Travel Brand Away Names New CMO, Plans to Boost Its Marketing Budget


Away employed Carla Dunham as chief advertising and marketing officer as the bags and journey equipment firm tries to take advantage of the trade’s pandemic restoration.

Ms. Dunham had most not too long ago been chief advertising and marketing and merchandising officer at e-commerce supply startup Foxtrot and beforehand held high-level advertising and marketing roles at retail and trend companies together with Kate Spade and Amazon Trend. 

She succeeds Melissa Weiss, who joined Away in late 2021 and left final summer time, the corporate stated.

Away beforehand stated its gross sales totaled $150 million in 2018, and the startup secured $100 million in funding in 2019 at a $1.4 billion valuation.   

However the pandemic severely damage enterprise for Away and different journey manufacturers. The New York-based firm, formally known as JRSK Inc., both furloughed or laid off a majority of its employees in early 2020 after gross sales dropped by greater than 90%, in response to a company post on Medium on the time.

Carla Dunham, chief advertising and marketing officer for Away.



Photograph:

Away

Enterprise has picked up once more as vacationers around the globe return to prepandemic activities, in response to Ms. Dunham. 

Away’s gross sales throughout the interval from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday final yr almost doubled the overall throughout the identical interval in 2021 and have been 60% increased than in the identical interval in 2019, Ms. Dunham stated. She declined to reveal complete gross sales for 2022.

Away tried to capitalize on the trade’s restoration within the final half of 2022 by releasing a brand new line of outdoor-focused journey equipment and a brand new broadcast advert marketing campaign with the tagline “Let Journey Occur.”

Away this yr will proceed to lean closely on influencers and self-produced content material whereas rising its funding in extremely focused or performance-based advertising and marketing that may be extra instantly tied to gross sales, in response to Ms. Dunham. The corporate elevated its spending on conventional and streaming TV commercials by roughly 50% in 2022 and expects to double that complete in 2023 whereas additionally spending extra on social-media platforms like TikTok, she stated.

The corporate additionally plans additional funding in its retail areas, which Ms. Dunham described as “three-dimensional billboards for the model.”

Away attracted consideration prior to now for unconventional advertising and marketing strikes such because the launch of a branded podcast and print journal known as Right here. The podcast stopped airing new episodes in 2017, and the journal turned a web-only property in 2020 after publishing 14 quarterly print editions.

Ms. Dunham reviews to Away co-founder and Chief Government

Jen Rubio.

Away late final yr promoted its chief monetary officer, Catherine Dunleavy, to turn into its first president.

Write to Patrick Espresso at patrick.coffee@wsj.com

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