Leatherman FREE

35 years ago, Leatherman defined what a multi-tool could be. With the release Leatherman FREE, their most advanced tool line ever, they’re out to define what a multipurpose brand can be. To help them do that, we tapped the full range of our capabilities—from go-to-market strategy to campaign development to content operations—to build out a digital ecosystem that will lay the groundwork for the future of their company.

New Territory

FREE would mark the start of a new era for a brand with a long-established image, so our strategy began with questioning consumer perception surrounding an entire category. This was a new business challenge for Leatherman, and our consultative role in helping them understand the nuances of courting both existing and evolving customers was pivotal to a successful launch.

FREE For All

First and foremost user-friendly, FREE was designed to serve a broad audience. To reach beyond legacy users, we identified cohorts within Leatherman’s social data who shared interests with core customers, but who hadn’t engaged much with the brand. This info allowed us to develop the subjects and situations featured in our comms, proving out a data-driven approach to audience growth.

Unknown Instead

The story of FREE isn’t just that of a product redesign, but a total rethinking of what makes the tool, and those who use it, truly multipurpose. To tell that story, we hatched a campaign that challenged Leatherman and its customers to free themselves from limitations and expectations in pursuit of a higher understanding and awareness. In other words, to Unknow.

A New Dimension

To highlight what makes FREE truly revolutionary, we produced a series of 3D CAD videos that hype the tech and tool in a visually stunning, unforgettable way. Where it would be almost impossible to get the kind of tight, dynamic camera shots to bring this to life, 3D animation allowed us to showcase product superiority on a whole new level.

Up Close and Personal

By leveraging the 3D CAD models used in the actual production of the tools, we could focus our attention on other parts of the process such as previsualization, texturing, lighting, and animation.

Folded Into One

Contextualizing tool technology and sustaining engagement over an 8-month staggered release schedule is tricky. To ensure the work stoked consumer demand without fatigue, we delivered a run of show that prescribed each day’s activation complete with channel recommendations and copy. This always-there approach would be key to sustaining interest over the long haul.

Land of the FREE

Leatherman’s biggest product launch to date needed a landing experience to match—essentially, a hub for all things FREE. Instead of relying on photos, we opted to use 3D interactive modeling to better express tangible tool tech. Anticipating heavy traffic from our social content, we optimized for mobile, ensuring a seamless feed-to-purchase experience.

Ready for Launch

Months of work all led to April 17: product launch. Though confident we’d done everything possible to build anticipation, the early KPIs stunned everyone: projected first-month sales were hit in just three days. Sometimes, success is just knowing enough to unknow when it counts.

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