Posts Tagged ‘PJA Advertising+Marketing’

Hittin’ the Tracks, Converse-Style

February 12, 2013

Converse Rubber Tracks LogoWhat comes to mind when you hear the brand name “Converse?” You’re likely to think “sneakers,” “Chuck Taylors,” “basketball,” and even “Nike.” But for many, the word “music” isn’t necessarily top-of-mind. The company doesn’t incorporate music into its marketing, so it’s not surprising that it wouldn’t be associated with the brand.

Why, then, would the sneaker company invest in a 5,200 square foot state-of-the-art recording studio, with award-winning engineers, offering recording time to aspiring musicians… free of charge?

In PJA Radio’s recent episode of The Unconventionals, Converse CMO Geoff Cottrill explains, “Most brands borrow equity from a musician… to make their brand look a certain way to a certain demographic… to look cool.” Instead, Converse found greater value in celebrating its consumer rather than celebrating itself.

Converse built Rubber Tracks, the Brooklyn, NY-based studio, to give emerging musicians the opportunity to record their music, no strings attached. “For what it costs to run three to four weeks of heavy TV [advertising] in the U.S., a good heavy campaign one time for a month, we could… run a studio for a number of years.”

If you think the intent is to make bands famous and tying the Converse name to them, it’s not. Cottrill emphasizes that they’re not making empty promises. “We’ve been really focused on making sure we keep our feet on the ground and that we don’t get into the music business because that’s not our business.”

Converse Rubber Tracks Studio

Rubber Tracks Studio
Brooklyn, NY

The team at Converse wanted to become useful to its biggest proponents by helping those who might not otherwise have been able to afford studio time elsewhere. They channeled their focus from creating a marketing message to turning the experience itself into the message. Doing so enabled them to build more meaningful relationships, and life-long memories for its core consumers—creative individuals. Cottrill notes, “The interactions that they have with you are what they carry.”

The return? Brand advocates.

According to Cottrill, Converse’s Facebook page has grown tremendously over the past few years because they haven’t tried to hook and bait people. “Virtually everyone that’s come [into the studio]… is posting on Instagram, on Facebook, talking to their social media network, their fan base, about this great experience that they’ve had,” explains Cottrill. Now at over 34 million fans, Converse never asks anyone to “Like” a page. It simply adds content and value to the conversations. And Fans consistently respond favorably towards the brand. “We couldn’t be any more pleased with the results. Again I go back to the relationships that we’re creating there.”

Interested in hearing more? Listen to George Cottrill’s approach to strengthening relationships with consumers by checking out PJA’s The Unconventionals.

Subscribe on iTunes for more “unconventional” podcasts such as: Relay Rides, Big Ass Fans, IdeaPaint, & Dollar Shave Club.

BY ALLIE ABODEELY

What Can You Learn from a Chief Big Ass?

October 26, 2012

The Unconventionals: Episode 1: Big Ass Fans' CEO Carey Smith“My first impression, when I heard of the company,” notes a current Big Ass Fans employee, “is that I would never work for this company in my life.” A bold name does hold some risks, even for a company that makes gigantic industrial fans. CEO Carey Smith found, however, that his decision to commit to the name yielded tremendous rewards.

Mike O’Toole, President of PJA Advertising + Marketing, talks with Smith in the first episode of PJA’s new radio show, The Uncoventionals, which our Center on Global Brand Leadership is proud to be sponsoring.

In a wonderful and frank conversation, CEO Smith talks about:

  • How the name was inspired by listening to the customer
  • How it differentiated the company’s communications in a traditionally bland industry
  • How it created a purpose that drives his tribe of nearly 300 employees to live up to this moniker, with a focus on R&D to build the best fans possible

As Smith notes, “it peaks interest, but that isn’t building a business…. It has, though, given us an opportunity to build a company that is substantial.” It starts with the name, but it can’t stop there.

Listen to Carey Smith for insights that you can apply to your business.

Subscribe to The Unconventionals podcast on iTunes as we help support upcoming shows on IdeaPaint, Relay Rides, Dollar Shave Club, and Converse.

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