Giving Perceptions The Boot: Clothing Retailer Timberland Is Pulling Out All The Stops To Do It's Part To End The Skilled Trades Gap

Color campaign aimed at show the beauty and passion of the skilled trades.

Gen T

Almost daily you can find an article or news segment talking about the skills gap and how there are not enough people to fill jobs that are critical to keep society functioning. It’s a critical issue and one Timberland PRO is working to help solve.

One aspect of the problem is the perception that people have about the trades. If you think about it, kids grow up fascinated by big machines, tools, and creating.  From books like Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site to shows like Bob the Builder, kids are exposed to a positive view of the skilled trades, but somewhere along the way, that celebration of work turns to a negative view. Timberland PRO has set out to tackle the perception issue by doing three things:

  1. Develop a marketing message that celebrates the trades. As a brand providing safety footwear and work apparel for the trades, we felt compelled to tackle this issue head on. For fall 2018, our campaign, Always Do. Never Done. is focused on celebrating the people of the skilled labor force and showing them as the heroes they are…the people that make our world work. By showing the amazing places and jobs these people do, we are looking to inspire the next generation of workers and also change perception about the doers of the world. Our campaign kicked off with a spot called “Sun” which we promoted through social. Our “Bridge” and “Highrise” spots will be featured on national and addressable TV to hit a broader audience beyond the Timberland PRO consumer. In order to change perceptions about the trades, we know we need to not just show the PRO consumer we celebrate them, but also let others see the amazing work they do. 

  2. Timberland PRO is focused on supporting efforts to get women into the trades. This is an effort we kicked off last fall when we launched a new collection of women’s safety footwear. We didn’t want to just bring to market a footwear collection, instead we seized the opportunity to ignite a conversation about the low number of women in the trades. One aspect of our campaign, Made for Women Who Make, was a partnership we formed with Hard Hatted Woman, a feature length documentary film, which highlights the barriers women face entering the construction trade. You can learn more about Hard Hatted Woman here. The film is due out in early 2019.

  3. Supporting efforts like Generation T where we can band together with other brands to support a movement to change the conversation about the trades. Collectively, we can put a spotlight on how important the trades are and how they are a viable option to more traditional routes like four-year colleges and corporate jobs.

The skills gap and changing the perception of the skilled trades is not a problem that will be solved overnight. But, we need to start somewhere to build momentum and create a wave of change.  

Want to learn how your organization can do its part? Join Generation T and become a partner by signing the pledge to help bring awareness to the skilled trades. Click here and take the pledge. to learn more. 

4 months ago, in Partner Stories by Jason Burns
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