Monday, January 20, 2014

Bankrupt is the New Manly

Says the BBC, In Detroit they know from Shinola (watches);
...several companies have been trying to turn the brand of Detroit to their advantage, in a trend that marketing experts expect to gather pace.
The most striking example is Shinola, a resurrected shoe polish brand now being used to sell watches, bicycles, leather goods and journals, which plays heavily on its Detroit base.
The company, backed by the financial muscle of venture capital firm Bedrock, says it is the first in decades to produce watches on a large scale in the US. It uses local labour and, where possible, materials - though it sources many watch components from Switzerland and China.
Selling them in upscale boutiques.
The timepieces have been on sale for about six months in sleek stores with exposed brick interiors in Detroit and New York, but also in shops throughout the US, and in Paris and Singapore. London will be next.
"Across the board it's gone extremely well," says CEO Steve Bock. The company has made some 50,000 watches, which are priced at $475-$850 (£290-£520), and says it is struggling to keep up with demand. 
The attraction;
Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at the Kellogg school of management says Detroit is seen as an underdog and its financial misfortune has become an opening for companies.
"If you associate yourself with Detroit, you're associating yourself with a struggle, with managing through difficult times," he says.
Your brand "becomes a brand you want to root for, and a brand you hope will be successful". 
And if it isn't, you can always beat up the non-buyers;
Detroit's ties to the auto industry have also lent it an appeal as the "real man's city", says Scott Galloway, who teaches marketing at New York University's Stern Business School.
Detroit "reeks grit and toughness", he says, an association that is strongly male but can appeal to both sexes.
"Associating with a product that makes you feel manly or masculine is an incredible asset, and right now there is no more macho city than Detroit." 

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