To: Ryan Babenzien, Founder of GREATS

Dear Ryan,

GREATS has earned the spot as a sneaker brand that delivers significant value to its customers. Getting there wasn’t easy—staying there and pushing forward will only be harder. In today’s consumer landscape, brands need something that sets them apart from the sea of companies that sell products. Those grow in ways that leverage existing assets alongside new ones to constantly stay top of mind will resonate in the long term.

While GREATS is very much a blank canvas, both in terms of the products and the brand, it’s less clear how this can serve new and existing customers—how they can make this blank canvas their own. Bridging this gap will help the brand grow in more cost effective ways, and the strategy doesn’t have to rely on the same advertising channels that most other digital brands employ.

Here’s one idea about how to do it.

Launch Walk In My GREATS App.

Sneaker brands are the modern workhorse for all types of people, inherently tied to movement and getting things done. Given its role in the industry, GREATS has an opportunity on its hands to take advantage of what people are experiencing and accomplishing in their shoes.

What if GREATS launched an app called Walk In My GREATS that allowed people to track and annotate their journey—something between Map My Run and Foursquare? Posting on the app would only be available to GREATS customers, but they could then share their journey with friends, thereby organically spreading the word about your brand: anyone could see these journeys and “walk in the shoes” of GREATS customers. Maybe someone would find an awesome new coffee shop or a place to walk their dog, and GREATS would be party to that discovery. Similar to how FEIT showcases the patina that its shoes develop as they age, GREATS wearers can track and share their mileage—while naturally marketing the durability of their shoes—with the help of the app.

GREATS could then feature these journeys and accomplishments on its site and across social, using the content to imbue personality and individualism into the brand in a new way. You could develop the tool further to create location-based guides, aggregating the coffee shops and other locations featured in Walk In My GREATS. Over time, you could even partner with a company like The Infatuation to build these guides out.

Overall, Walk In My GREATS would bring a deeper sense of community to your brand and allow customers to make it their own, while bringing new ones into the fold. This is only one idea among many that would bring GREATS to the next level. Let me know if you would like to hear more.

Richie Siegel
Founder and Lead Analyst
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