I distinctly remember the season I spent walking up hill. It was the year that earth shoes were all the rage. For those who weren’t yet born, or would just like to forget them, earth shoes had a sole with a higher rise at the front than the back. The width of the toe was also decidedly broad, presenting a less then sleek and glamorous look poking out from your jeans. Thank goodness flares were also in fashion, or we might all have looked like clowns. Take that back, I think I did anyway. Graced with size 11 feet at the age of 12, the variety of available sizes for my footwear fashion choices peaked early and has been pretty much in decline ever since!
But back to earth shoes. They were ugly, but they sold like hot cakes.
Just like Crocs, those very comfortable, colourful, holey things that really don’t belong in the same sentence as fashion.
Each of these three items touted comfort over style, but in evoking desire for their comfort attributes, they became stylish despite themselves. Such is the strange world of marketing and creating demand.
What might we learn from Uggs, Crocs and Earth Shoes for our own marketing?
1. You can create desire for almost anything with good marketing.
2. But nobody will buy your product or service more then once if it doesn’t do what is promised.
While simple enough in principle, in practice we often overlook number 2, thinking that number 1 is where our efforts should be. Summed up another way – get good first. Then worry about how to broadcast your value. This message becomes particularly important in an era where word of mouth and word of mouse (online through social channels and off line the good old fashioned way) is so important. It’s also where earned media kicks in when your business becomes newsworthy. And as regular readers will already know, that earned media then begs to be leveraged through your owned and rented channels.
Have you ever bought something because of really catchy advertising, then been disappointed in the product or experience? Likewise have you ever bought something and been absolutely delighted, and then gone off telling everyone?
It’s all about getting good first. That’s the best marketing out there.