Electric – Lifestyle and Inspiration
No matter if you’re talking about people or brands – personality is everything. Either you have it, or you don’t. And the ones who succeed, are the ones who don’t make compromises or try to please everyone. “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time,” Abraham Lincoln and Bob Marley have already discovered a long time ago. Authenticity remains the most certain recipe for success, but is still often ignored. But it works – and the success of Electric Visual is living proof of a brand driven by passion, inspiration and a genuine commitment to living the lifestyle behind its philosophy.
The brand with the iconic Volt logo has been setting new trends in the eyewear segment for over a decade now. As part of the Volcom family, the team around Kip Arnette is cultivating a distinctly Californian blend of action sports, fashion and music. And the boundaries between the brand and its creators have always been blurry right from the start. This is mainly because Electric is not selling a lifestyle, Electric IS the lifestyle. Their products are a representation of what the brand is experiencing on various levels. As their Marketing Director Europe, snowboarder Pacome Allouis explains: “Electric thrives on inspiration from youth culture and action sports. Almost everyone working at Electric Visual has grown up on the beach and lives their sport.” The resulting products are manifestations of the lifestyle, manifestations you can actually wear on your face.
Authenticity has been a main focus since day one, as a quick look at the founders behind the brand will reveal: Electric was founded in the year 2000 by Kip Arnette, Bruce Beach and Mike Carter in San Clemente. These three board sports industry veterans wanted to create a brand that allowed them to put the fun first, and a brand they could be proud of. Electric premiered its first line of products that same year at SIA Snow Show in Las Vegas. The first run included three sunglasses styles and also a pair of goggles, released a bit later. The brand was able to hit the ground running, since Kip Arnette was already one of the most revered designers at the time with tons of experience in the eyewear business, which instantly materialized in Electric’s innovative designs.
Right from the start, Electric’s motto “The Future is NOW” put an emphasis on living the lifestyle and manifesting the brand values behind the company. The authenticity of this vision has always been reflected not only in the products, but also in Electric’s choice of team riders. After all, the athletes are the fuel that propel the brand forward. Electric can count on the support of leading athletes and legendary icons, including surfing greats such as Luge Egan, Matt Hoy, Dave Rastovich and Ozzie Wright, who have remained loyal to the brand from day one. The same goes for snowboard legends Peter Line and Axel Pauporte, X-Games snowboarding gold medal winner Andreas Wiig, Jamie Anderson and freestyle skier Tanner Rainville. And not to forget Bam Margera, the eccentric skateboarder who managed to forever brandish the name Electric into the minds of an entire generation of adolescents through his show on MTV. Athletes like Bam and the others also play a major role in product development at Electric. They test new glasses and provide feedback, or bring up their own ideas for products and campaigns. This is especially important in the snowboard segment, where the products need to deliver peak performance under extreme conditions. Ultimately, this kind of rider involvement with its impact on product development has earned Electric a reputation for stellar product quality.
In the marketplace, Electric was able to create synergies at the highest levels. In 2008, Electric joined Volcom for a chance to benefit from the experience and distribution structure of the leading California-based lifestyle brand. It’s a perfect match: Volcom and Electric are rooted in the same scene and follow the same lifestyle. Volcom even runs its own music label, Volcom Entertainment. And right from the start, Electric was able to generate growth without losses or backlash – and continues to do so: For more than two years now, Electric eyewear has not only been available at action sports stores, but also through leading opticians. One of the most outstanding product lines in this area is the EVRX collection, a selection of prescription glasses that blend “core attitude” with quality eyewear craftsmanship. All frames feature the Volt logo and the frames and hinges are crafted from high-end quality metal. Electric’s iconic style features prominently in all areas, from the design of the frames, all the way to the packaging. The brand also offers 18 styles that are available exclusively in Europe.