Steve Lesnard is the new Global Vice President of Marketing at The North Face. He has found that the key to best meeting the needs of today’s customers with top-of-the-line outdoor apparel and gear is to utilize big data to understand their needs. Lesnard says that many companies are still not using customer data to really drill down and find out customer needs and expectations of a company’s products.
One of the ways that Steve Lesnard and The North Face find out what customers really want is by providing forums for adventurers on social media and really listening to their feedback and desires. Another means of more fully providing customer satisfaction and value is in the new design of The North Face’s retail outlets. Now, the company has the stores set up as “basecamps,” with the sales people in the role of “guides.” The employees provide clinics and other experiences to help customers learn basic skills they need in order to pursue their intended outdoor adventure.
Also, the sales employees are trained to be better listeners and shepherd customers to the specific product that will perform best for the conditions and type of endeavor. For example, the sales employees would help the customer find the best running shoes for running on trails in the rocky High Sierra. Steve Lesnard and The North Face realize that they have a new generation of would-be explorers who have not had the opportunity to get their feet wet, so they are using big data and personalization to help customers find their way outdoors.