Life at VF
Aug 03, 2018

Leader Spotlight: Tom Herbst, Global Vice President, Marketing, The North Face

Herbst named one of Forbes' Most Influential Chief Marketing Officers; honored for his work on global campaigns focused on diversity

Forbes recently released its 2018 list of the World's Most Influential Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). Tom Herbst, Global Vice President of Marketing at The North Face®,was recognized for his work on two bold campaigns focused on diversity and inclusion.

The Forbes list is a comprehensive look at individuals who are the best at driving transformational change within and outside their organizations. CMOs were chosen from 500 global brands with international footprints and ranked by brand engagement rates on social media, direct and indirect Twitter mentions, as well as industry and internal influence.

Herbst, who has been with The North Face for a year and a half, made the list for launching Walls are Meant for Climbing and Move Mountains—two purpose-driven campaigns focused on the brand’s commitment to exploration and gender parity.

Below, Herbst shares details on the campaigns and the brand’s focus on diversifying the world of exploration.

Tell us about the Walls are Meant for Climbing campaign.

We developed Walls are Meant for Climbing to grow and diversify the sport of climbing and urge people to think more about the community and what we can build by working together. The North Face created climbing opportunities in gyms around the world and collaborated with the Trust for Public Land to help build climbing boulders in underserved communities in the U.S. We will unveil the first boulder this summer in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado, to expose residents of the area to the sport of climbing.

The North Face has a deep commitment to gender parity. Most recently, the brand expanded its support of the Camber Outdoors, an organization dedicated to achieving equity for all in the outdoors—from the boardroom to the backcountry. How does the Move Mountains campaign help further the brand’s commitment?

Move Mountains is intended to empower the next generation of female explorers. It includes a multiyear outdoor adventure collaboration with Girls Scouts of the USA and provides a platform for sharing stories from women in exploration, which includes a dedicated website and social hashtag (#SheMovesMountains).

Through this campaign, The North Face also made a business commitment to drive greater gender diversity in everything from advertising campaigns to product design. We used the campaign to show the world what it should be and not just the way it has been. This was an awesome opportunity to help a new generation of explorers see more of themselves in their role models.

Both campaigns focus on diversity and inclusion. Why were these important topics for The North Face to address?

The North Face encourages exploration. This mission fuels our commitment to diversity and inclusion across our business, from hiring practices and community-building programs like the Explore Fund, to events that celebrate people and athletes. We know people are inspired by what they see from The North Face and we’re proud of the examples in our Walls are Meant for Climbing and Move Mountains campaigns. Both programs elevate our community and the diverse perspectives within it.

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