How stroller company Bugaboo is rolling into the luggage category

An integrated campaign including pop-up shops has helped the brand to garner media coverage yielding 395 million media impressions, measured across both social and traditional outlets.

Bugaboo co-founder and chief design officer Max Barenbrug
Bugaboo co-founder and chief design officer Max Barenbrug

Company: Bugaboo
Campaign: Bugaboo Boxer Launch
Agency: Havas Formula (global strategic partner)
Duration: September 6, 2016 – January 6, 2017

Bugaboo, a company best known for making premium strollers, faces the challenge of reaching a whole new media and consumer base to promote its new luggage product, the Bugaboo Boxer.

This launch marks Bugaboo’s first venture into the luggage category. The brand used an integrated campaign featuring innovative pop-up shops to launch the new luggage system, which includes light push steering and interlocking cases.

Strategy planning for the campaign began about eight months prior to the September product launch.

Through competitive research conducted by the brand across priority global markets, it was determined that the comms plan would need to take into consideration that the Bugaboo Boxer would require consumers to shift the way they view the travel experience, specifically as it relates to luggage.

Bugaboo already has a strong, loyal fan base among parenting media and consumers, but the campaign team was challenged with the need to secure interest from an entirely new consumer audience and media landscape. The brand looked to make a splash with consumers and media in the luxury lifestyle and travel space.

"The primary goal was to drive awareness of the Bugaboo Boxer as a complete luggage system, not just a suitcase," explained Anne-Mieke Minderhoud, Bugaboo’s global communications director. "There were very specific features and, more importantly, benefits that we needed to emphasize with media in order to ultimately reach and achieve relevance with our target consumer."

Havas sought to create unique trial and demo opportunities to underscore the product’s features and benefits. By focusing on "wow factors," such as the light push steering, hand-stitched fabrics, and durable chassis, the brand aimed to convert people into believers, and then into buyers.

A huge challenge for consumers who want to test the product before they buy is that the Bugaboo Boxer is available for purchase only via the brand’s e-commerce platform. To get around this, the campaign team decided on the idea of introducing pop-up shop activations in major market cities in the U.S. and Europe.

The brand also looked to add a social component to the campaign, developing the hashtag #PowerOfPush to help boost engagement.

Havas Formula implemented a targeted media outreach effort to attract travel, luxury, and lifestyle outlets that had significant readership among business and consumer travelers. Leading up to the launch, the brand developed conversations with media, followed by demonstrations to drive interest, and sent test units to top-tier media outlets.

In June, product demos for select media were conducted with co-founder and chief design officer Max Barenbrug at Milk Studios in New York City. The demo helped drive media interest prior to the September product launch. The brand also created a demo video with Barenbrug and put it on social.

On October 3, 2016, Bugaboo and Havas launched a 3,250-square-foot pop-up store in Manhattan. The store included hands-on testing for customers, as well as simulated airport security checks and an airplane aisle replica. The store was open until November 20. Another pop-up store was opened in the Clerkenwell area of central London. The brand also conducted other similar activations at Bugaboo retail locations in Berlin and Amsterdam.

"In each market, we hosted VIP events to unveil the space and to continue to engage with consumers, media, and influencers alike," added Minderhoud.

The brand also took to social media and created new social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook specifically for its luggage category products to help bolster visibility of the Boxer line. Social posts included updates on the pop-up shop locations and images of the luggage, as well as shout outs to major media outlets that featured the collection.

To date, the Bugaboo Boxer campaign has generated more than 400 print and online placements in major media outlets, including: USA Today, The New York Times, InStyle, Travel + Leisure, Forbes, Elite Traveler, and Yahoo.

Media coverage yielded 395 million media impressions, measured across both social and traditional outlets.

"We also wanted to hit early adopters; therefore, outlets such as PFSK, Cool Hunting, and Fast Co. Design were big wins for the campaign," added Minderhoud.

A CNN Business Traveler story, published in December, called the Bugaboo Boxer, "A suitcase revolution -- on wheels."

"Shaking up the luggage world in the same way it revolutionized strollers, the Bugaboo Boxer reinvents suitcases from top to bottom," said a feature story in Elite Traveler.

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