I’m a lucky man. My wife* designs and makes men’s bespoke shoes. Her business – Carreducker – has “built a reputation over many years amongst a small, coterie of international collectors for beautiful, bespoke men’s footwear.”
Awareness has come via good old fashioned referral, word of mouth and traditional media coverage in places like the Financial Times, The Independent, Arena, GQ and Men’s Health.
But it was Hugh McLeod’s work with Thomas Mahon at English Cut that got me thinking that perhaps the adjacent market of bespoke men’s shoes could do with a PR 2.0, social media style, marketing approach.
And then Revolution magazine recently came out with a story saying that: “the internet is a key driver in premium and luxury goods sales, and can be as influential as magazines and television advertising to premium consumers.” Joint research by the IAB and design magazine Wallpaper with more than 1,000 respondents said that online advertising was the most influential in encouraging luxury goods purchase.
The research also showed that luxury consumers spend more time online than with any other media, often researching on the internet even if they then purchase in-store or buy mail order.
Respondents spend more hours online (25.4 hours) than watching television (13.2), listening to radio (10.1) or reading magazines (5.7) and newspapers (6.4).
When looking for information, 75 per cent of respondents said the internet is the first place they go. “Premium online luxury consumers are the heaviest media users of all luxury consumers. They are ferocious users of the internet and there is a huge opportunity for savvy luxury brands to talk directly to their potential customers via their favourite websites,” said Gord Ray, Wallpaper’s publishing director.
Which all comes at a very interesting time for Carreducker. Having concentrated exclusively on bespoke footwear, the company is now “bringing the same exacting standards to bear on a range of limited edition manufactured shoes.”
So how best to deliver the message?
Perhaps it is simply a case of following the English Cut template. Or a mix of the traditional marketing approach with some new techniques?
Either way, the next few weeks and months are going to be interesting for the world of men’s bespoke footwear.
FX: Declare interest alert now on
In the meantime, in an act of shameless pluggery, I should point out that anyone wishing to see at first hand these Ferraris of footwear (and happens to be in London EC1 on Thursday, 24 April 2008 between 10am – 7pm) should head down to Susannah Hall Tailors, 110 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5SA.
You can choose from a selection of seven colours. Each pair is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Of course, if you just can’t wait, you can contact Carreducker direct:
*The longest word in the English language: the one following the phrase “and now a word from our sponsor.”