned as the trend toward “smart clothing” continues, leading to several recent brand expansions. For example, the company’s FinTech® brand was launched when it became apparent there was a need in the market to support those who spend the majority of their day working outdoors. More recently, the edgier brand Mad Pelican® was introduced to tap into the growing youth fashion trend around coastal streetwear.

Throughout every brand introduction, James Ross Agency has applied similar formulas and high-end styling, propelling each brand from concept to sales with a comprehensive set of assets for every development stage, including brand name ideation, logo design, lifestyle-rich photo shoots and imagery, robust brand guidelines, social and influencer marketing, advertising, content, email and eCommerce website design and development.

James Ross Advertising is pleased and proud to continue helping this amazing outdoor apparel company grow and thrive.