Red Wing Shoes launch strategy

The Stitchdown Pop-up Gallery

The Red Wing Shoe Company is an American workwear brand that has become a lifestyle brand during the last decades, starting in Japan. They are famous for their boots which are excellent for the fall/winter season. The last four years, four Red Wing Shoe stores were opened in Europe; three in Germany and one in Amsterdam. These franchisees have issues considering the fact that they sell the boots in fall/winter, but sell less shoes in spring/summer.. With a group of five students, our assignment was to design a (successful) launching strategy for a new summer ‘Stitchdown’ model, to increase sales during spring/summer. In general, we defined two main problems for Red Wing Shoes which we addressed with our concept, namely: (1) selling the new product to the existing customers and (2) attracting and engaging new customers. Combining these two issues we have designed a (retail) pop-up gallery, which is a concept that invites existing customers to be engaged with the lifestyle they love and lets new customers discover and experience the Red Wing Shoes brand and this associated lifestyle. Whilst changing the brand perception from rough winter brand to an all-year round brand.

The Stitchdown pop-up gallery concept is, as the name states, a pop-up gallery moving across the world to lets customers experience Red Wing Shoes’ brand values such as quality handcrafted goods, American lifestyle and built upon a heritage story. Next to Red Wing, other brands, sharing these values, will be displayed here too. These brands were carefully selected and can be linked to summer. For instance the sunglasses of Shwood, or the Stetson hats. Next to the change of brand perception, the Stitchdown pop-up gallery is also a place where the unique advantages of Red Wing Shoes are showcased. A large workbench in the back where a skilled employee will clean a pair of loyal customer’s dirty shoes, giving the loyal customer a moment to tell his story, and thus be an ambassador of the brand and the lifestyle for new customers. This interaction between new and loyal customers will engage new customers by showing them the lifestyle and stories behind this rich heritage brand.

In addition, we redesigned Red Wing Shoes’ packaging. Turning it from a standard cardboard box to a box with added value. This was done by adding a handle on the side, which could be taken off and worn as a leather bracelet.