‘We Carry the World’: 5 Questions With Samsonite’s Stephanie Goldman

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Samsonite We Carry The World

Samsonite established itself as America’s pre-eminent luggage brand in large part through advertisements, back in the day, that demonstrated the indestructibility of its products even in the most extreme travel mishaps.

So imagine that Samsonite’s newest campaign barely shows its tough, durable pieces of luggage, backpacks and other travel carriers. Instead, Samsonite’s new “We Carry the World” tagline invites consumers to imagine all the places the brand can take them and their possessions intact.

The new spots include a filmmaker, a long-distance runner and a chef, and their invisible Samsonite bags—but the possessions they’re taking depict their worldliness.

“We reinforce Samsonite’s position as the market leader, but turn the lens on the people that carry Samsonite luggage and business bags,” said Sid Murlidhar, creative director at agency Connelly Partners, in a press release.

brandchannel talked with Stephanie Goldman, senior director of brand communications, for Samsonite, about the new campaign:

bc: Like many new campaigns, “We Carry the World” focuses on makers and creators. Are you just following the trend, or does this particularly fit Samsonite’s needs and goals right now?

Stephanie Goldman Samsonite

Stephanie Goldman: The biggest goal we had was to get the message out that Samsonite is more than luggage. It’s synonymous with luggage but we’ve diversified into business backpacks, casual backpacks and accessories. But we haven’t done a good job of telling that story. “We Carry the World” is sort of that we offer a world of products, and it’s also about the kinds of people who carry our products. Everyone is a maker of sorts—whether you’re making memories when you’re traveling or things related to your job. From a creative standpoint, it all came together.

bc: In what ways is this campaign different for Samsonite?

Goldman: In the past few years our advertising has focused on the features and benefits of particular products. We wanted to convey the depth and breadth of our assortment. But in this campaign, the actual bag itself isn’t as important as the message. That’s a departure for us in the US. It was time to change it up and do something a little bit different.

bc: As the travel industry constricts its rules for baggage, is the industry getting more challenging?

Goldman: It’s not getting more challenging. Lightweight and mobility do provide challenges to us, but we know how to met those needs and we are always innovating. Right now, for instance, we have our glider case on the market, which represents the evolution of mobility. It’s taking a thin, tall and vertical shape and making it back to a more horizontal shape of a typical suitcase, with four wheels and a handle for better mobility. It is more in tune with the user’s body because of shape and physiology and how the bag works. It’s not a challenge. We sort of welcome the changing demands—otherwise, we’d never innovate.

Everyone’s looking for something that fits in the overhead and provides mobility. When we’ve talked to travelers over the years, their needs really haven’t changed. They want something that’s easy to maneuver and not going to weigh a ton—especially with checked bags.

bc: So bring me into the theme, “We Carry the World.”

Goldman: The idea was to convey the depth and breadth of our assortment. There are so many implications from a retail standpoint. You walk into a store and you’ve heard Samsonite say, “We carry the world,” you know you can get anything you need. Travel today doesn’t necessarily mean I get on a plane and fly 1,000 miles. It means I’m taking my business backpack and walking across the street to a Starbucks. We felt it had universal appeal no matter how you define travel.

bc: Speaking of storytelling, Samsonite used to have toughness to rely on as the underlying factor in your advertising stories. So how do you get that traction now for your storytelling?

Goldman: The campaign has four influencers to start, but if we extend into social media we’re opening that world up. You pick an industry and find someone who’s got an interesting story to tell and the kinds of items they would bring in their bag. It’s not just your stuff in your bag—it’s your life. Whether it’s a presentation to help you with business or souvenirs from vacation—your bags are more than just things. What you carry is more than just stuff. That really resonates. You can take it in so many different directions.


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