As a result of the press release we distributed last week, I’ve had inquiries from media outlets regarding Snoloha…which always results in an explanation of the brand. The “elevator pitch,” if you will.
I’ve always struggled with this. The challenge in explaining Snoloha is that there are more layers to the brand than you might initially realize. There’s a real emotional connection to the brand that folks have that is often difficult to describe to people.
I read somewhere (probably on Seth’s blog or in one of his books) that if you can explain your business to someone during casual conversation at a bar and they instantly “get it”, that it’s probably not too great of a business idea. It’s not remarkable and unique enough. If people instantly accept it, what’s so different about it? For the most part, people are creatures of habit and are fairly risk averse, and thus are willing to buy and try services and products that they are familiar with…less risk involved. So launching a new brand that really is different from anything else out there, well, it’s a long and winding uphill climb.
Snoloha really has three layers to it:
First is the concept of combining climates, activities and lifestyles into one image, one word and one logo. The Palm Tree Chair Lift design simply doesn’t make sense, yet it does for those that enjoy both lifestyles. A palm tree with a snow flake top doesn’t make sense, but yet it does. “Snoloha” is a word that I made up (and trademarked) that doesn’t make sense, yet it does.
I was told by one very successful retailer that I really should pick snow or surf and stick with it…they didn’t understand the concept. If I were to stick with just snow or just surf…that’s what everybody else is doing! The bar conversation would be very short, as would the elevator pitch.
Second is the layer that I really didn’t see coming to the extent that is has…and that is the emotional “escapism” element of the brand that people have with it. Not only do these folks “get” the concept, but to them Snoloha is an escape from the realities of everyday life now and then. It’s not just a t-shirt…it’s literally a state of mind. This emotional connection is very humbling and very powerful.
Finally, Snoloha really isn’t an “in-your-face”, action sports, “I’ve got something to prove, look how cool I am” type of brand. It’s MUCH more laid back and relaxed than that. Yes, it is snowboarding and surfing…but it’s more about the feeling you get while being on the water or the slopes…or the hiking trail or the backyard hammock. It’s a cup of coffee on a winter morning, or a beach side fruity drink. Snoloha is winding down and enjoying life somewhere between the islands and the arctic.
Take all these layers and mash ’em up together and you have Snoloha…a fairly complicated brand to explain in a sentence or two. There are still more folks that don’t “get it” than who do. There are going to be plenty more potential retailers say that I should go one way or the other…but there is NOTHING remarkable about that, it’s been done.
My friends Rob and Erica took this photo for me when they were down in the Virgin Islands. It’s one of my favorites. It very simply sums up the Snoloha concept, and the fact that you’re in the Virgin Islands means that you’ve escaped and slowed down a bit (hopefully you have anyway).
So there, that’s Snoloha. I hope it was a tall building and we were taking the elevator to the top floor.