It’s Time Outdoor Brands Go Off the Road with Overlanding
If you’re not familiar with overlanding, it’s time to buckle up and get ready for a ride into one of the fastest growing segments of the outdoor gear industry. Overlanding combines remote travel with four-wheel drive off-roading and camping. Much like Ralph Waldo Emerson, for overlanding enthusiasts, ‘the journey is the destination.’ That means that overlanders aren’t heading to some particular spot to enjoy some particular view, they’re enjoying the trail and the journey, wherever it takes them.
It’s a type of travel that brings a sense of freedom, independence and self-reliance. It also requires gear — from a vehicle (usually a four-wheel drive, but overlanding is sometimes done with bicycles) to tents, sleeping bags and apparel needed for a few days or even a multi-week excursion. Because of this dependence on gear, overlanding is a bit of a luxury travel experience that appeals to technologically minded (or at least mechanically minded) people.
Overlanding Market State of Play
One way to know how big overlanding has become is to notice how many people have a roof tent on their vehicle. Once you notice roof tents, it’s almost shocking how many there are. While that’s not the only type of overlanding, it is a common sign. Popular right now all across the US, the growth has been particularly stark in the western states. To put into context how overlanding is growing, let’s run down some highlights:
- The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in 2021 saw across demographic year over year growth in vehicle and vehicle modifications.
- The Overland Expos in 2022 had 77,000 attendees and over 1,300 exhibits up from 5,000 people in 2012.
- Overland Expo has expanded to cover West, Mountain West, Pacific Northwest and East.
- From 2019 to 2022, searches on Google related to overlanding have doubled.
- The US rooftop tent market was $155.82 million US in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.9% from 2023 to 2030.
Overlanding Gear and Products
The biggest piece of gear overlanders are concerned about is, of course, their vehicle. Buying or creating a vehicle to withstand the rigors of off-road driving is critical. But there’s so much more involved than just a vehicle. It’s very similar to camping, but with a particular lifestyle associated with it. Here’s some of the gear an overlander will definitely have on their list:
- Tents (often rooftop tents)
- Sleeping gear, such as sleeping bags, blankets, travel mattresses
- Camp stove
- Navigation gear such as GPS, guides and maps
- Energy sources such as solar panels
- Emergency equipment
- Apparel suited to the season and climate
- Hiking boots
How Outdoor Brands Can Appeal to Overlanders
Overlanding, with its interesting reliance on technology in terms of vehicle enhancements and energy needs, appeals to people who are interested in tech as well as modifying or ‘hacking’ existing equipment. With this in mind, here are three ways to align with this market’s take-the-road-less-traveled mindset.
Product innovation for overlanders
This may seem easier said than done, since R&D is a costly and time-consuming process. Thankfully, that’s what ingredient brands are for. Making a strategic partnership with an ingredient brand that fits your own brand’s long-term vision and aligns with the goals and ideals of the overlanding demographic can help you more easily integrate technology into your products, increasing their differentiation and appeal.
For any textile-based product, such as tents, sleeping bags, apparel and bedding, CELLIANT® is a perfect fit. CELLIANT infrared technology helps people recover faster, sleep better and perform stronger—all things an ambitious overlander is interested in. Plus, CELLIANT is a bioresponsive blend of minerals, which means it safely interacts with the body’s physiology to create the benefits. It’s a kind of ‘biohacking’ that certainly will appeal to a demographic looking for any edge out on the road with vehicle modifications and tents on their roofs.
In fact, CELLIANT is already in several products that an overlanding participant would be interested in:
Marketing that appeals to overlanders
To appeal to overlanders (or any demographic for that matter) you have to meet them where they are and show that you understand their interest. Creating a campaign that targets this segment and shows the love for overlanding would obviously be fantastic and put any brand on the overlanding radar. However, we don’t have to even go so far as to devote large campaign dollars to capture the attention. Layering in overlanding photography to product shoots, mentions of overlanding in product descriptions, and creating blog content relevant to overlanding and your particular product are all relatively accessible ways to appeal to this new market.
If your brand did incorporate an ingredient brand into new products, whether CELLIANT or otherwise, that’s a perfect marketing opportunity to appeal to overlanders and beyond with the added benefits from your technology integration.
With the rapid growth of overlanding events like the Overlanding Expo in the US your outdoor brand could consider a presence at one of the events. Chances are your brand frequents the expected, and excellent events already, but adding these new and growing events is a great way to open your brand up to a new audience that is looking at outdoor life in a unique way. Show up to where they show up, and show them what your brand and your products have to offer.
Add CELLIANT to Outdoor Products
Outdoor brands could potentially have a lot to gain by attracting the growing overlanding market. CELLIANT is an ingredient brand that can bring performance, sleep and recovery benefits, along with sustainability and compelling product storytelling to any outdoor brand. If you’re interesting in learning more about CELLIANT and whether it could be a fit for your products, fill out the form below.
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