HOKA is Mastering the Beneficial Aspect of Loving from Within

HY ROSARIO discusses the Anacapa and Hiking Footwear

I developed a ‘not-so’ new concept marketing strategy a few years ago: Niche-Out Marketing & E.N.D.E.A.R.S© The D and E in the strategy are for Designers and Education. The reason I created the concept was to hopefully hit brands since I was having a difficult time garnering consulting opportunities to stress the importance of performance and why brands needed to highlight from within the people who build the product while also educating the consumer on why the tech for performance footwear was designed as it is. I was burned out on the constant dumping of marketing dollars into influencers and collabs (which hit the hype community) but ultimately leads to a short shelf life as the newest prettiest thing is released by every brand.

I’ve begun to browse brand sites to find out why certain brands are thriving without relying so heavily on collabs and hype. I wondered since I wasn’t writing for these companies, had they implemented the strategy, either through visits to my site or simply through the process of understanding the power of content and celebrating those inside? What I’ve found is that the brands who have seen considerable growth share an interesting adherence to my strategy. Their shift to ENDEARS was organic and for me, it’s a beautiful thing to witness. HOKA, since 2020, has been taking the time to ‘love’ on their designers and product development teams. One of the most important aspects of ENDEARS is that the company understands this is a niche strategy. Thousands of people may not ever see the posts, but those who do will become a much more valuable fan than the average person who isn’t engaged enough to browse the site.

What I’ve realized is that every brand taking the time to introduce visitors to the teams who develop the product, are building fans who buy more than one item on a visit. Take for instance if an athlete visits the post on the Cielo X track spike. They are introduced to team member Valerie Weilert. They get to see a sketch of the sneaker (below). They learn about why the shoe was created and the history of the person with the company. This type of connection seems small, but when the decision comes down to purchasing from Brand A or B and A made the effort to engage the consumer beyond simply digital merchandising with a cool graphic, Brand A earns the business.

I have no idea who reads my site, but it feels great to know that my thoughts on the importance of performance and design are shared by marketing teams out there who realize that fashion is fleeting, but performance and the stories generated while creating performance products last more than a season.







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