This month at The Outdoors Company, we celebrate ten years of supplying the highest quality outdoors products from many of the world’s leading outdoor brands to the UK’s B2B market. And in our tenth year, we’re going from strength to strength, making sure more corporate customers than ever can enjoy the great outdoors…
What is the history of The Outdoors Company?
We started The Outdoors Company back in November 2007 with a vision to supply high-end premium outdoor brands to the corporate B2B market.
And we can’t believe where the time’s gone?!
After having previously worked together running a successful ski company in Courchevel, France, our passion for skiing and mountaineering gave us a real understanding of how premium outdoor brands sit within the European market place.
So, after a year of planning and negotiations with most of the top outdoor retail brands, The North Face was the first large company to back our big idea! This really kick-started the business in the early years and gave us the foundations to roll out to more high end outdoor brands.
Our aim and vision was (and still is) to be the one-stop corporate supplier for all outdoor brands in the UK
Over the years, we’ve grown, forming unique and lasting relationships with most of the leading outdoor brands. We’re now contracted to develop the distribution of outdoor products to the corporate sector for the likes of leading retail brands such as The North Face, Berghaus, Patagonia, Montane, RAB, and Columbia.
We’ve nurtured such positive relationships with these brands that they trust us to grow their brand in the B2B sector in the UK – a responsibility we take very seriously.
And we’re always on the lookout for the latest up-and-coming retail brands to keep expanding our brand portfolio.
We have a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to the clothing and equipment each brand offers which means we can advise on items which will best fulfil the brief!
This is what sets us apart from other suppliers – our strong partnerships with many of the world’s most popular retail outdoor brands and our commitment to ensuring the customer is provided with the right kit for their purpose and environment.
Many times, our clients have said that we are the link to solving the problem when tasked with sourcing the right product.
What are the advantages of using products from premium outdoor brands for promotional purposes?
Many businesses are attracted by the idea of their brand sitting alongside many of the world’s most recognised and respected brands.
Aligning a brand with the values and ideals of leading brands such as the environmentally-conscious Patagonia sends out a powerful message - that a company invests in these values and makes them implicit in the services and products they deliver.
And investing in high-quality promotional items also lets a workforce know they are valued and will make them feel good about work, as well as look good.
Personalised apparel from premium retail outdoor brands are actually promo items really used by people, rather than just thrown in a cupboard at home with other cheap low-end promo products that just don’t last!
While the initial investment in clothing and bags from premium outdoor brands for promotional purposes might be higher than that of low-end, unbranded or non-retail items, it’s a value-for-money option. Staff are more likely to use these products, both in work and out, which means greater exposure of your logo!
As well as supplying premium branded outdoor wear, we also provide embroidery and print services, which many of our customers tend to opt for simply because of the risk involved in personalising high-end technical garments. We have the expertise and experience to ensure these expensive garments are personalised to the highest standard.
The next 10 years?
Basically, we want to continue to do what we do for more and more people across the B2Bmarket - to achieve a greater presence in the industry and become the ‘go-to’ company for corporate and outdoor workwear.
We aim to continue to educate our customers on outdoor brands and where they sit in the market so they can choose the best products to suit their budgets and purpose.
We’ll be increasing the number of on-site training opportunities and regional workshops for our customers - we never underestimate the value of face-to-face time with our customers to help them understand our brands and the products we supply.
And we’ll always be seeking that ‘something different’ which our customers often ask for. We’re all about staying ahead of the curve and keeping up with what’s new and what’s recommended in the industry. Our close relationships with our brands mean they tell us about the latest technical garments to hit the market and we’ll continue to pass this on to our customers.
By Paul Morley-Smith & Mark Dix