Discovery Away travel and luggage brands
Updated: Mar 25
Away is a brand selling luggage and travel accessories. Jen Rubio and Steph Korey operate the brand in 2015, in New York City. Away is a B2C company, they sell products mainly online but also have retail stores. The away’s product feature is that they upgraded the traditional suitcase by installing internal batterers for charging devices. The most iconic product is their carry-on suitcase which has three sizes for different target consumers. And the product line has extended to travel bags and all kinds of travel accessories.
The away’s marketing strategy is remarkable. They realized people don’t care about what their carry-on looks like or what features they have; they only care about it when they buy it. The critical things that evoke travelers are the amazing travel moments and the unique travel memories. Therefore, instead of telling consumers how good the suitcase is, they prioritize providing a platform for sharing travel experiences and moments.
The success they make startup with failures. The first production run was delayed, so the founders initialed a great idea while waiting for the production run. So they interviewed 40 people who have an affection for taking travel photos and writing articles. They hear a lot of great travel stories. And they combine these stories into one travel book called “the places we return to”. Then, they launched a campaign to pre-order the book with gift cards. The book sold out in a short time and increased brand awareness significantly.
Because of the huge success of the book, the founders put major strength on travel stories telling, creating a travel brand. It became the brand mission statement- ‘more we travel, the better we all became’. They published a podcast called Airplane Mode in 2017 to share their travel experience. They are not selling luggage but selling travel stories.
Social media has played an important role in Away’s rise. The brand pays more attention to user-generation content compared to brand content. Their social media account is made of user content of beautiful destination views or airport photos. What’s more, the photos with the colorful Away suitcase gain massive fans on social media. Those user-generated contents encourage people to travel more and share their moments with Away. They share their content with the #travelaway hashtag, Then the official account selects content from it and posts it on Instagram. It helps Away to create a community where travelers enjoy telling stories about traveling with Away and invite more and more people to join the party. Furthermore, they hire influencers to generate similar content as their user did. It increased brand awareness and interest in travel significantly. The influencers they selected have to match their brand value, They are not just hiring the top tire influencers to make promotions. This tactic further strengthens travel storytelling.
Through social media, Away’s awareness widespread the planet Their followers and fans posted millions of UGC allowing the brand to reach all kinds of audiences. And the audience and Away create a sense of self-recognition and friendliness between them. The method Away used to build a community is remarkable. I think that’s the main takeaway for our group to learn after learning.
This is a great marketing case to study. Consumers are difficult to convince to make action nowadays, especially after three years covid and the economic recession. Marketing is no longer telling people how good your products. It is to create tribes for brand-driven consumers to link with all people.
After using gap Analysis to discover different content on different media, the different brand has different tactics according to brand identity and business goal. For example, Rimowa has solid consumer base, and its consumers are minorly sensitive to price. Because they are buying value behind the brand that will differentiate them from price-oriented consumers. Because of that, the price promotion strategy is improper for them to utilize; it has a high risk of diminishing the brand's high-class image, causing a loss of existing fans. However, the frequency of Riomowa is the higher with an 5% engagement rate, the audience has more likely to be impressed by that. The audience will start to consider Rimowa if they are able to approach a luxury brand easily, and it certainly offer more opportunities for the brand to expense the audience size and win more market share.
On the other hand, price promotion is a regular strategy Samsonite focusing on low-ended markets. The frequent promotion of content on their media occupies the most portion. Their consumers are extremely sensitive to the price. They consider the suitcase just a container for their belongings. In other way to say, they believe the price is justified. Frequent promotions help the brand clear its stocks and trigger a significant amount of repeat purchases. Moreover, this is will also attract new price-oriented consumers from other brands.
Compared to other brands， Away’s official website are full of UGC posted by loyal consumers. The UGC content is the most appealing content to me. From the consumer side, Consumer posts are reposted by the brands, it will surprise them. Existing consumers will share the reposted with their close friends, which leads to huge brand awareness. And Existing consumers will generate communities to discuss the brand’s new products. It completed the consumer’s purchase life cycles by transforming those occasional consumers into loyal consumers and helping the brand to acquire new consumers.
The content generated by Away is all about making travel easier and accessible for every audience. The audiences will be impressed by those amazing travel experiences and have the desire to travel with Away Away’s product benefits to satisfy all traveler’s physical needs. What’s more, the audience will have a strong willingness to travel seemly without any boundaries.