Foot Locker announced on May 31 that they are launching a new marketing campaign. Foot Locker customers are encouraged to use Instagram to take photos of themselves in their favorite kicks and tag themselves with #kickstagram and @footlocker. The incentive is the possibility of the photo being showcased on Footlocker.com, the Foot Locker facebook page, or in store display windows. Foot Locker is hoping to be able to initiate a new outlet to connect with customers and create a platform for sneaker lovers to share their footwear passion. The process has been made foolproof with a simple “click-to-follow” banner ad and a two-step process, encouraging ease of use.
Another trend-setting footwear company has a similar feature on their website. The increasingly popular TOMS shoe and accessory brand has a section in each category of their website where they showcase user-submitted TOM-wearing photos.
I love the idea of these approaches to marketing because it brings a personal tone to the product and brand. The method gives the company a chance to connect with their end user and the end users with each other. One reason I applaud the idea is because I love shoes (naturally!). The other reason is that I think it’s important to see how customers interact with a product and make it their own. In my several years of designing it’s been rare that I actually get the opportunity to see my items on the customer in their natural element. Also, for the end user the idea of having their photo chosen and posted online could make them feel special and celebrated. And those just browsing the photos may enjoy seeing how other people wear their shoes, which could spark new ideas (and promote additional purchases!). It’s a win-win, really.