PEARL iZUMi Undergoes a Transformation
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A new social purpose strategy, new brand position and a fresh new 2019 like kick off a transformational year for the iconic cycling brand
PEARL iZUMi is introducing a powerful new brand position with an inclusive foundation, designed to bring-to-life and directly tie to the depth of its Mission and Values. This positioning will also clearly complement the Brand’s critical efforts around Social Responsibility and a refreshed product line for 2019. After six decades of commitment to cycling, everything the brand will introduce in 2019 and beyond will ensure this passion lives on for future generations who share a love of bikes.
PEARL iZUMi has a lot to talk about this year, but the work started much earlier, with a realignment around a deep optimism for all that can be accomplished through riding. The brand spent 10 months in a very deliberate process to discover its Mission and Values, which were unveiled early in 2018. “Unlock the Power of Inspiration and Impact” is the Mission that captures why the brand exists. Pulling this out and defining it provides power to set several significant changes in motion, and create a new level of focus across all areas of the business. Chris Sword, President of PEARL iZUMi describes it this way: “We didn’t create our Mission, we discovered it. This was an energizing process that included 100% of our team, and also gave clarity to our Values – Trust, Craft, Empathy, Impact, and Plus 1. These elements of our brand, now well-defined, are forever, and will guide everything we do.”
Introducing “Here we go.”
A new brand position with the tagline “Here we go” celebrates the common feelings all riders share and the positive impact we can have on our communities through bicycles. According to Geoff Shaffer, VP of Brand Marketing, “We developed our new brand position with a connection to our Mission and the brand’s history to establish a perspective that’s uniquely PEARL iZUMi. No other brand is like this brand. We have so much history, and have been a part of so many riders’ cycling experiences, we believe we have incredible future potential by capturing the inclusivity that’s in the DNA of our brand. This is the beginning of an entirely new chapter.”
“Here we go” is anchored by one simple, powerful word: Go. Sometimes it’s a word of encouragement. Other times, a call to action. It celebrates the individual, as well as the collective, and elevates riding to much more than a competition. It acts as a rallying cry for all the good that cycling has to offer. The brand’s goal is simple: to connect with a diverse group of riders that are united by their love of riding, which takes on many different forms for many different people. The essence of the new position is captured in this first :30 spot of “The Start”.
PEARL iZUMi formally embraced it’s social purpose as core to the business model in June of 2018, with the introduction of this social purpose statement:
Because we believe how we live shapes how future generations ride, we pledge to
Ride More and Do More.
To be clear, this social purpose goes beyond social responsibility. The brand has been leading the industry in socially responsible practices for years (it’s the only cycling brand that reports on the Higg Index). This is because the team has felt it’s critically important to be responsible. But the brand feels strongly it’s impact can be powerful, if it’s focused, aligned, and uniquely PEARL iZUMi. With this perspective the brand is leveraging its business practices, products, and advocacy to maximize this impact, and embolden all of us to ride more and do more. This is the brand’s path to what it calls “net positive” impact on the planet.
With this PEARL iZUMi is setting very high goals to lead in this area. Impactful examples of recent actions include the industry’s first-ever effort to essentially “eliminate” hangtags. Effective January 2019 the brand will only attach one card to capture critical codes and pricing information, at the smallest size that can still be recycled. “We feel that with all of the digital resources available, relying on a large hangtag to communicate product details is outdated, and they generate a surprising amount of our total packaging waste,” said Sword. The new hangtags use 19,400 lbs less paper, saving 165 trees, 68,082 gallons of water and 4,503 gallons of oil annually. In addition, all new polybag packaging shifted to 100% recycled plastic, which can be recycled again, further reducing waste.
Notable product initiatives related to the Social Purpose include new sustainable technical fabrics made from responsibly-sourced merino and Reprieve recycled polyester, that will be introduced this spring. By 2020, 30% of the PEARL iZUMi line will be made of recycled materials. And by 2022, the brand plans 90% of the total product line will be made from recycled, renewable or organic materials. A partnership with The Renewal Workshop to repair and resell PEARL iZUMi warranty returns will give gently used products a second life instead of adding to the landfill.
A significant design refresh and renewed focus on the most significant styles for Spring 2019 has resulted in the most compelling collection in a decade. With a new design language, the new collections are like nothing else PEARL iZUMi has launched before.
A further emphasis on everyday riding gear can be found in the brand new BikeStyle™ range, with cycling inspired apparel for men and women that looks as good off the bike as it does on. The new Vista short for men and women is a modern, pedal friendly, causal standout, that will see heavy rotation in warmer temps. The BikeStyle collection also includes a wide selection of organic-cotton graphic tees, with designs that appeal to bike lovers of all stripes.
Several new innovations will be introduced in the updated Mountain bike collection, including a new Trail Access pocket design that conveniently moves pocket contents out of the way for unencumbered pedaling. The new Summit collection features lightweight trail gear for dedicated riders, and includes a 100g wind shell, hooded rain jacket, lightweight shorts and feature rich WxB waterproof shorts. The new X-Alp Flow flat pedal shoe adds dual compound sole technology at a compelling $100 price point.
The company approached the look of the road line with a “jeans and t-shirt” inspiration, allowing riders to easily mix and match tops and bottoms for a fresh look. “We moved away from the typical matching kit with the idea that we could empower riders to look great, and build a wardrobe over time that never goes out of style,” said Lynn Bush, Design Manager for PEARL iZUMi. “We’re also excited to introduce new prints that use hand drawn graphics to bring a human element to sleek silhouettes.” All new PRO Bib Shorts for men and women headline the new collection, featuring luxurious fabrics, integrated graphics, and a fresh navy color option. The new gear will be launching in early February.
To learn more about PEARL iZUMi’s Social Purpose efforts or to check out the 2019 lineup visit pearlizumi.com.