Consumers form impressions of brands and companies based on their gut feeling, the overall perception of the product, the marketing surrounding the product and from past experiences of the product. Brand image is a big deal in the fashion industry. Today, people are more brand conscious than ever before and so it’s essential for a company to build a brand image that reflects the aspirations of their audience.
The Doc Martens website states:
“Dr. Martens’ appeal to people who have their own individual style but share a united spirit, authentic characters who stand for something. People who possess a proud sense of self- expression. People who are different.”
They just talked about you; the last thing you want is turn up to a party and see your mate in the same outfit… or do you?
“On a stylistic level, Dr. Martens’ simple silhouettes allows their wearers to adopt the boots and shoes as part of their own individual and very distinctive style; on a practical level, their famous durability and comfort make them ideal for the unforgiving world of gigs and street fashion; and then finally on an emotional level, they are a badge of attitude and empowerment.”
Dr. Martens were originally a modest work-wear boot that was even sold as a gardening shoe at one stage. So, how did this utilitarian boot transform into one of the most culturally relevant brands of the modern era? An interesting and unique story.
Fashion marketing does not always benefit from the ‘early adopters’ of products. It is always helpful for marketers if individuals and groups with a strong public following choose to adopt the product being marketed. However as many of us know to our cost having an endorsement and brand association with celebrity does not equate to sales. Thankfully Dr Martens did not have to rely on that approach, although having a damn good product, with a history of going against the grain hugely helped.
Doc Marten’s unsurprisingly still get involved in sponsorship and promotion: they’ve sponsored Plays and Shows at the Edinburgh and Dublin Festivals – to not only be associated with the arts but also provide an opportunity to donate to charity.
I could go on-and-on about their story however it’s important to note that their approach to marketing, brand awareness and brand association is carefully constructed to be in your mind’s eye the moment you are reminded of your rebel youth days – or is that just me?
What is the focus for your brand, what’s the back story, what was the inspiration that started it – do you have a Dr Funck behind your design choice…?