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Securing Fortress Clothing for Future Growth

About

Fortress Clothing is an outdoor clothing brand that keeps your core warm, even when you’re wet. Using AERIS, a patented insulation technology, Fortress Clothing locks in body heat and removes moisture, so you always stay warm. Fortress has a broad temperature range, so you feel comfortably warm moving in and out of the cold. The company has a full line of men’s and women’s clothing constructed of three layers that include an inside liner, the AERIS material, and a fabric outer layer.  Fortress Clothing is based in Mount Pleasant, Utah.  They appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in January 2020.

The Challenge

Fortress Clothing has a proprietary apparel technology that allows people to be warm in all weather. After marketing various products that targeted different user needs and applications, the company had decided to focus on promoting its base layer.

 

The idea behind this approach is to allow customers to layer their own "vanity" branded middle layers and shells on top of this foundational layer. Having made this product decision, Fortress wanted to identify the markets and messages they should focus on this specific product to drive sales.

Fortress Clothing has worked with Impact Utah to build our sales, marketing, and branding efforts. Their work focuses on our needs and they go beyond knowledge transfer to deliver specialized implementation. One valuable extra with our relationship is that they also point us toward other high-quality resources that are beneficial. They have connected us to Utah State University’s outdoor design program, where we were able to go on campus and see the opportunities in action. We have also been able to participate with the World Trade Center in their trade mission program.
— Dale Lewis, Chief Executive Officer and President

MEP's Role

iMpact Utah, a trusted partner of the UofU MEP Center, worked with the owners of Fortress to develop the company’s story and mission, vision, and values based on the new focus, to hone their message, to identify the clients they are after, and to update their website to reflect the new, more focused outreach to target markets of outdoor apparel, particularly snow sports, industrial workers, public safety, and military.

In addition helping determine the project scope, UofU MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, directed the company to an outdoor design program with a resource partner. UofU MEP also helped Fortress prepare for an audition and ultimately for an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, and UofU MEP helped them to navigate COVID relief resources.

Created September 2, 2020