June 18, 2013 (Vancouver, BC) – Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) today unveiled its first wholly redesigned logo since being founded in 1971. Known by most Canadians simply as MEC, the outdoor retailer’s new branding reflects its standing as an iconic company that outfits Canadians with leading-edge products and inspires them to be active outdoors – wherever they live, work or play.
The redesigned logo is simple yet bold, and now features the acronym MEC instead of the full name, with the mountain removed, to reflect MEC’s geographical reach across the country, and its wider range of backcountry and urban activities. Vibrant imagery and compelling language complement the new logo as cornerstones of a new brand platform.
“Few other Canadian brands inspire a love of outdoor activity the way MEC does. We’ve been helping Canadians enjoy the outdoors for more than 40 years, and we’re proud of that heritage,” says MEC Chief Marketing Officer Anne Donohoe. “MEC has grown to become a national retailer and our members are as active in urban environments as they are in the backcountry. The new MEC brand platform was created to respond to shifting consumer needs and reflect the evolving MEC experience.”
In a highly competitive and rapidly changing retail environment, MEC has focused on making the MEC experience more relevant for its members, by introducing new activities, a broader assortment of products (MEC-brand and other brands) and services to support product selection and fitting. To better support members’ urban lifestyles and backcountry pursuits, MEC is also now staging races, meet-ups and events and it is refining online tools.
To develop a brand platform that communicates these changes, MEC conducted focus groups, opinion gathering and social anthropology research of 6 million online conversations. Members and non-members alike highlighted personal motivations – including achieving goals, exploring the outdoors, connecting with people and being fit – as their main reasons for being active outdoors.
The logo and associated branding will begin appearing on MEC-designed products this summer and be rolled out nationally in stores and online in September. A national marketing campaign in traditional and online media will focus on inspiring Canadians to get outdoors.
National online contest to search for inspiring outdoor enthusiasts begins
To prepare for the official launch of the rebrand in September, MEC has started the search for Canadians who embody the motivations for being active in the outdoors. The online contest, Outside Moves Me, is open to the public and launches today at outsidemovesme.mec.ca. Participants are invited to define themselves according to one of four motivations by submitting photos and related stories that profile how they best represent their motivation. A panel of judges will choose a Moving Stories winner from each of the four categories. Winners could be featured in a fall MEC campaign, and will receive a $500 MEC Gift Card. A separate grand prize trip for four to Ivvavik National Park in the Canadian Arctic – valued at approximately $25,000 – will be awarded to the photo that gets the most votes by the public.
An outdoor retail co-operative, MEC exists to encourage and inspire Canadians to live active outdoor lifestyles. From backcountry trails to city streets, MEC supports a range of outdoor activities, including climbing, hiking, camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, running and yoga. Well known for selling high-quality well-designed products that offer great value, MEC employs outdoor enthusiasts who possess a strong service ethic to provide its members with an authentic and accessible customer experience. MEC has more than 3.5 million members across Canada, whom it serves through 17 stores in 6 provinces as well as mec.ca and the Shop MEC iPhone® app. Anyone can join MEC by purchasing a $5 individual lifetime membership in the Co-op. More information about MEC is available at mediaroom.mec.ca