The Appeal of Canada Goose

The sun is shining, and the flowers have bloomed. Campus is much more alive. But there’s one thing that’s noticeably missing in the recent warm weather: Canada Goose. The iconic red circular patch with an insignia of Canada can be seen on many a puffer jacket in the winter - so much so that one might think that it was a common brand item. But actually, the brand is very expensive. So why do people still buy them?

Canada Goose is a Canadian company that specializes in extreme-weather clothing. They were founded fairly recently in 1957 by Sam Tick, and have since produced luxury winter clothing such as parkas, vests, and gloves. Their most iconic item, the one that can be seen on movie and Instagram stars alike, is the black parka.

The catch is that most of their parkas cost at least $1,050. Most down parkas, at retailers such as Macy’s, cost around $100- $200.

What’s interesting to me is how Canada Goose has become a signal of socioeconomic status. Much like the popular brand Patagonia, Canada Goose used to be worn mostly by Arctic explorers and hikers.

Gina Feliz, a freshman at Princeton University believes the that exorbitant price of the coat contributes to part of its appeal. “People who aren’t from a background that aren’t that well off wouldn’t see any point in buying that jacket” said Feliz. “The fact that you can afford one says something.”

However, Feliz also believes that owning a Canada Goose jacket has negative connotations. She added, “I think about the baby coyote who died for that jacket and also, who the hell spends that much money on a coat?”

And yet, business is booming for the company. Canada Goose has plans to open 6 new stores across Milan, the U.S, and Canada, bringing the total number of Canada Goose stores to seventeen across three continents. In addition, the company’s revenues have grown  “more than 30% annually.”

Part of the success of Canada Goose may be in their “experiential” marketing tactic. The company’s walk-in stores offer cold rooms where customers can test out the functionality of Canada Goose jackets at temperatures as low as -27 degrees Fahrenheit. Fast Company has called it “the best retail experience of the year” for its creativity and relevance to the customer.

While Canada Goose’s popularity is still mostly based on word of mouth and their ever-popular logo, the company’s focus on aesthetics, functionality, quality, and customer experience seems to be serving them well. Only time will tell, but perhaps Canada Goose has cracked the secret to being the everlasting “it” brand.