THE HISTORY OF SNOW PEAK WAY
To understand the significance of Snow Peak Way, we must travel back to the 1990s during a challenging period in Snow Peak’s story. Interest in car camping had stagnated in Japan, and sales had fallen for six straight years. Snow Peak leadership, led by then CEO Tohru Yamai, spent every day in brainstorming meetings, but no one seemed to have a solution to the difficulties facing the company. One day, during yet another meeting when morale was low, a young employee spoke up.
Takai-san said, “None of us really know the reason for our existence…But when we see our customers smile, it gives us the inspiration to carry on.”
This simple, yet profound statement sparked the idea for the first Snow Peak Way, a time for Snow Peak employees and customers to camp together. As part of the event, Snow Peak also requested feedback from users during Takibi Time. The first Snow Peak Way offered employees an eye-opening look at the experience of their customers. Users did not feel valued by Snow Peak and they often had a difficult time finding the products they wanted to purchase.
After Takibi Time during Snow Peak Way, Tohru lay awake in his tent, contemplating the feedback shared by the fire. The next morning as he drove home, he decided: Snow Peak was not a company for wholesalers or retailers, but instead should exist for the sole purpose of its customers’ happiness and satisfaction. Ultimately, Tohru led a complete reorganization of the company – prioritising direct-to-consumer engagement first and foremost.
The first Snow Peak Way was instrumental to Snow Peak’s trajectory and became a building block for the company’s future. Snow Peak Way became a yearly, then bi-yearly event in Japan, rapidly growing in popularity as customers began to return year-after-year. Though the event evolved and grew, its core mission remained the same – offering a deep connection point for Snow Peak employees and customers. Snow Peak Way is at the heart of our community of outdoor enthusiasts. Camping together under the open sky inspires us to share our thoughts freely, build bonds and create a better Snow Peak for us all.
In 2022, Snow Peak UK held the first Snow Peak Way in the UK, and we’re proud to continue this tradition that’s so important to Snow Peak’s mission.
Blog written by Savannah Frimoth