Brand Purpose, The Importance Of Standing For Something And Why OutsideIn Do It Right

In the last year I found out someone I knew was  living on the streets and it hit me harder than I ever expected.

I wasn’t particularly close to this person, more of a family friend than my friend, but it still shocked me that someone whose childhood wasn’t dissimilar to mine was homeless.

I found this out about the same time I heard about OutsideIn. Now one of my favourite clothing brands, I first heard of the company at Power of Video conference in Belfast.

David Johnston, the founder, gave a powerful presentation about his vision for the company and implored everyone to buy into the wear one, share one ethos of the brand.

You buy an Outside In product, you get an additional product to give to a homeless person to help them out.  (Find out more about the OutsideIn ethos here)

OutsideIn clothing brand

But it was more than that. It was a chance to talk to the person. A chance to understand their story and try and spread some humanity, not just walking by and ignoring the problem.

Outside In resonated with me and I’ve been an advocate ever since.

Dublin Connolly Station – My Turn To Give

Earlier this week I was in Dublin for the Global Hospitality Tech Summit and I  finally sat down to talk to a guy and hand him over the OutsideIn hat I’ve had for six months. Following the giving guidelines OutsideIn set out, I sat down and had a chat with the lad who looked about my age.

It was freezing and he looked to be wearing just a waterproof sports jacket.

We talked, he smoked and I explained about the hat and the company behind it.

Outside in wear one share one

As I was leaving, we shook hands and exchanged names:

I’m Andi. 

God bless you, I’m Andy, too


And there, once again, was that punch to the chest I’d felt months ago when I heard about the guy I know.

I’m not sure if it’s the similarities between me and these two guys that’s hit me. Or the feeling that I’ve ignored a problem like this for so long.

But it’s woken me up to the issues and forced me to face this in real terms. Not just palming off my dislike of homelessness as a problem for government or the authorities, but as a problem for me.  These are people looking for help, not litter to be stepped over.

OutsideIn has been a catalyst for my change in thinking about the homeless problem on our streets.

When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left

I’m not going to go into issues like brand purpose or mission statements right now in any detail.

But there is an amazing case study with this brand – one that might feature in The Strategy Sessions at some point in the future!

How they have authentically developed their mission and brand purpose.

How they use it to stand out with their product and promotion (going left!)

when nothing goes right go left

How that’s helped generate new places to sell their merch.

And how they’ve challenged their customers to do more.

The team at OutsideIn have managed, in just over a year, to create fans, no, ambassadors for the brand. And started to build a movement.

It’s a cool looking movement too (which is important to many of the buyers). But at its heart, it’s a brand trying to make a difference.

And that is to be applauded.



PS You can buy OutsideIn merch from their online store and look almost as cool as I do in it

Andi Jarvis Eximo Marketing outsidein


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