Monday 23 March 2015


This week I bought myself a new pair of shoes, nothing unusual or ground breaking in that but it got me thinking about how I got to that point of purchase because buying shoes, of any description, was not on my radar.

According to Philip Graves in his book Consumer.ology most of our buying decisions are made in our subconscious minds. My work with retailers and consumers totally backs this up but the triggers that make us buy aren’t a straight forward science.  Here’s my story of how I came to buy a new pair of shoes…

Early Monday morning and here I am working away in my studio racing towards another deadline. After such a productive start to the day by 10.30 it was time for a treat, no not a pair of shoes, coffee!  So I’m sipping my coffee and scrolling through my Twitter feed and something red caught my attention, a tweet with a photograph of a Camper shoe store in Australia with a ceiling created from some 30,000 red shoe laces – wow how could I not resist investigating further!  Six different websites later and a much extended coffee break and my productive day is descending into the opposite, you know what I mean; we all go there!

A few days later and I’m back at my desk researching shop window displays made from ordinary objects. Impressed by the sheer inventiveness of some of these installations I start picking out the best and adding these to my studio wall which got me thinking what a good blog topic this would make. By one reason or another my attention switched to the red shoe laces in the Camper store. Could I work this image into the blog?

Moving forward twenty four hours and I’m putting the finishing touches to my blog before heading off to meet some more inspiring retailers. Text - check, images - check and edit, reference Marko Brajovic, the brilliant architect responsible for the red ceiling and store design - check, include link to Camper site - check , mmm… nice shoes, click, scroll, click, buy...

So does this tell us anything? Well my ramblings may go on a bit but I’m not that different to anyone else. I wasn’t in the market for new shoes but over the course of a few days the triggers to buy were sparked by a series of repeated images, an interesting story which linked perfectly into what I was doing at the time and, coupled with past good experiences of a brand I’m suddenly without conscious thought the proud owner of a new pair of shoes.

What this reminds us is how important it is for retailers to keep communicating with their customers, directly and indirectly.  Gone are the days when you could just open a shop and customers would come flooding in, this is no longer an option. Communicating with customers both new and existing is a must if you want to succeed. Sending out images, product stories and interesting news, in store and on line, needs to happen on a regular basis. It needs to be top of your to do list.

Camper didn't directly target me with their marketing plan but from my own positive experiences of the brand and something they created that got noticed and reported by someone else and, by a very slim chance appeared at the right time in my Twitter feed, which resulted in me increasing their sales, by a very very small percentage.

If you do nothing, if you put nothing out there you will get nothing.  Do something and do it often.  At times you will feel your hard work and efforts are not being rewarded in the way you wish but believe me; if you keep going eventually they will be…

All the best

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  1. Another thought provoking blog Peter. Companies have to bombard potential customers, either directly or indirectly, with the values they stand for. I buy clothing brands that either manufacture or fully oversee the manufacture of their clothes (3sixteen, Indigo Farm). Once I read an article about one of these brands I have to research it and it usually results in me spending my cash. Keep up the good work, Simon

  2. Thanks for the comment Simon and a great example of how good brands tempt their customers with their story. Great jean brands too!