Yukio Yamai, the founder of SNOW PEAK, first started his business of making mountain gear in a small village of Sanjo city, Niigata prefecture. His son, Tohru Yamai later took over the business to expand to lifestyle products and to keep the outdoor products brand evolving. Unlike its competitor with focus on function, SNOW PEAK offers well-designed products that are suitable for everyday use as well. The outdoor products maker takes its approach by vigorously questioning how people should interact with nature.
B is already out with its third issue.
After the previous two issues, all staff members spend another month feeling both encouraged and pressured from readers’ feedback. Once again, this magazine promises to select and feature well-balanced brand with the absence of any advertisements.
The third brand that B covers for this issue is a Japanese camping product brand, “Snow Peak.” Many may not be familiar with the brand. However, despite its high price, it is notable to see products often being sold out and have a long waiting list.
The essence of camping products lies in “functionality” for survival which must provide solutions for food and shelter in the wilderness. Such outdoor gears need to be tough and durable, yet be compact and light for easy storage and carry after dis-assembly. To this extent, military equipment may fit into all categories. However, with aesthetic and emotional aspect of life together with nature, I became to see the lifestyle camping products brands pursue with a whole new perspective. They have further ushered me into life in nature, which became the starting point for my reflection upon the fundamental of design.
Camping has taken significant part of outdoor activities with little changes in trend. Rather, the wilderness activity has been with people of modern days to help them interact with nature with the help of developing equipment and share such precious experience with others. Snow Peak, established in 1958, defined itself as “natural lifestyle creator,” and its philosophy of “life with nature” is incorporated into every part of its products.
The following are B’s perspective upon Snow Peak’s significance:
First, the brand does not confine itself to only camping business but expands its realm by rigorously asking itself the most fundamental question on why people go camping in the wilderness. Snow Peak constantly makes its attempts to incorporate comfort of home into activities in nature, and conversely, tries to bring benefits of nature to everyday life, as well as rough mountains and campsites. Some of great examples are the “Living Shell” which divides the space into bedroom and living room within a tent and table sets that can also be used in the gardens of our homes.
Second, Snow Peak approaches its product development and marketing entirely in the perspective of the user. And evidence of benchmarking is hardly found in its products. All employees of Snow Peak become actual users of its products to find improvements to offer better products to customers, and this makes the brand most original compared to many of the competing brands that tend to excessively rely on market analysis and benchmarking.
Making a living space resemble to nature, and finding happiness from family life have been timeless pursuit of human beings, and the passion for Snow Peak as well. With exclusively Snow Peak’s cutting edge technology and strengths in design, the outdoor equipment brand placed itself on the realm of so called near-perfect balance – the balance that other brands constantly dream of. All of the strengths, I believe, are added to attract its fans despite recent increase in copycat products luring potential customers with relatively more affordable prices in the market.
In fact, Snow Peak’s pricing policy sparks controversies among campers, despite its numerous strengths. However, B has strongly felt the needs for covering the brand for this issue, after visiting its headquarter located in a small village of Nigata prefecture. The office building was standing alongside with the store and the manufacturing facility which was surrounded by a campsite. Seeing employees truly enjoying their work looked ever more creative than those of any other companies. It is very much pleasing to see a company based on manufacturing call itself a design company and pave way for a corporate culture that constantly questions any process or business practices to continuously redesign them. The magazine sincerely hopes to share Snow Peak’s genuine passion with our readers.
B binds issue for January and February, and for July and August, so will be back in March with our fourth issue.
A climb on a snowy mountain, reaching for its peak.Cold wind as the only company, foot marks on an unbeaten path. My frozen feet unaware of when this path would end. If only I could find a shelter for some rest. This is the way my journey continues.
02:24 INTERVIEW 01
The couple has been married for seven years, and they feel closer to each other after they started their new leisure time activity – camping. The beginning campers clearly remember the snowy scene outside their Snow Peak Living Shell tent, with a warm stove between them.
Snow Peak offers lifestyle products under the category of “outdoor, garden, and design” in its stores. You can find lifestyle products for use in both wilderness and everyday life. It has thirty stores under direct management in 22 countries. There are three in Korea and 31 dealership stores nationwide.
04:34 INTERVIEW 02
He is an actor and a husband. He, a long time user of other camping product brands, confesses how stunned he was when he first encountered with Snow Peak’s beautiful tent - so stunned that he could not even imagine setting up his own tent next to it.
05:42 INTERVIEW 03
These two young ladies often work together. They worry that people nowadays tend to rave about camping equipments just like years ago when many would stockpile DSLR cameras. According to these two, too much attention on buying equipments might soon bring fatigue in actual camping.
06:46 INNER SPACE
Camping products are usually made for the outdoors. Meanwhile, modern design and functional details allow Snow Peak’s products suitable for our home, working spaces or any other places. Noting such expandability, B took a close look at how some of Snow Peak’s signature products can integrate in various environments.
07:70 INTERVIEW 04
This former weekend-golfer is now deeply into outdoor camping. He at first gasped at the price but the more he compares to other brands, the more he turns his eyes for Snow Peak products.
08:74 BRAND to BRAND
Sophisticated colors and design, smart functions and details of Snow Peak attracts campers with distinct tastes. Then what others brands do these people like? B had a closer look on their ways of camping through those brands.
09:88 INTERVIEW 05
He is a so-called first generation camper. He says that his mind finds peace and warmth with his Dutch oven on a tripod over his Snow Peak Fireplace – and calls this the perfect blend of design and science.
10:97 B’s CUT
For camping products, function comes above all else. But as for Snow Peak, it is even so beautifully designed and exquisite, that it also fits well at our homes, cafes and workplaces. It makes people want to ‘live like them (the lifestyle it creates)’ and not just simply ‘buy them.’ The focus has always been in how people should interact with nature, and insights in the essence of camping paradoxically made Snow Peak’s products suitable for everyday use. Snow Peak is the interface of nature and the modern people. And there we find life.
11:112 BRAND STORY
Snow Peak was founded in 1958 by a hardware
merchant Yukio Yamai from a small village in Sanjo ciy
in Niigata prefecture. Later on the company was handed down to his son, Tohru Yamai, who brought great changes to the company which expanded from merely a mountain gear brand to a brand that creates a whole lifestyle.
12:132 CEO INTERVIEW
CEO Tohru Yamai took over his father’s business. What started as a mountain gear store is now evolving into a brand that looks for sustainable balance between human beings and nature.
Camping allows us to interact with Mother Nature and people. Lifestyle Snow Peak suggests, is about finding comfort in nature. It allows us to realize each of our genuine relationships. Where nature, people, and daily life meet, there is Snow Peak.
- Suyoung Joh
- Editor In Chief
- Taehyuck Choi
- Project Editor
- Editor T Urbanbooks
- Guest Editor
- Jiho Park, Yoomee Shin, Royce Kim
- Assistant Editor
- Eunah Kim
- Contributing Editor
- Eaji Lee(JAPAN), Hyeyoung Lee(U.K.), Sungjoo Kim(GERMANY)
- Art Direction
- JOH & Company, [mykc]
- Hyekyung Shin
- Kisook Park, Junghoon Woo, Minhwa Maeng
- Gieun Lee
- Text Correction
- Mona Lee
- JOH & Company
- Top Process
- Paper Supplying
- 978-89-9681-390-3 03070
- Snow Peak Official Website
- Official Blog of CEO of Snow Peak
- Official Snow Peak Online Community in Japan “Snow Peak Club”
- Snow Peak on Facebook
- Snow Peak Korea Official Website
- Snow Peak Official Online Community in Korea “Snow Peak Club”