A big growly account man at my first agency (a place I still refuse to acknowledge in my bio) was the kind of man who could get clients to do anything he wanted. He had more stories than David Niven (he presented a convincing case that it was he and not Freddie Mercury who’d written Bohemian Rhapsody), he drank copiously without getting drunk and every single night he’d take random junior members of the agency to late night members’ clubs where he’d show them prestidigitation and magic tricks that left you thinking, “He probably actually is in league with the Devil.” Mentoring wasn’t his agenda but he did teach me something about clients. You should have them for only one of three reasons: to win awards, to make money, or to have fun.
It’s early days for The Left Shoe Company so I don’t expect to get rich from them (…at least not yet -if you’re reading this Erkan and Clive).
If their communications is as good as their product, awards will come, in time.
But straight from the go, this brand is fun. This is a range of made to measure shoes, which uniquely, through a large range of choices of style, leather and sole become totally individual – you can even have your Twitter handle stamped into the insole. The fitting process, where a computerised scanner whirs around your foot, taking about 2 million measurements in 30 seconds is fun. And Clive and Erkan, the two guys heading the new business are determined and focused. (And charming – Clive was the man who brought Richard James to the world and remembered me even though it’s been 5 years since he last served me in Savile Row.
The Left Shoe Company has just produced their new brand identity, from our friends at www.Saturday-London.com (who are part of Mother London, the last ever agency I worked at).
They’ve just completed a beautiful relationship with Virgin Atlantic, where they were offered some space in the Heathrow Clubhouse.
Now, they have turned to us to ask for a Verbal Identity and comms activity in Social Media. What’s impressed us most is that rather than saying, “Give us everything on every platform”, they’ve decided to stick a toe in the water and start on Twitter. It’s a smart move, start small and understand how to walk before you run. (Yes, you find yourself writing even more ambulatory metaphors when you work on a shoe brand).
We’re working on the heart of the brand, and from that we’ll develop the language of the brand, the character of the brand, and the voice of the brand – all the elements of an effective Verbal Branding.
But more than that, we’ve said that Good Conversation is 51% listening – so as the brand moves onto Twitter, a large part of its Verbal Identity will come from listening to consumers and what they want. Social Media provides such an amazing opportunity to connect with consumers and find out what they’re talking about, it’s exactly the right place to start honing the brand strategy.
Stay tuned. It’ll be fun.