TEAM OV REFLECTS ON THE PAST YEAR and looks ahead to 2020.
Whether you intend to or not, the end of a year always comes with time for reflection. You look at everything you’ve done over the year and think about what you want to do in the new year. Team OV gets its name—Outdoor Voices—from getting loud and showing up for what they believe in. Even the Team on a mission to get the world moving pauses occasionally to stop, look inwards, and reflect on the ways that vision has been brought to life over the last year. We think the Recreationalist launch was the best part, buuuut we’re probably a little biased. Overall Team OV had a pretty great year, but don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Team OV had to say about 2019.
“In a time where branded content is everywhere, we set out to create something that focused on community, culture, and recreation, their mutual impact on one another, and how they influence the world at large. The Recreationalist allowed us as a brand to focus on human stories and provide a forum for shared experiences with the goal of turning people on to new and different ways of exploring the world of recreation, at large.”
Chris Ralston Director of Digital Brand Experience
“For tech, we’ve done a lot this year. We launched a new point of sale, a new order management system, and built new merchandising tools to power all of our systems moving forward, just to name a few. In 2020, we’re focused on new ways of delivering experiences to get people moving and out #DoingThings.”
Kevin Harwood VP of Technology
“RFID was a huge task we had this year. RFID tags essentially have created a way for us to have a much more accurate inventory count in our stores as well as at the distribution level. We used to run into a problem where a customer would buy a product from the site, but in reality there was none left. RFID tags have allowed us to improve that customer experience by making sure no one buys product that is out of stock. Someone can come into a store and ask ‘Do you guys have this?’ and our shop associates can enter that item into an RFID device that will beep and help them find the item within five minutes. RFID also allows us to see exactly what’s missing in stores and ship them replen of whatever they are missing. So overall with RFID the customer experience has just gone way up.”
Brandon Leatherwood Operations Associate
“Ty talks about having tools in our tool kit and I really feel that ACLU is a resource to help us navigate into the next year in terms of who are as a brand how we are going to show up for our community. We plan on engaging our community in a way that ACLU will bring fact and we will bring more people together in a way of understanding who the ACLU is. We wanted to make sure that the Giving Tuesday moment was not just a one day thing, so we’ve committed to an annual partnership with them. That partnership will include everyone as it relates to our internal and external teams and the encouragement of using your Outdoor Voice. Not just using it, but how to use it. How to use it in a way that creates a safe environment for other people to also use their Outdoor Voice and encouraging productive conversation to enable positive change. The ACLU has just been an amazing partner and wealth of information for our teams.”
Mariel O’Brien VP of Brand Strategic Initiatives
“In 2019, we had over 85,000 people show up to move at more than 1,000 endorphin boosting events. We had almost 5k dancers show up to one of 15 ex dress tour events. And we’re cleaning up our events – we now host only zero waste events.”
Carolyn Manning VP of Community
“Emily is a mom in Montana who randomly emailed us to tell us how much she loves OV. What I think is super unique about her is that she sees #DoingThings as breastfeeding, cleaning up behind kids, or emptying the dishwasher. Just moving your body doing any kind of activity. It’s been such a cool correspondence because we are able to have a dialogue about how we’re not just making an impact by providing people with clothing, but we’re making an impact by simply spreading our message. Being able to hear that and see that from customers is I think what makes customer experience such a unique position. I think that even though within CX it’s a lot about troubleshooting orders, we’re still inviting individuals to move their body. Whether it’s by making sure they receive their gear or sharing community events happening around them. I tell customers ‘We want to be seen as your best friends here on CX. We are truly your cheerleaders while you’re running a marathon or whatnot,’. I think the way we correspond and chat with customers allows us to foster a different type of community than your average company.”
Smith Ketterer Senior Customer Experience Associate
Merchandising & Planning
“Something that I’ve been really excited seeing is the evolution of The Exercise Dress. It launched in 2018 and we really took the opportunity in 2019 to make it even bigger and better by expanding colors and prints. The Exercise Skort also has been something that we’ve been really focused on. A big focus for us has been giving everyone an opportunity to do things in a lot of other different items rather than just leggings. Other things that have been really exciting are Cotton Terry and Nimbus Cotton. After we’ve really seen success with CloudKnit, we’re understanding ‘Okay how can we offer even more fabrics for all seasons?’, Cotton Terry being perfect for spring/summer and Nimbus Cotton launched in December which is the absolute coziest thing (I’m wearing it right now!). It’s awesome to see and really understand how all these things fit together. You can wear your Cotton Terry with you Exercise Skort or with your Hudson Shorts. We’re really focusing on outfitting so that way you can just grab your favorite OV and go do things as quickly and as easily as possible.”
Danielle Gregoire Director of Merchandise Planning
“In 2019 we focused on communication — probably the most important practice in a rapidly growing organization like ours!We launched two weekly all-hands meetings. Recess kicks off the week, bringing everyone together for a business update and an endorphin-boosting mini-exercise led by a member of our team (less CrossFit-y, more like Zumba-ing to Mambo #5). It’s a fun way to keep everyone up-to-date, while incorporating our mission—Get The World Moving—into our daily lives. Later in the week, we host Team Top of Mind, where we answer questions submitted by the team and highlight some of the great work being done across the company. The meetings anchor our week and help us remember we’re building something bigger than ourselves. We dedicated our off-site this summer to employee voice and inclusivity. Professor Ethan Burris from UT’s McCombs School of Business led us through a session on creating space for employees to speak up, and empowering them to do so. Bianca Wilson and Emily Race from Say Space shared best practices for psychological safety, effective communication, and the actions we can take in our day-to-day to sustain an inclusive culture. We look forward to launching even more channels for listening and communicating in 2020!”
Charlie Taft Director of Internal Communications
“This is this year we added Scout, our dedicated sustainability person, which is big. Scout is my partner in assessing how we’re doing with sustainability. Sustainability isn’t just recycled materials it’s also understanding where our materials come from, tracing the supply chain, understanding our impact. So for a company that is five years old to be really digging into that work is really cool. It’s more of a mature process and i think we’re getting into it early. We’re looking at things like vendor code of conduct and making sure workers are paid and treated well. Then from there, we’re looking to go above the minimum.”
Nate Halstead Director of Raw Materials
“We onboarded a new point of sale system which is a huge undertaking and I packaged up these training meetings in a box and sent them out to each of the stores which had like a game for them to play and a piñata for them to set up and hit as a celebration for bringing on this new system. Every person in all the stores has to be fluent in this system and they have to know how to use it right away as soon as we turn it on. We focused on providing them training content that was both a regular written policy and procedure, because some people learn that way, and we also provided video with audio and walkthroughs on the actual device and gave them devices to practice. There were like five different ways for them to learn the content. Then they had this in person meeting where they played in this interactive game that was really fun and gave them an opportunity to teach each other the system. They all had so much fun at these meetings which we weren’t expecting. They sent in floods of photos of them smashing their piñatas. On their opening day when they had to use this system we got almost no questions. I think everyone being really invested in training their teams, making sure everyone was moving through the content and us really focusing on making sure we had everything teed up and ready to go right on launch day was an effort across all teams everywhere. Everyone felt really comfortable on launch day and that’s the best you can hope for.”
Kailey Gursoy, Retail Training & Communications Manager
Lastly, Team OV couldn’t have done any of this without you, our community. Over 80,000 of you came out to move this year and we hope to see all of you (and friends) again in 2020. Cheers to #DoingThings.