Seismic shifts tend to make mountains – not make them disappear. Unless you’re Mountain Equipment Co-op.
After expanding from just six to more the three million members in four decades, the co-operative revised its charter in 2012 to recognise that not every single member is climbing mountains every weekend. Last year, the branding followed suit: Gone was the mountain from its logo, and even from its name, shortened instead to just MEC.
The moves angered the membership’s most hard-core outdoors enthusiasts. But amid the mountain climbers and whitewater kayakers, more casual joggers and yogis were signing up. As a retailer with robust member and sales data, it was a reasonable branding exercise in the face of changing consumer demand.
“The population is very urban, and there’s definitely a shift to doing activities closer to home,” Anne Donohoe, MEC’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview at the co-op’s headquarters in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant community.
Data-driven decision making is no longer just the job of the IT department. Companies now track information more than ever for customer relationship management. Whether it’s simple demographic and sales information like MEC and other retailers have used for years, or complex “Big Data” such as huge sets of down-to-the-mouse-click digital retail behaviour tracking, data has become a crucial tool for entire organisations to react to customer needs.
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