A Warm Splash In A Frigid Industry: Designing Success For An Industry Newcomer

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July 31, 2015
Adam Marquardt Adam Marquardt

As a B2B inbound marketing agency, it’s hard to come by a business in need of everything from scratch. More often than not, clients would have had an established brand and have dipped their foot in the market. This is not the case with White Glacier, however, and boy were we thrilled with the challenge!

"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."
- Paul Rand

White Glacier Survival Suits came to Adhere Creative in an attempt to “rock the boat”, if you will, of the established market of arctic survival suits with an innovative standard-breaking product.

To put this in perspective, White Glacier’s two biggest competitors, Viking (which is used by members of the Royal Family and was established in 1960) and Mustang Survival (est.1967), have both been in business for over 45 years and have robust product lines, which expands far past immersion suits.

Not only is White Glacier a newcomer to a market full of brand names with tenures and an almost monopoly of the maritime industry, but their game-changing product is new and completely unheard of despite the accolades. So new, that the actual product was not even in production yet when we started the project.

Challenge Accepted

Adhere Creative set out to create all of White Glacier’s branding and marketing assets from ground zero. The first order of business was crafting a solid brand identity and creating brand awareness. The first campaign at hand was a maritime trade show where our clients were aiming to make a “splash”…  A mighty big one at that. 

To be able to design powerful brand assets that do not only captivate the audience, but conveys the right message, and delivers a powerful impact, we delved into the industry and studied the competition. From our observations, we determined that:

  • Both competitors are well-established brands.
  • Both have a strong SEO presence.
  • Both brands used strictly formal copies.
  • Both brands focused only on the performance data of the suits.

Now these were not necessarily flaws but with the right strategy and a lot of creativity, we used these details to our advantage. 

The Strategy

Picture this: In the middle of frigid waters, your ship catches fire and you have a few seconds to secure a suit and throw yourself in the arctic in an attempt to survive. You could be there for hours. You could be there for days. With your protective suit on you are, against all odds, trying to outlast the unpredictable and unforgiving forces of nature.

The product deals with life-and-death scenario. One of the most important strategies we implemented is to not shy away from the morbidity of the reality behind survival suits.

Seafarers face danger and death, and we didn’t want to position our client as just another suit that can help save a life but “the suit” for survival. We sought emotional connection with the would-be wearer and made that apparent in our designs. 

The fact that White Glacier’s arctic suits are in fact breaking the current maritime standards by heaps and bounds (industry requirement mandates a hypothermia protection duration of 6 hours and White Glacier suits are tested to protect wearer for up to an impressive 25 hours) vindicates the message we are trying to communicate and the emotional appeal we are trying to make.

The messaging of our design strategy made all the difference. White Glacier stood out and set itself apart from its competitors.

Campaign Components 

 The tradeshow campaign consisted of a new logo and business cards, booth design, two brochures (a concise version and a longer one), presentation, fact cards, and an attention-grabbing centerpiece — an ice water tank. Each tradeshow marketing campaign component that were designed had a unique and strategic purpose but have a unifying theme to bolster the campaign.

Screen Shot 2015 07 31 at 12.04.52 PM

business-card.png New Logo & Business Cards This was our first step in creating the campaign. It’s simple and often overlooked but as a new company these two pieces were vital. 
tradeshow-booth.png Tradeshow Booth The tradeshow booth itself functions as an emotional appeal piece and puts the viewer in the mindset of abandoning ship amidst a catastrophe.

The image used is a maritime emergency survivor in a White Glacier suit floating in stormy frigid open sea awaiting rescue. 
The copy on the image reads “endure the extreme.” 

Together, the engaging components evokes resilience and hope of rescue in a realistic visual manner that does not shy away from the perils that seafarers might face in reality. 
tradeshow-brochure.png Tradeshow Brochures We created two brochures, a short and simple singular page and a longer more comprehensive piece. Both brochures educate the user on the product but also evokes an emotional response.

The features of the suit were also called out to make the features of the product apparent as its main selling point. 
tradeshow-presentation.png Presentation The presentation was created as a tool for distributors and reps to easily educate a potential customer. 
fact-cards.png Fact Cards The fact cards are a promotional item with the goal of educating the target market with compelling statistics and data. Each card is designed in a Q&A format with relevant information to immersion suits, the maritime industry, and IMO regulations. Each card engages the reader and leaves them wanting more. 
tradeshow-water-tank.png Water Tank The water tank is our favorite piece in the entire campaign. It is a 1,000-gallon water tank that is kept at a chilly 0 degrees during the tradeshow. The tank enables a visual experience and physical demonstrations of the White Glacier suit in action. 

A suited “maritime survivor” remains in the tank for the length of the show. It grabs everyone’s attention and is often the most exciting attraction at the event.

Tradeshow guests are also encouraged to try the extra suit on and jump in the water to experience the full power of the suit for themselves.

When Pictures Paint A Thousand Words


White Glacier’s tradeshow campaign has been a HUGE success because of the impact of the unique design approach and the product’s integrity. From the tradeshow’s success, White Glacier has secured countless pre-orders, educated the industry, and received engagement from highly regarded officials in the military. Most importantly, Adhere Creative has successfully introduced the maritime community to White Glacier and have generated strong brand awareness. 

Our success is reflected by a warm reception for White Glacier as they nabbed once in a lifetime PR opportunities, including interviews with well-known outlets like Defense News, U.S. News & World Report, The Pilot, NTV News, and the Maritime Executive.  

Guess what! Most of the PR generated from our tradeshow campaign was largely due to riveting design! To this day, reporters and huge crowds often gather by White Glacier’s booth and are instantly attracted to graphics, the messaging, and the showpieces.