Since its purchase by Nike in 2003, Converse has been rebuilt as the cool brand for adolescents and "optimistic rebels" who look for ways to express their personal style. Its marketing strategy (which has led to more than 18 million Facebook friends - twice as many as Nike!) deserves a post - especially as Europe has been in the front line.
Two areas were given preference, and usually overlap, in the initiatives of the brand: music and art. Noticing that Converse was being worn by many mythical groups (like The Ramones and, today, The Strokes), the brand has invested in the music scene. At the same time, it launched the creation of new models, whose design was entrusted to artistes - little known, more often than not.
Three recent initiatives illustrate this approach:
- The recording studio created in Brooklyn at the end of 2010 ("Converse Rubber Tracks") open to young groups wishing to record their own discs - is an example of its new role as a patron in the music world.
- The Converse Art Factories organized at concert sites (Rock en Seine / Lowlands / Melt!), a mixture of photography, artistic creation, various objects reinterpreted by fair participants, etc ... shows that a melange of genres is possible - and that a brand can develop the creativity of its customers without "claiming" a right to it.
- The convergence of music and art was also the driving force behind the recent "Canvas Experiment". It created an "interactive" wall made of 500 two-tone All Stars shoes (blue on one side, red on the other) - which "reacted" to the movement of the people that passed in front of it. In Europe it was, of course, installed in store windows - to produce an interaction with people passing by. It was also used by musicians:
But, more importantly, this also resulted in real artistic creations that were even featured on YouTube - three artists being commissioned to reinterpret the All Stars.
We cannot but acknowledge the absolute consistency of the approach - a strategic coherence in the brand's positioning, and coherence in the methods it uses to reach out to its customers.