Mammut Sports Group AG announced on June 9 that Raichle footwear will be renamed Mammut Footwear with the spring/summer 2009 product line. This decision comes, somewhat ironically, one year shy of the 100th anniversary of Raichle as a boot maker and five years after Mammut acquired Raichle from Kneissl & Friends in January 2003 (click here to read story).
For the consumer, what this means is that all external branding in catalogs, marketing materials and on the footwear itself will become Mammut Footwear. Where a Raichle logo or name currently appears on the heel, the outside of the toe box and on the tongue, branding will become Mammut.
Bill Supple, CEO for Mammut USA, told SNEWS® that the Raichle name is not going away entirely. "Just as we did with Ajungilak sleeping bags and are doing with Lucido lights, we are doing with Raichle," he said. "On the inside of the tongue, where the footwear size appears, there will be a statement to the effect of 'built with Raichle footwear technology.'"
Supple also told us that this move by Mammut is part rebranding to unify the marketing and distribution efforts, but also part launching new footwear styles and designs into different categories. While 100 percent of the Raichle footwear will be rebranded, approximately 40 percent of the existing product line will carry forward, he added, primarily in the core backpacking line where global sales have remained very strong.
"On the mountaineering side, we have made some very big changes, and in the multifunction footwear, we will be introducing new styles and an entirely new range of footwear for buildering called urban climbing," Supple said.
As for what products will be sold in the United States, Supple told SNEWS® that he and his team are still in the process of finalizing details. He would allow that he expects to support a much bigger slice of Mammut Footwear than he traditionally has with the Raichle brand, and that there will be a good balance of footwear with strength in mountaineering and urban climbing.
SNEWS® View: While the Raichle name may deeply resonate with the Swiss, and quite likely to the older backpacking and mountaineering set in the United States, the brand name does not have quite the same cache as it once did globally. Still, saying goodbye to such a venerable brand name, especially one with nearly 100 years of experience, is an event to be marked with a few sniffs and tears we're sure. Emotion aside, the move by Mammut makes absolute sense. One brand is much easier to promote, and means a cohesive marketing image and brand identity globally. Ultimately, it will be a far more effective use of dollars spent, which should be very good for Mammut, and, as a result, very good for any dealer with Mammut product.