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Creating a Consumer Lifestyle (INTERVIEW)

David Spangler, Marketing Executive, SWELL
Anne Booth
November 27th, 2013
David Spangler has been working at SWELL for four years now as the Marketing Executive. David works with like-minded people who are always on the water, surfing everyday. With avid surfers and travelers, SWELL makes sure that the company is focused on finding the most diverse people to generate new ideas for their consumers. Authenticity is extremely important to David and is how SWELL found its customer base and its fans. To customers, SWELL is a lifestyle.

3 Questions with David Spangler

1. Has there ever been an instance where another industry has influenced an innovation at your company?

An industry that has influenced innovation at SWELL, one you wouldn’t expect, is the home and living industry. This influences us, because we want to encompass a lifestyle instead of just a brand. We want to develop a culture, and give our customers something more, [whether that be] a recipe tip or a travel tip, telling a whole story, as opposed to one piece. Talking about that photographer on that specific trip, or delving into secrets from the pros, helps surfers look and act authentic. 20% of our customers are ones who engage in the surfing lifestyle, the other 80% are customers who aspire to live this lifestyle.

3. How do you identify trends? What resources does your team use to spot trends and consumer insights?

We are never chasing trends for style or fashion, as we are located right in the hub of the surf industry. We can look to the trendsetters of the industry to find inspiration, because internal industry style is next level. With marketing, it is important to close your mind off to what other companies are doing. Take Black Friday for example: what is the message, what is the trend? You have to ignore what everyone else is doing to take creative marketing to the next level. If you don’t, creativity becomes stale and repetitive.

3. Looking to the future, how is SWELL going to be a leader in innovation?

Being the best dressed, you are going to get the job, the girl and the customer. We want to continue to keep our customers the best dressed while sticking to our surfing roots. We also want to make sure that our site is responsive, and to find the best deals, to create a rewarding shopping experience for our customer.
References: billabong, swell