Why Volcom understands customers better than most

10th May 2016

Volcom is a lifestyle brand that designs, distributes and markets youth oriented products. The company was founded in 1991 and started out as a sports brand. But over the years it evolved to a universal brand which plays a role in enhancing popular culture and creativity. Volcom wants to enhance the creative spirit of youth culture.  

In an interview on ‘Hello Customer Podcast’, Brandon Janssen, from Volcom’s marketing department, shares the value and vision that drives the brand experience. Listen to the podcast here:

Hello Customer Podcast

The Volcom-movement

Volcom isn't about the products, it's a movement. The brand conducts tours all over the world to encourage the youth to become creative and productive. The tours have certain themes or programs such as 'Kids Ride Free' and 'Peanut Butter and Rail Jam', those are contests that are held in different cities and towns all over the world. Aim of these programs? Personally connect with people and give them a once in a lifetime experience.  

'The Peanut Butter and Rail Jam' program started as a one-off contest at Mammoth Mountain in 2000, sixteen years have passed since. The program received tremendous appreciation, today it's turned into a full-on tour.   

'The Kids Ride Free' is a special program where competitions and tours are held for the youth. It's a place that allows kids to showcase their skills and their talents in a free and fun environment. According to Brandon it's more of a celebration for snowboarding than a real competition.   

Skate, Snow and surf!  

Volcom is the first brand ever that brings together three board sports under one banner. Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall, Volcom's founders, both loved skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing.   

The brand initiates different programs for the youth, where they can come together, interact and learn form each other. Intention is for them to have fun while enhancing their creativity. It's all about the total experience. The brand doesn't only inspire youngsters but it also touches the lives of filmmakers, musicians and artists. It's really all about promoting self expression.  

Surf, snow, and skate’ is self expression because no one is telling you what to do. It's kind of up to you what you're making happen. - Janssen  

Brandon told us about how the brand embraces spiritual intoxication: a quest to find something that connects you to what's going on this earth - music, family, friends, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, art and everything else that's making you feel free and happy.  

Brand engagement

Many kids learned how to skate, surf or snowboard during the Volcom initatives. They start with learning the basic tricks and gradually go on to performing impressive tricks in no time. Some of them even get recruited to be a part of the Volcom team.  

Volcom represents pushing yourself to go beyond what you believe are your own limits and finding joy in something bigger than yourself.

What's fun about  the programs and competitions: people really come from all over the country to join us. People are really excited when our program comes to their city. Every event is different, but everyone that's coming has the same intentions: show their love for the board-sports and get inspired.  

This is exactly what excellent customer experience is all about and Volcom has mastered the art of touching the lives of the youth, fostering a fun and interacting environment for them. Need more inspiration? Download our Whitepaper and find out how other lifestyle brands handled it. 

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