linked in facebook twitter rss

  • Interbrand
  • Brandchannel

your chance!
your chance!
Rossignol - Ski mogul


  Rossignol - Ski mogul
ski mogul
by Vivian Manning Schaffel
January 3, 2005

Rossignol is the brand for those who obsess about black diamond trails and the mountains of gear required. Having sold over 50 million pairs of skis, Rossignol has been in the ski manufacturing business since 1907, endorsing Olympic competitions since 1924.

The Rossignol Group is the sector leader for the ski category with a world market share of 24.1 percent, offering a full range of products for all ski disciplines (alpine, Nordic, snowboard) and all ski product families (board, binding, boot and pole).

But the brand doesn’t just do skis. Rossignol’s expanse of business embodies its tagline, “pure mountain company”; the Rossignol Group is a leading competitor in the winter sports business as well as textile goods and accessories, also operating under the brand monikers Dynastar, Lange, Look, Kerma, Hammer, Hot, Original Sin and Risport. We recently paid a visit to to see if it is as strong a competitor online as off piste.

Empowered by its position as world market leader, Rossignol has developed a strong global brand identity online with web identities for the US, Canada, and most of Europe, as well as Asia and Japan, and a Rossignol International site. The US version is a high quality site, impeccably designed and flush with a decent amount of value-added content to inspire impassioned ski junkies—a move that reinforces its leadership position.

Rossignol - Ski mogul When arriving on the home page, users are greeted with a postcard mountain vista with an option in the lower right corner to launch a series of impressive ski race photos set to techno beats. A top navigation bar directs visitors to each product line, Alpine, Nordic, Snowboard, and Outerwear. Receiving prominent virtual shelf space on the home page is Zenith, the hot new ski of the season. A click on the Zenith ski icon launches a Zenith-centric mini-site that incorporates Flash technology, augmented with more hip techno music to drive home the product tagline “pure innovation, pure performance, pure satisfaction.” (Users can kill the sound, which is a considerate feature.) Graphics of the skis and detailed attribute information can be obtained by simply rolling over the image of the ski or clicking on a model number. It also has a download feature so users can preserve the Zenith image on their own computers, a smart branding tool.

Another example of strong online branding can be found on the Race Centers page. It leads users to branded Rossignol retail centers, also known as “the best race shops in the country,” a statement that drives home the category leadership positioning. The page comes complete with a race center locator, and a link to a product selector guide in the form of a downloadable PDF that helps users pick which skis, equipment, etc, will fit best according to their size and needs.

The Rossignol Racing section is another area stamped with Rossignol from top to bottom. Visitors can find out about professional Rossignol sponsored Alpine or Nordic ski events, and get race results and news from an Alpine Cup World correspondent. There is a Rossignol Racing area product page that allows users to see which products are being featured in the races, a savvy feature to inspire enthusiasts. The team area launches a mini-site designed like a mock photo album, augmented with upbeat music. Photos of racers, their stats and interviews are featured like trading cards on each page.’s general messaging is effective because its general language is casual enough to appeal to young irreverent snowboard culture but subdued enough to speak to more sophisticated ski and snowboard aficionados. An effort is made to address younger site visitors with areas that refer to Rossignol as “Rossi.” It’s an age old but effective branding tool, creating a personalized sub-brand identity to forge a relationship with a targeted segment. The Sign-Up with Rossi area gets users to provide a decent amount of demographic information with a promise to send the latest about athletes and their exploits, what's up in technology and any breaking news that's worthy of sending—an organic way to build a contact database. Inside Rossi is a reiteration of the brand mission in youth speak, with more news, wallpapers and downloadable images.

It’s hard to find fault with Each site area is strategically implemented, targeted yet cohesive with the site as a whole. The look and feel is on par with the superior design sensibility of the product and brand identity. Messaging is used to reinforce its category leadership position throughout using creative methods that strike a delicate balance between younger and older, novice and professional skiers and snowboarders alike. Overall, provides an effective and inspirational venue for the product line as well as numerous branded offline pursuits. Well done.


Vivian Manning-Schaffel is a freelance writer who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
 commenting closed Add Social Bookmark bookmark  print
 suggest topic  recommend ( 7 )  email

