February 3, 2020
A well-crafted shoe is great, but it’s not enough. Consumers want the full experience. They want that pair of shoes that caught their eye, but they want an experience beyond it. How are leading shoe brands pulling this off? How do they get consumers to engage with them, buy the shoes they sell, and share their experiences at the same time?
Stellar Examples of Companies Making Experiential Marketing Work for Their Brands
Adidas and actor/musician Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) teamed up and created tone-on-tone versions of three classic Adidas sneakers. The ultimate goal of the sneakers’ design was to look like shoes you could wear for miles and miles. The experiential marketing campaign kicked it up a notch. While at Coachella, the actor used iOS Airdrop to reach out to attendees. Those who accepted his message got a free pair of his sneakers if they promised to wear the shoes during his show and all weekend long. Those who got the free shoes got to experience the look, comfort, and durability in a setting that had them on their feet for hours.
For several years, Nike has held an experiential marketing campaign that involves a giveaway and participation in a basketball event where winners test out the React foam technology in the pair of shoes they receive. Video clips of the event help spread the word of their shoes on social media. Nike fans love participating with their favorite sneaker brand, and the brand gains interest from videos, praise, and photos that are shared over and over between fans and their friends.
Giveaways aren’t the only ways shoe brands can create a promising experiential marketing campaign. Fashion shoe designer Christian Louboutin has had great success with pop-up stores in cities like Aspen, Colorado. Elaborate displays showcase the latest designs for shoe enthusiasts to look at, try on, and buy without having to purchase online without getting to touch them first.
Forming the Best Marketing Campaign for Your Shoe Brand
A marketing strategy starts with a lot of brainstorming and research. You need to look at what your product or service offers. What does it do or what purchase does it serve? What benefit do consumers get from using it? How does it stand out from the competition? If you can answer those questions, you’re ready to move on to decide who benefits the most from using it? It is a better item for a 20-something or someone 50+. Are those ideal consumers more likely to listen to a traditional message or a modern one? Are they more likely to listen to facts or look at the aesthetic qualities? You need to get into their shoes and imagine what they’d want to hear, see, and feel.
Create your to-do list now. You need to come up with both long-term and short-term goals for your experiential marketing plan for your shoe brand. Be realistic but don’t be too conservative. If you tend to make $5,000 a month in revenues, aim for a revenue goal of $6,500 a month. It’s an increase, but it’s not too hopeful. If you meet and exceed it, you’ll feel amazing. You can set non-financial goals, too. You could aim to get 300 more people on your newsletter or get 100 new people to add online reviews of your shoe or shoe-related product or service. If you fall short, you won’t be too disappointed. If you do fall short, don’t get too upset. Once you’ve come up with those short-term goals, do the same with long-term ones.
You’ve considered your target market, come up with the goals, and understand exactly what your shoe brand offers that the competition doesn’t. Now it’s time to research experiential marketing techniques. Would a free sample do better than a pop-up store? Would a strong social media campaign looking for user-contributed photos of people wearing your shoes be better? If you’re doing a strong social media campaign, what benefit does the participant get? Are you offering discounts or running a contest?
To make your plan come together, there’s one more big step. You need to set your budget. If you’re just starting out, your budget may not be large. That’s okay. Make the best of the amount you have. You can always increase it as your business takes off.
One thing is true of experiential marketing. There is no one-size-fits-all plan you can follow. Every company is different. The marketing plan that works for a designer shoe brand isn’t going to work as well for a company that sells steel-toe construction boots or sneakers. You need the time to research and hone down your target audience. We understand that can be hard. At Factory 360, we work with you and use our expertise to help you find the best experiential marketing plan. Give us a call. Let us show you what we can do to launch your brand to new heights.