Ingledew’s was the place for fashionable shoes in the late 80’s, but as the market changed around them; they didn’t adjust, and lost focus. Research indicated that Ingledew’s was where one’s mother or grandmother shopped. And even though they carry some of the most stylish shoes in the city, they are often not considered, or given credit for it. Unlike most retailers, Ingledew’s has always carried an extensive selection of sizes and widths—to ensure a more comfortable fit; it’s one of their key points-of-difference. However, the public is generally unaware of the benefits or need for having a choice of widths to select from.
Our strategy positioned Ingledew’s as the retailer that provides “Stylish Comfort”—because they not only carry fashionable brands, they also ensure the proper fit (to ensure comfort). To establish credibility as a fashionable retailer, we developed the ‘It Never Hurts To Look Good’ campaign. We then evolved our strategy to incorporate more of the ‘fit’ story by developing the ‘Art To Finding The Perfect Fit’ campaign. It helped differentiate Ingledew’s based on the service and expertise that the staff provides rather than solely on the (non-exclusive) fashionable shoes they carry.
While Ingledew’s generally keeps sales results close, anecdotal evidence from management and staff in stores suggests ‘new’ shoppers have started to visit… and that sales had been progressing well. In fact, the President had personally confirmed that marketing efforts in 2012 helped yield significantly higher sales compared to the previous year—despite competitors being in decline. Website traffic, from Q4 of that year, was also up (by 138%) compared to the previous year.

Declaring Their Promise

After conducting a store audit, it was determined that most of the associates were not following through on the brand promise to measure both feet upon entering the store. So, as a declaration of the brand’s promise, we installed window banners promoting the “There is an art to finding the perfect fit” position. To launch this campaign, we featured an original, hand-painted version of the iconic Brannock Device—the tool that Ingledew’s uses to determine the length & width of one’s feet. These banners also set the tone for what to expect—since the first thing the staff does, when a customer is interested in trying on a shoe, is measure your feet.

Brannock Display

The Brannock device—the tool used to measure the length and width of one’s foot—is an essential part of Ingledew’s ability to provide the perfect fit. However, there did not seem to be any sense of pride or appreciation for it—by staff or customers. We felt that since the Brannock was both an integral part of our marketing campaign—and important to finding the perfect fit—it should be celebrated, not concealed.

Campaign Development

To highlight their point of difference, (that one should never have to sacrifice comfort for style), we developed the “It’s The Way We Make Them Feel” campaign, showcasing that style and comfort CAN actually go hand in hand. This new campaign was built onto the ‘Stylish Comfort’ brand position we developed, and rotated seasonally across all mediums throughout the year.

Store Windows

The “It’s The Way We Make Them Feel” campaign extended to store window signage – which was updated seasonally. To communicate Ingledew’s various sales and promotions throughout the year, vinyl decals were designed and placed within the windows, without losing the main brand message.

Print Ads

The “It’s The Way We Make Them Feel” campaign extended to all print and promotional ads. But what makes these ads different is that they ads pass the ‘hand-over’ test; meaning they share Ingledew's brand story in a way that their competitors could not, by clearly articulating the brand's point-of-difference (and consumer benefit). And because Ingledew's is so confident in their advantage, they even refer to other competitors in their message. A bold move which proved successful.

Social Media Strategy

In order to own the hashtag #StylishComfort, we created a social media strategy for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. The goal was to increase awareness for the brand—not just in terms of the styles they carry, but by highlighting what makes Ingledew’s different: their commitment to helping customers find their perfect fit by carrying the largest array of sizes (including widths) in the city. By curating engaging content, and running relevant and on-brand promotions, we were able to build relationships with consumers and increase followers and engagement across all channels – some by over 100%. In fact, fashion bloggers and media were shown to interact with the brand, using this hashtag.

Pinterest Promo – Stylish Comfort

To help reinforce the definition of Ingledew’s ‘Stylish Comfort’ brand platform, we asked the public to show us how they would define the statement. As a highly visual social channel, we felt Pinterest was the ideal network to show-off their favourite Ingledew’s fashion while reinforcing what it is that shoppers can expect from the retailer—stylish comfort.

Online Presence

While we have no control over the Ingledew’s website, per se, we were able to design and incorporate a page that specifically told the story of the ‘perfect fit’. We then shared this story by providing a link in our other marketing efforts (i.e. print & e-blast).

Database Marketing

As a retention strategy to stay connected with past customers—in a relevant way—we redesigned and developed the e-blast template. We introduced a new, more personalized, format when we launched the overall branding campaign. In addition to providing a better way for Ingledew’s to maintain an ongoing relationship with past customers, our e-blast campaign has consistently resulted in open and click-through rates that are significantly higher than industry averages for similar retail categories.

Comfort Card

We created the Comfort Card to reinforce the sales associate’s commitment to finding one’s perfect fit. After measuring a customer’s feet, associates record the shoe sizes (in both length & width) for every shoe that a customer tires on, since sizing differs between brands. The real bonus, for Ingledew’s, is that after learning of their true size, shoppers tend to not compromise on their fit & comfort by shopping at stores that don’t carry an array of widths.

XM (Experiential): Fit Mobile

To reinforce Ingledew’s mastery for finding the perfect fit and to showcase their fashionable styles, we developed the idea for the ‘Fit Mobile’. Instead of communicating to shoppers while in store, the ‘Fit Mobile’ would take the message to the streets. It would park in high foot-traffic areas and passers-by would be encouraged to have their feet measured. After experiencing the brand difference first-hand, they would then be handed a Comfort Card with their ‘actual’ shoe size recorded. The card would also contain a discount for shopping at an Ingledew’s store.

More of Our Experiential Case Studies: