While the best use of testing is to improve your product, sometimes you want to tell your customers “My Shoe is XX% better”. Here’s how you can use scientific testing to make marketing claims that give your product a competitive advantage in a crowded and competitive shoe category. A marketing claim should tell the customer about what your shoe actually does and what they want the shoe to do. We provide them value and improve their decision-making process. Heeluxe helps numerous brands develop scientifically backed marketing claims. In this Better Shoes Blog post we are going to focus on our favorite shoe marketing claims that we did not work on. These 4 examples will reinforce the key features of shoe science marketing.
1. Outperforming the “Big Guys”: APL’s Load n Launch technology. This is my all time favorite shoe marketing. APL performed an valid study that shows their shoes made experienced basketball players jump higher. The result: NBA banned the shoes for providing an unfair performance advantage. APL successfully marketed the ban as a performance benefit that you could only find
in their shoes and every recreational player took notice because none of the “big guys” could make such a claim.
2. Selling the Specific Benefits: Shoes for Crews traction. The main reason people buy occupational shoes is to reduce the likelihood of slip and fall injuries. Shoes For Crews realized this and first created a top performing outsole, then used the results of independent lab testing to show how their shoes have the best grip. Dyson vacuums does a similarly great job of showing how their products “suck”.
3. Being the First to the Party: Eco Friendly Allbirds. Sustainability in footwear is a big buzz in 2019 but it wasn’t always that way. New brands had a passion to create Eco-friendly shoes and figured there was a customer base that wanted these products. Allbirds tested their product to show how bad for the environment other products were and how much their shoes were different. This was easy for the customer to understand the benefits and made many other brands change their production and marketing.
4. Changing the Conversation: Nike’s VaporFly 4%. For years running shoes were marketed for cushioning, stability, or light weight. Nike realized that running economy is important for top performance and set out to create the most economical running shoe possible. Through many rounds of testing, they had data to show that their shoe significantly improved running economy. Nike then published a research report and marketed the results. Now almost every competitive runner (…and shoe brand) asks Heeluxe about the best shoes for running economy.
There are challenges to making a valid marketing claim that Heeluxe helps brands navigate. First, you need a scientific test that meets a recognized test standard. Then your test results must be statistical significance. This is a crazy phase but simply put the difference in your shoe’s measurements must be large enough compared to a competitor that 95% of the population would experience that difference. The last piece is working with marketing and legal teams to ensure the wording of the marketing claim states what was found in the research (no one likes a class action lawsuit).
Science backed marketing claims can be powerful when executed correctly. Heeluxe is always available to help you test to validate a marketing claim and work with your marketing and legal teams. For more information contact [email protected].