Good storytelling gets us to laugh, to cry and, most importantly, to care. Every brand wants to tap into the emotions of a wide audience. They want an inspiring story that stands out while embodying the company's values and mission.

That's the goal at Backcountry. As an outdoor recreation gear and clothing retailer, Backcountry prides itself on the wealth of knowledge of its staff. In fact, employees often go out and use the products before they sell it. Simply put, the people at Backcountry don't just like the outdoors—they love it. And that's what makes their brand story so unique.

But a steady stream of incoming projects and no way to manage them made it difficult for the Backcountry team to tell that story. What they needed was a tool that would allow them to execute on the brand vision.

When they realized they needed to invest in the right tool to launch all their marketing programs smoothly, they chose Wrike.

We stepped outside with Ivan Ward, Producer & Media Manager, and Georgia Steenberge, Design Director, at Backcountry to see how they were able to overcome the obstacles and continue to connect people with their passions:

Q: How would you describe the Backcountry culture?

Ivan: I think one of the things about Backcountry that's so cool is that we're really in the heart of the mountains. We're right in the Wasatch, and so it's really this cool combination of bringing the right place and the right people together at the same time. And so we're incredibly passionate about the outdoors. We've got ex-Olympians, world champions, people that know the gear, love the sports, and really just get out and after it all the time. So I think that's reflected in a lot of ways within our culture. A lot of our employees actually will ride their bikes to work. People will go ski touring at five in the morning and then hit the office afterwards. So it's really pretty crazy how you can actually incorporate your outdoor passions so directly when you're working at Backcountry.

Q: How do you incorporate the aspect of storytelling in your marketing?

Georgia: Storytelling at Backcountry means showing more than just the product. It means you're really giving the background behind why this product is so great, why we really believe in it, all the fantastic attributes. It doesn't necessarily have to be a linear like, "We did this and then this and then this." It really is just building out the full understanding of an activity and the full understanding of a product. So we don't want to just show a product to you. We want to show it in use. We want to show the great features that it has, and we want to kind of inspire you to get out and use it.

Check out the full video here:


Q: How has Wrike helped you tell your story?

Georgia: So we're really putting a lot of time and effort and thought into things far in advance. We start projects with initial kickoffs, initial briefing meetings, and then we start with what we call a concept brief. So basically, we can go into Wrike and say, '"These are the ideas we have," and that allows people to get started on it and feel like they have a place to record their thoughts and their time. We found that if there's not a formal assignment out, then you sometimes tend to procrastinate or you don't really know how to prioritize work. So the really great thing about that is that concept brief within Wrike gives us the opportunity to have a place to hang our hat and prove that we've already been putting time and effort into it.

Ivan: We essentially use Wrike from creative brief inception to full execution whether photo, video like with my team, or with web design, or even development, and then onto delivering those final assets to whoever the stakeholder might be or whatever channel they might be going on. It's really a good end-to-end management system for the creative work that we do at Backcountry.

Want the full story? Check out the Backcountry case study here. 

Q: What are some of the most helpful Wrike features?

Georgia: The most helpful features for me are Inbox and Dashboards because the Inbox is kind of a quick way for me to see, "OK, this is what people need immediately from me, and this is probably what can wait." I also go to my dashboard at the end of every day and kind of see, "Is there anything that I'm behind on? Is there anything that I need to approve?" I handle all creative internal approvals within our creative team. So if I'm not approving something, it's not happening and it's not going live, so it's incredibly important that I'm on top of that throughout the day.

Ivan: One of the things that I really love about Wrike is being able to actually drill down and find some data and metrics tied to performance. We use Reports regularly to find areas where we can improve efficiencies and slim down our process in a way so that we're constantly finding greater efficiency in our workflow.

Q: How do you see Wrike continuing to contribute to bringing your brand to life?

Ivan: I'm really passionate about the media team here at Backcountry because it's a strong outlet for really bringing our brand vision to life. It's how we can inspire people. It's how we can really show real people and real situations using the products that we sell in a very authentic way, and people respond to that. People respond to photos and videos and storytelling in that way. And so I'm passionate about that, and I think you can tell some of the greatest stories using visuals. And I think that's probably one of the greatest things about it is being able to go out and capture inspiring content, inspiring stories, and really just getting people stoked to get outside, whatever it is their pursuit might be.


Want the full story? Check out the Backcountry case study here.