The Point. 1888 is tapping into the current birdwatching revival – yes, a hobby that has reportedly surpassed football in the number of fans across the UK – through a new brand representation agreement with I Like Birds.
Birding – as it the hobby is now called by its largest audience among the Gen X-ers and Millennials – is enjoyed by some six million people across the country (10 per cent of the population), exceeding the five million football fans across the UK.
The Point. 1888 is now looking to develop a range that speaks to the ‘young, new, image-conscious enthusiasts’ currently enjoying the hobby. In doing so, the firm will develop the range of I Like Birds products for this market.
I like Birds has already amassed huge appeal from birdwatchers and the design conscious alike.
Thanks to initiatives from the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts and The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, birding has become more accessible to families and young people, with new sub-divisions of birdwatching hobbyists now identified.
Twitchers – the traditional stereotyped birdwatchers, predominantly male who invest in specialist viewing equipment to enjoy the hobby, make up 10 per cent of the group; Enthusiasts are men or women and enjoy birdwatching as part of other cultural or travel activities equate to 50 per cent; and Casuals – the remaining 30 per cent of the group and the fastest-growing – are those who enjoy travelling and are interested in other outdoor and nature-based activities, such as hiking or wildlife watching.
Casual birders can also be segmented into “urban birders”, “hipster birders” and more which, according to The Point. 1888 “presents huge retail opportunities.”
Having seen the resurgence of the birdwatching trend, I like Birds wanted to build on the momentum by expanding its product range to appeal to Enthusiast and Casual birder groups emerging.
Bethan Garton, commercial director at The Point.1888, said: “Our retail-first model ensures that we’re bringing to market products that retailers and their customers want but this only works as long as we identify the right opportunities.
“With I like Birds, the birding market is ours, and myself and the team cannot wait to get started. Our founder, Will Stewart, is particularly keen as he and Stuart, founder of I like Birds, have wanted to work together for a long time.”
Stuart Cox, founder of I like Birds, added: “Will Stewart has assembled a team of legends (who are also fortunately amazingly talented and amazingly friendly and positive) and I’ve wanted to work with him since the first time I met him at BLE.
“In terms of business, any company that can amass the stellar lineup of clients that The Point.1888 has, has to be doing something right and, having spoken at length with Will – another of his positive attributes is the willingness to chat through the finer details of licensing – his approach is both a game changer and highly effective.
“There’s a buzz of excitement around The Point. 1888 that stems from Will and is totally infectious. Add in the fact that they have a track record of handling clients that range from Mega-brands to niche indies and…well, it’s a no-brainer. I’m chuffed to working with them and look forward to a long and extremely pointy future in their capable hands.”
New licensing partners are expected to be announced in the coming months with products release in SS 2021.