Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Go for the GOLD! Check out how this company won its customers’ hearts in the apparel industry! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

August 23, 2020

Nike. 

Adidas. 

Puma. 

These are some of the biggest sporting brands dominating the global market for around 3 decades now. 

… and while these companies are comfortable in the lead, other sports apparel companies have been emerging fairly recently. 

One of them is a brand that traces its humble beginnings in Toyama, Japan.

Goldwin Inc. is a Japanese sports apparel manufacturer that offers an extensive lineup of brands for both sports enthusiasts and world-class elite athletes. 

From core outdoor to athletic brands, the company carries a diverse portfolio including Helly Hansen, Speedo, Icebreaker, Ellesse, Woolrich, and many more. 

How does Goldwin reach consumers outside the Japanese market and meet a wide variety of customer needs? 

In 2014, the company opened its first US headquarters in Manhattan Beach as part of a global market strategy. 

Goldwin’s goal? 

To reach both the American and European markets! 

According to Goldwin America’s CEO, Shuzo Nojima, while Americans and Europeans are relatively similar markets, there are still some key differences between the two. 

For example: 

Europeans don’t like to ski if it’s raining or when there’s intense snowfall, so their waterproofing needs are less demanding than American skiers. 

In terms of color, Americans tend to favor black and navy blue for ski wear, while Europeans are more patriotic towards their countries’ national colors. 

Goldwin’s 2014 ski wear line in Manhattan Beach had loose-fitting clothing with Gore Tex waterproofing, a good aesthetic, and lots of pockets. 

Aside from snow apparel, Goldwin also sells high-performance underwear that works well with warmer sports. 

In Nojima’s words, 

“Since people in the Los Angeles area are running and riding their bikes all day, opening a brand in Manhattan Beach made a lot of sense.”  

Nojima also said that the South Bay is home to over 1,000 Japanese businesses. This meant opening a US headquarter in Manhattan Beach would help Goldwin develop partnerships in the area. 

That’s a good way to further expand the company’s network! 

What else did the company do to reach the American and European markets in 2014? 

It revamped its limited edition “Exclusive Model” ski collection! 

The theme of the revamp was the collection’s “Minimal and Clean” design and Kigokochi, a Japanese term that means “ease of wear.” 

The “Exclusive Model” collection is a reflection of Goldwin’s cutting-edge technology, high-quality aesthetics, and attention to detail. The product line is not just about functionality, but also about providing added value for retailers and skiers alike. 

Because Goldwin manufactured only 200 pieces of this collection, the company was able to create a sense of scarcity and compel both American and European consumers to immediately buy the product. 

Fast forward to the company’s marketing strategy in 2020… 

What did Goldwin employ to reach not only the Western part of the world but also the Eastern part, particularly Asia (other than just Japan)? 

An omnichannel brand presence and developed DTC (direct to consumer), e-commerce, and wholesale strategies! 

According to Naoki Kimura, general manager of Goldwin’s global business department, e-commerce as a percentage of the company’s total revenue rose from 10% in March 2020 to 20% in September 2020, as total revenues increased from JYP 10.2 billion to JYP 19.4 billion during the same period. 

Because of the rise in e-commerce, Goldwin had to make sure each of its physical stores were upgraded and set up with an omnichannel backend, which allowed various services such as stock optimization, pick up in store, return in store, ship from store, e-reservation, and home delivery. 

… but that’s not all that there was to the company’s strategy! 

Goldwin knew that if it was going to establish a brand presence both online and offline, it would also have to offer more than just ski wear to consumers. 

That’s when Goldwin began to venture into outdoor, athletic, and lifestyle collections. 

The company integrated the rationality of outdoors, comfort, and usability with simple and sophisticated design for consumers who have their own outdoor-related style and strong passion for quality and excellent execution. 

In other words, Goldwin’s outdoor, athletic, and lifestyle collections are aimed at those who seek a balance between high-tech fabrics and understated design. 

Thanks to this strategy, the company was able to represent a new, relevant, progressive, and highly technical offer to consumers in America, Europe, and Asia! 

In the past five years, Goldwin Inc. has recorded revenues of:

  • JPY 59.7 billion in 2016
  • JPY 61.0 billion in 2017
  • JPY 70.7 billion in 2018
  • JPY 85.1 billion in 2019
  • JPY 98.0 billion in 2020

Clearly, the company’s business and marketing strategies proved to be effective because Goldwin’s annual revenues showed a steady increase in the past 5 years! 

Goldwin Inc.’s Earning Power: Valens Research vs. As-reported numbers 

Goldwin Inc. (8111:JPN) makes for a great case study that we come back to regularly. One great reason?

The company has proven itself to be a better earning power generator than investors might think.

So, how well has Goldwin been growing its business in the past years?

The research doesn’t lie—nor do the results. Earning power (the blue bars) continues to show results higher on average than what traditional databases show.

The blue bars in the chart above represent Goldwin’s earning power (Uniform Return On Assets). Goldwin has seen generally improving profitability. After ranging from -2% to 1% in 2005-2008, Uniform ROA gradually improved from 2% in 2009 to a peak of 34% in 2020.

The global ROA is just 6%. 

The orange bars are the company’s as-reported financial information. If you relied on these numbers, you will see a company with understated profitability. As-reported ROA (return on assets, a measure of earning power) only ranged from -2% to 14% in the past sixteen years. Its as-reported ROA in 2020 was only at 14%, which is more than 2 times lower than its Uniform ROA in 2020. 

That’s what you’ll see in Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and most other databases.

The company’s stock price also performed better than the rest of the stock market over the decade, which we can see in the blue line in the chart below. Its returns have been well above the market.

The numbers show that Goldwin has been doing well and making a profit. 

According to Akio Nishida, Chairman and Representative Director of Goldwin, the company’s dedication and passion towards making sportswear has not changed throughout the years. 

“There is true value in the invisible.” 

Until now, Goldwin serves its customers and athletes with a commitment to honest and sincere “monozukuri,” or manufacturing products with new value and excellence. 

If there’s one thing that the company wants to be remembered for, Nishida says it’s this: 

“A strong, fast, and transparent brand that offers only the best materials and best design.” 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some company’s marketing strategy. 

…Only for the audience to later find out that their product was a flop, or worse, that the company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole. 

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the role of marketing is always paramount to that success. 

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies. 

However, the difference between our case studies and the numerous ones out there, is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group).

By looking at the true earnings of a company, we can now rely on those successful businesses to get tips and insights on what they did right.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve on. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful. 

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Cheers,

Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research
www.valens-research.com