Before 2015 when you’d think luggage you’d think Samsonite, Tumi, or Travelpro just to name a few. Born in the age of the internet, Away has risen the ranks and has become one of the most recognizable brands in the category. This didn’t just happen by accident. Marketing content has propelled the company’s start up success. Since their start Away has sold more than 300,000 units and has raised $31 million in funding. The Co founders Jen Rubio and Steph Korey are ex Warby Parker. They did do travel what Warby Parker did to glasses and what Casper did to mattresses. As travel is has become more off a hassle these days with delays, security lines, and shrinking leg room, it feels like the one thing we can still control is our travel uniform. Away tapped into that sensibility and opportunity by taking a seemingly mundane necessity item and made it into a desirable statement piece at price point that’s affordable.
Understanding that their target market was the millennial age group and that the average price of their luggage was $225, this could be one their demographics first larger investment piece. Beyond its notable hard shell exterior (standard colors in addition to limited addition) the inside has great attention to detail with features such as a battery port and zipper dividers. The Away brand was built to be more than function, but rather travel as a whole. The intent of the thoughtfully planned luggage is to not only function seamless but also leave you feeling inspired to head somewhere new to use your gear.
Content fueled their storytelling. It had launched Here, a magnificently designed print and digital travel magazine and their podcast “Airplane Mode” that focused on travel and exploration. Jen Rubio notes their biggest success was not one content initiative on its own but rather how they all compliment one another. On Instagram they focus on beautiful imagery they in a straightforward way shows followers how they can travel with Away. On Here they can inspire readers with stories from people or place they see on their Instagram posts.
Away heavily leveraged the use of influencer-based marketing. On their Instagram with over half a million followers you can see partnerships with celebrities such a Dwayne Wade and prominent travel/lifestyle influencers. While their posts use the #travelaway hashtag it has transition to use of customers posting user generated content. There are more than 58,000 Instagram posts with the hashtag. These days you cant walk through an airport without spotting an Away bag. While content has propelled the company’s visibility what will continue to make them successful is their functionality. As the company has had both in mind since day one I don’t think we will be missing them anytime soon. Especially as their outlook appears to be beyond just luggage.