  brandchannel Digital Watch archive   2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  | 2005  |  2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001
Dec 19, 2005 Thomas the Tank Engine - all aboard -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Thomas the Tank Engine chugs along online.
Dec 12, 2005 Dragonair - flighty -- Ian Cocoran
  Is just a load of hot air?
Dec 5, 2005 - aligned -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  A visit to finds the stars in alignment for a good e-commerce site.
Nov 28, 2005 Best Buy - a deal
  Does think outside the big box?
Nov 21, 2005 Peugeot - pedestrian causes us to wonder what drives automotive brands to be so mediocre.
Nov 14, 2005 Kodak - well developed focuses on the online market with new innovations for an old brand.
Nov 7, 2005 The Gap - no browsing
  The Gap launches a new site after a publicly painful build. We gleefully search for flaws.
Oct 31, 2005 Stella Artois - sober
  Does class in a glass translate as well online?
Oct 24, 2005 Colette - pops -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Luxury retail brand Colette should stick to pop but avoid the pop-ups.
Oct 17, 2005 All Blacks - solid
  The focus and precision of New Zealand’s All Blacks brand is carried from the pitch to the Internet.
Oct 10, 2005 Motorola - picking up rings our bell.
Oct 3, 2005 Paul Frank - bananas -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  No monkey business at
Sep 26, 2005 Alaska Air - plain -- Alycia de Mesa
  Alaska Airlines never warms up online.
Sep 19, 2005 Lucasfilm - online empire
  Starving for information, becomes a feast for the eyes instead.
Sep 12, 2005 La Sorbonne - misérable
  The effects of bureaucracy can be seen at La Sorbonne's website.
Sep 5, 2005 Petsmart - needs fixing
  Petsmart scores high in the pet supply battle but it doesn’t exactly win our hearts.
Aug 29, 2005 Cialis - a turn on
  Does deliver a good time?
Aug 22, 2005 Stride Rite - fits -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Is Stride Rite's website in step with its offline brand?
Aug 15, 2005 Herman Miller - sitting pretty
  Herman Miller goes beyond the Aeron chair.
Aug 8, 2005 Beretta - unloaded
  The website of gunsmith Beretta doesn’t blow us away.
Aug 1, 2005 Gibson - picked apart -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Adding the online equivalent of a screaming axe solo to the workmanlike wouldn’t go amiss.
Jul 25, 2005 CIA - exposed
  The CIA tries to protect identities from being revealed… apparently this includes its own.
Jul 18, 2005 Fortis - unaccountable
  Financial institution Fortis lacks strength in its online corporate identity.
Jul 11, 2005 Miracle-Gro - green thumbs up tends a bountiful site but there are serious landscaping issues in the architecture.
Jul 4, 2005 Duchy Originals - crumby -- Alicia Clegg
  Duchy Originals from the Prince of Wales brand portfolio doesn't exactly rule the web.
Jun 27, 2005 Yellow Tail - leaps and bounds
  Does Yellow Tail succeed online as well as it does in the market?
Jun 20, 2005 Philips - unfulfilled makes a good connection with the customer but loses the deal when it comes time to purchase online.
Jun 13, 2005 Subaru - performs -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Like its automobiles, forges an emotional connection with the user by performing well.
Jun 6, 2005 The World Bank - withdrawn
  The World Bank’s website has a world of information but a weak bond.
May 30, 2005 Hasselblad - focused
  Hasselblad may have conquered the moon, but how’s it doing on the web?
May 23, 2005 TUI - escapes
  How does the world leader in tourism navigate the web?
May 16, 2005 Parker - scripted
  Parker: An old classic makes its mark in the online medium.
May 9, 2005 Carnival Cruises - seaworthy? saves the fun for the cruise ship.
May 2, 2005 The Knot and WeddingChannel - the perfect couple -- Evelyn Hafferty
  Wedding planning sites, the Knot and WeddingChannel, vie hard for a bride’s affection.
Apr 25, 2005 Barilla - chow bella -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Barilla uses its noodle to produce a great website.
Apr 18, 2005 Danier - worn out -- Mark Nicholson
  The website of Danier Leather is not wearing well.
Apr 11, 2005 J Records - beat
  J Records may have the hottest new artists, but what it really needs is a good webmaster.
Apr 4, 2005 Tarot - answers -- Alycia de Mesa
  We gaze into the crystal ether at
Mar 28, 2005 Zenith - low point
  Zenith needs to reboot its online branding initiative.
Mar 21, 2005 Nivea - radiant -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Does spread a good impression of its skincare products?
Mar 14, 2005 U2 - 4 sale -- Alycia de Mesa
  U2 combines merchandise with music to make sure its strong fan base finds what it’s looking for.
Mar 7, 2005 Charity Navigator - giving directions -- Evelyn Hafferty
  Non-profit comparison site Charity Navigator gives donors an overview of needy causes.
Feb 28, 2005 Christian Dior - j'adore -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Christian Dior is as perfectly suited to the web as it is to the catwalk.
Feb 21, 2005 Rugby 6 Nations Tournament - trying
  The 6 Nations Tournament supports none.
Feb 14, 2005 FAO Schwarz - adulterated -- Alycia de Mesa
  FAO Schwarz’s online endeavor is not child’s play.
Feb 7, 2005 Victoria's Secret - red hot
  Victoria’s Secret wakes the dead.
Jan 31, 2005 Ladbrokes - bet on it
  We’re betting doesn’t attract casual browsers.
Jan 24, 2005 Ghirardelli - bitter -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Ghirardelli’s website lacks the richness of its product.
Jan 17, 2005 Indigo Nation - wardrobe malfunction
  Indigo Nation’s website is consistent with its offline brand: Lacking positioning and a clear identity.
Jan 10, 2005 NASCAR - on track
  Does have us going round in circles?