Dressed to Thrill Part 2 (of 3)
Invited to speak on “Interactive Brand Strategy” at MAGIC, “the global pillar of fashion trade shows,” in Las Vegas this month, I had an opportunity to walk the show’s markets during my visit. Three brands stood out to me as hitting the mark when it comes to best practices. In this post: Toms.
Unlike Superdry, Toms, a pioneer of the “one-for-one” approach to brand building with social giveback, had a very open floor plan for its large booth at the 2016 MAGIC conference. Having been an early supporter of the brand, back when they only had a few styles of shoes, I was eager to discover what all the buzz was about as I approached the space at the Mandalay Bay Conference Hall. Something told me this was one not to miss.
Around the perimeter of Toms’ floorspace, visitors were able to explore the various products on offer, both classic and forthcoming, but the most interesting draw of the space was smack dab in the center. Here, set at high-top tables, Oculus Rift headsets (with accompanying headphones) were on display. Visitors were encouraged to try on the A/V headgear and, upon doing so, we were transported to rural Peru.
The 360-degree video experience put me with one of the teams from Toms on a “giving mission.” Together, we visited schools and family homes where the recipients of the “one-for-one” shoes learned and lived.
This engaging approach was a perfect fit for the brand. The ability to approximate the experience of giving undeniably humanized what was otherwise an abstract understanding of the brand’s core values. Short of actually accompanying staff on one of their trips, the immersive experience, around three minutes in length, was able to emotionally tie me, the viewer, to the mission.
Already a fan of the brand and its business’ guiding principles, I am quickly becoming a more vocal advocate for others to join me. Toms’ investment in this cutting edge way of story telling may make them the first for a wide consumer target market, but let’s hope that it is a trend many others try and copy and improve upon.