Photo: Courtesy of K.Swiss
Everyone in the above 35 and sneaker junkie crowds no doubt remembers the classic white on white silver hooked beauties of the late 80s and 90s. Just looking at the white knight like KSwiss brings a Say Anything smile to mind and puts a little bit of Wham! “go go” back in your step.
Beyond the warm nostalgia the iconic shoe inspires, their new brand re-ignition campaign called The Board makes me fall in love with them all over again. Taking the Stan Smith Pharell celebrity partnership idea designed to usher in a new generation of fans a step further, the KSwiss campaign partners with mega star Diplo to go beyond crowdsourced funding to the concept of collaborative co created marketing.
In the sharing economy, a brand’s ability to procure immersive experiences that stoke passions and emotional responses is as important as the products and services they purvey.
In the new groundbreaking campaign, KSwiss allows people to apply for a position on The Board, a group of 100 creatives, led by Diplo, whose ideas for brand outreach and growth will actually be implemented to put the legacy sneaker icon back on the map.
According to KSwiss they are “committed to outfitting and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs” with their new campaign.
This week, the heritage tennis brand announced the curriculum the selected board applicants will be learning.
The goal is to have members of the board study the footwear and fashion industries and work on assignments with the intent to improve the K-Swiss brand.
The courses include “Brand Positioning,” instructed by streetwear brand 10 Deep founder and designer Scott Sasso; “Ideas with a Conscience,” instructed by Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, co-founders of the Fair Trade Certified beverage company Runa; “Sneaker Design,” instructed by Staple Design’s founder and creative director, Jeff Ng; “Lookbook Shoot,” instructed by Style.com fashion market director Rachael Wang; “Social Media Best Practices,” instructed by social media personality Jopsh Ostrovsky; and “Writing Your Business Plan,” instructed by Sharmadean Reid, brand consultant and founder of London-based nail company WAH Nails.
Through the curriculum, members will learn how to create a new tagline for K-Swiss, create a lookbook, build a brand with a socially responsible mission, design shoes, build a social media voice and learn about the components of a business plan.
In the age of #WeCommerce everyone is an entrepreneur as much as they are a creator. Consequently, the global economy is becoming increasingly powered by a new generation of innovators called “artists of business.”
While it will be fascinating to see how the idea of crowdsourced marketing unfolds and what new “chairmen of the board” it inspires, it will be most interesting to see if a #WeCommerce approach to marketing that enables consumers to co-create the next chapter of KSwiss’s legacy succeeds.
I sure hope it does. Why? Because if the concept prevails, the power of storytelling will become inextricably linked to a brand’s performance and profitability, thereby catapulting marketing to the very beginning of the supply chain of invention.
You can read more about Billee Howard’s book “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!
Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward.