It’s been a busy year for Captain Fin since its acquisition by Liberated Brands, exemplified by the brand’s recent launch in Europe. We chat to the team behind the American surf brand about the thinking behind the launch and their distribution and marketing plans for the future.
What was the thinking behind Captain Fin coming to Europe?
The decision to bring Captain Fin to Europe was a logical strategic move. The brand has been acquired by Liberated Brands Global and we wanted to tap into the opportunity to expand its presence within our market. Captain Fin seamlessly integrates into our brands portfolio, complementing the transversality of Volcom and the lifestyle appeal of Electric. The harmonious coexistence of these brands ensures that Liberated Brands offers a comprehensive and diverse array of choices, catering to the varied tastes and preferences of the European consumer. This strategic alignment not only enhances our brand offerings but also strengthens our commitment to delivering a well-rounded selection of products to the European market.
Where and how did you launch in Europe?
For Fall 2023, our distribution strategy will focus exclusively on Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) channels, ensuring a direct and personalized connection with our valued customers through a tailored shopping experience.
Come Spring 2024, we will expand our reach as our products become available for wholesale distribution, providing retailers the opportunity to share Captain Fin with a broader audience.
Who are the management behind Captain Fin?
The management structure behind Captain Fin is deeply embedded within the broader organizational framework of Liberated Brands Europe. Liberated Brands Europe implements a distinctive approach to management, organized by front and back departments, fostering a collaborative, and streamlined operational environment. This methodology extends to the management of Captain Fin, ensuring a cohesive and efficient structure that leverages the strengths of each department.
How will the brand be distributed across Europe?
The distribution strategy for Captain Fin across Europe is a strategic blend of continuity and innovation. By retaining our historical distributors Viral and Olatu, we ensure a stable and informed approach to the French, Spanish, and broader European markets. Simultaneously, by leveraging our own network within Liberated Brands, we open avenues for collaborative growth, direct-to-consumer engagement, and the exploration of diverse distribution channels. This comprehensive strategy aims to position Captain Fin as a dynamic and influential player in the European surf market.
What will be your key product categories for the brand in Europe?
Our product line up for the European market features high-performance surf fins as hard goods, complemented by a stylish array of tee-shirts and fleeces within the apparel category.
How do you see the European surf market developing over the next few years?
Despite a challenging year anticipated in 2024 for the surf market, we remain optimistic as we see a growing community of surfers driven by an increased interest for outdoor activities and aquatic adventures. In response to this trend, our strategic focus will be on targeting and engaging with this expanding demographic to navigate through the challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities. We want to inspire people to have fun in the water, which promotes a healthier and happier lifestyle!
How will you be marketing the brand across Europe?
We plan to market the brand across Europe through strategic rider collaborations (with Yago Dora, Ethan Osborne, Kaimana Henry, and more), fostering authentic connections between our products and the surfing community. Utilizing product seeding initiatives, we aim to generate buzz and cultivate a loyal customer base. With media support and a strong digital focus, we’ll amplify our brand presence, complemented by trade marketing efforts and special events to create impactful touchpoints in the European market.