We have one principle of inclusion for the brands we represent: In every case, there’s a “there” there. What we mean by this is pretty simple, actually.
What we’ve found is that brands that have a strong sense of their own identity are the brands that we most identify with ourselves, and that we have the most fun working with, also. At the very least, this means that we won’t have to sit in focus-groups to try to determine what the brand is all about. We just know.
The best way we’ve found to determine if a brand has a “there” there is to see whether or not the brand is still connected with its founders. Think about it: There are so many brands in our industry that have no connection whatsoever with the people who first started them. For these brands, there’s no one there to say, “Dang it all, THIS is who WE are!” Instead, these brands are defined by internal company politics, or – worse yet – marketing consultants. We don’t go there.
Every one of our companies wants to make the best stuff. We know this because somebody who was passionate enough to start the company still works there. From companies like Petzl and LEKI who are named for real people with faces and voices to companies with names as descriptive or esoteric as Adventure Medical Kits, you can bet that somewhere there’s a guardian for brand’s identity, and this comes through in the products they make. We only want to use and sell the best stuff. Making sure we only work with companies who have a “there” there is the best way we’ve found of assuring this.
For the record, we represent these quality brands: Atlas Snow-Shoe Company, LEKI Trekking and Nordic Walking Poles, Patagonia Footwear and Petzl. Check out their websites. You’ll discover, too, that there’s benefit to having a “there” there.