The new banner of success: Authenticity. It sells. For example, take Saul and Bruce Katz, the father and son entrepreneurial team that craved comfort in everything they wore so they created a new footwear category they called “walking shoes.” At the time, critics scoffed at their Big Idea. They didn’t believe that consumers would go for unbusinesslike footwear.
Called Rockports, their shoes had thick yet lightweight soles, soft uppers, and high-tech comfort liners that hugged and soothed the foot. The pitch was simple: “They’re great for walking.” Yet walking was something for old people. Young people didn’t walk. Men didn’t walk. At the time, there was simply no cachet to walking.
Within three years of Rockport’s launch, The fitness-walking movement was born with Rockport leading the way thanks in large part to Rockport fitness campaigns. The company created the Rockport Walking Institute, a Rockport Fitness Test, and even a Rockport Walking Diet. They also supported thousands of health and walking advocates across the country with free walking information.
Rockport had discovered the wisdom of standing for something worthwhile. Today, brands can either stand for something big and important to their consumers, or they can risk being categorized as trivial. Rockport is reaping the rewards of accomplishing this as in just five years, they increased in size 1000 percent, and earned more than $200 million in annual revenues.
The Rockport example was paraphrased from The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable by The Group of 33. It’s a great read. Check it out.