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brands as a part of our environment and more

Camper is a quirky shoe brand from Mallorca, Spain. You react when you see them, from the characteristic “one-way-show-string” models, to the “rounded soldier boot meet clown shoe” inspired style but perhaps primarily their stores, in which their shoes are presented in a very artful way. It’s somewhat of an experience to browse the models which is nice.

I like the reflection below, about how Camper and its stores is part of the cities they’re in. And when you design a store, you can take cultural (and perhaps even political!) differences into account, hence looking at it from the perspective of adding, changing or commenting something that exists, in the greater context of things. In the case of Camper, using different designers to design stores around globe, resulting in drastically different experiences, it’s
“more a cultural thing”, rather than commercial, says Miguel Fluxá.

When we started to open stores outside Spain we thought it was interesting not to repeat them. The world today is becoming a little bit boring, everything is becoming the same. So we thought it was interesting for the brand, and for the cities, to do different designs from one place to the other. We started to do this many years ago and it’s something that has given us a lot of identity and has worked quite well over the years.

– Miguel Fluxá of Camper, via Dezeen

Camper in-store design
In-store design, from Dezeen.com

brand loyalty is rarely more than having first dibs


flick by programwitch

I was wearing Carhartt jeans the other day. Also a Carhartt shirt and a Carhartt jacket. Am I a big Carhartt fan? Well I’ve got a few shirts yes, I’ve got one jacket and one pair of jeans. I wouldn’t call me brand loyal, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking that.

Without repeating all that’s been said about the concept of brand loyalty and it being contrasted and questioned, even disproven, in Byron Sharps book How brands grow, I’ll add my two cents, and it’s really just a way of thinking about it.

“Brand loyalty is having first dibs”

That’s what it comes down to, and little more than that. I’m not loyal to Carhartt, but I’ll swing by their store in search of a new pair of jeans before any other, if convenient enough. They have the first chance of maintaining their track record, but it takes little for me to walk out and into another store. We tend to equate, or define, loyalty with the latter part; it taking little for me to walk out and the fact that loyalty should be about me not easily doing that. But it’s more about the former; a brand simply having first dibs. We’re looking for a bit too much in the loyalty concept. If first dibs is what we equate with brand loyalty, we have the research and data to back it up, as opposed to over inflated wishes for loyalty beyond reason.

The fact that it’s more about first dibs, and little more, means the pressure is on the brand to continue to satisfy me. And that’s brand loyalty seen from the other end.

bigger strategies and smaller ideas

A lot that was said yesterday, at Patrick Collister’s presentation, really tilted towards smaller ideas but more frequent. I agree. I feel that strategies, however, need to be bigger. Grander. Big – how – I ask myself. Well not bigger as in more rigid, stiff, carved in stone, but more flexible and perhaps even less controlled in a way. Flexible in a way that allows more stuff to happen. More unplanned stuff. Quick. In order for smaller ideas to be “OK” – I think a big strategy that leads to objectives not through planned trails, as they most likely change quicker than they can be trodden, but rather flexible, adjustable strategies. A brand’s vision, belief and personality must be the primary influencer of a brand strategy.

I see a parallel to warm, smart and genuinelly good people. They are big people with big hearts and big brains, and they’re not affraid or insecure as to not change their mind and ways. Small people we all know, and they’re not easy to work with and most likely not very fun to be with and have a conversation with.