EasyWalker, world famous in The Netherlands. How do you keep a great Dutch brand relevant and vital in a ‘fast fashion’ baby transport market? Only twenty years young and yet a brand with history and facing great challenges.
In the nineties, the need grew for modern means of transporting babies and children. Thanks to increasing individualisation, new parents are less and less prepared to limit their freedom, however happy they may be with their baby. EasyWalker responded with a baby buggy that sports what has become a classically simple ‘Dutch design’ with international allure: the EasyWalker CLASSIC. Around 2000, the EasyWalker brand lost some of its strength. It was overtaken by urban fashion brands such as Bugaboo and Stokke as well as by international outdoor brands. In 2003 EasyWalker got a new owner. In recent years, there is a new élan and a revitalisation of ideas is taking place at EasyWalker. There are currently four model lines which have again won the necessary awards and nominations:
- EasyWalker CLASSIC
- EasyWalker SKY
- EasyWalker DUO
- EasyWalker QTRO
In addition to a greater focus on the European and American markets, production has moved from the Netherlands to the Far East. This has allowed the head office in the Netherlands more space for product development and EasyWalker has entered a new phase in its life. This has resulted in a renewed identity and brand positioning.
EasyWalker CLASSIC finds a place in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum
EasyWalker CLASSIC wins the French design award, 'La Timbale de l’Innovation'
EasyWalker DUO is nominated for Best Baby & Infant Product in the Netherlands
EasyWalker SKY is declared Best Buy by the Consumentenbond
EasyWalker QTRO is nominated for Best Innovation Award, during the Kind & Jugend Show in Cologne, Germany
Space for new vision
EasyWalker is a product that creates an actual link between parent and child, and at various stages adapts according to how both develop. Furthermore, the ‘kind of parenting’ is important to the way the child is able to develop. These insights, alongside a rational mobile product dimension, lead to an emotional dimension concerning the parenting relationship. It is on the level of this emotional relationship that EasyWalker wishes to distinguish itself in the market.
A market in motion
The current market is considerably homogeneous, there being a lot of similar players in a large mid-field, without any real distinction. Whereas in the past the distinctive capacity used to be fought out at product level with, for instance, different colours and functionalities, these days, people have switched to lifestyle fashion-statements with a high ‘slice of life’ character: one has a more outspoken outdoor character and the other a strong urban character.
After several initial explorations, Total Identity was asked to develop a powerful iconographic brand for EasyWalker. A start was made in the form of a Brand Navigator which forms a departure platform for the following brand explorations. Four brand-strategic pillars were developed as a starting point for further communications:
- Product: simplicity - simple, easy, elementary
- Performance: honest - rock-solid, comfort, design, usability
- Character: idiosyncratic - flow, exploring, experiencing
- Added value: empathic - linking, freedom, connectivity
The EasyWalker fans live in the present. They really enjoy life. Although they are open to everyone and life in general, they clearly make their own conscious choices. They stimulate their children in their development, mainly by getting them to experience things. They are close to their children, but not obsessively. There is a great amount of freedom when experiencing life. They have a dynamic life but they also take life ‘as it comes’. The combination of self-assuredness, a certain nonchalance and adaptive capacity ensures they are part of ‘the flow of life. A liberal outlook on life and their flexibility mean that they move through many social layers and classic clusters.
Together these ingredients form the leading concept. The core to this is that it is mentality rather than orientation that determines lifestyle. Using this notion, EasyWalker can become more than a brand: from brand to ‘mentality’. At the moment we approach it as a mentality, EasyWalking becomes synonymous with a certain philosophy:
'I can tell; he's an EasyWalker...'
Alongside this the following brand values are central:
- Elementary: Focus on the essence and keep things simple
- Performance: Built to work and made to last
- Connect: Experience the now, connect to your world and be a true EasyWalker