Sperry Top-Sider works to attract younger customers
On Wednesday, Sperry Top-Sider was at Colette in Paris to celebrate its collaboration with American photographer Gray Malin. The nautical-style brand has worked with the artist to employ three of his aerial photographs in producing a capsule collection.
More than just a collaboration, it underscores the Wolverine-owned brand’s desire to reposition itself.
With roots in early 20th century sailing, the brand enjoys a solid following among older customers linked to its New England style.
Nevertheless, with Rick Blackshaw at the helm since September, Sperry Top-Sider now intends to attract a 17-34 year-old demographic. The brand is completely overhauling its marketing strategy.
It has adopted a new logo and is opting for more dynamic images than those it has employed in the past. Most significantly, it has launched a campaign on social networks, putting its message in the hands of 80 brand ambassadors from various backgrounds, whose adventures will be shared by the brand.
"With the project Await Odysseys, it’s the first time that the brand has committed itself to this kind of marketing," said Purvi Patel, associate marketing manager. "We are also overhauling our e-commerce site to offer a stronger consumer experience. Our new approach will be to gradually roll out a new concept in our stores as well as new displays in department stores and independent locations. And in 2016, the new logo will also be used for shoe collections."
The work of the design teams will be even more obvious for its 2016 spring-summer collection. The brand will additionally employ a more differentiated segmentation with models for premium accounts, using the highest quality materials, its core market retaining models classic to the brand as well as a Paul Sperry collection for younger customers featuring vulcanized sneakers that will be sold for around 60 euros.
Sperry Top-Sider also strengthened its design team in 2014 to create a women’s division. The division should make its debut in 2016.
In France, where the brand’s development has been directly managed for only two years, a few locations will be opened, especially in chains such as Citadium.
With sixty current locations, the team in France is primarily tasked with asserting the potential of the brand among fashion-oriented retailers. The collaborations planned for this year with Velour, Danish brand Rains and English brand YMC should help in that respect.
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