The Creative Brief: Columbia Sportswear

the challenge

Set Columbia Sportswear apart from its competitors.

the problem

Columbia has lost its voice and identity while competitors have already claimed their stakes.

the solution

Give Columbia a new role as the hero for people doing everyday tasks. After all, outdoor extremists aren't the only ones who endure the elements.

the leg work

After a market analysis, we found 3 key trends...


The active apparel category is growing with outdoor apparel driving this growth.


The outdoor apparel category is evolving to incorporate style and comfort in addition to its original purpose; utility. 


Columbia and its top competitors, Northface and Patagonia, all currently target the extreme explorer.

...which got us thinking, who is wearing Columbia, and why?

To get to the bottom of this, we conducted interviews and facilitated a picture sort.

"Who is wearing Columbia, North Face, or Patagonia?"

Note: pictures depict a range of people and activities from leisure to extreme.

Our picture sort allowed us to create a perceptual map, resulting in a clear opportunity for Columbia.


Climbing Mt. Everest.

the brief (finally)


Columbia can own the space as the dependable outdoor gear for the everyday person.


Mt. Everest isn't the only destination with a forecast of snow.


Consumers use and depend on outdoor gear for everyday tasks such as shoveling the sidewalk in the snow, or grabbing groceries in the rain. 


The everyday warrior.

The everyday warrior may not be hiking Mt. Everest any time soon, but they are kicking ass and taking names when it comes to everyday tasks. Whatever may be on their to-do list, they want dependable gear to help them get the job done. 


Columbia is the everyday warrior's weapon of choice against the elements. 

who cares?

This brief was written to present to 3 creative directors at Martin Agency. 2 months into being at Brandcenter, our professor quite literally threw us to the wolves. Luckily, the wolves were into our big idea and we got some great feedback.

In this project I conducted in-store and secondary research, facilitated a picture sort, and worked with my team to develop and create the creative brief. 


In collaboration with Aaron Lee and Cara Coffin.