Saturday night Deb and I stopped at Ala Moana mall before heading out to dinner in Honolulu. As Deb was doing her “shoppinnnng” thing I was on the hunt scouting for examples of Tribal Marketing. I found it at our second stop — the Jimmy Choo store.

With my shoe fetish in control I “dragged” Deb into the store. (Yeah, kicking and screaming. lol) And within two-minutes I was struck by a Tribal Seduction marketing principle I failed to pick up on in previous visits. The profit-producing power of story.

Why is that Jimmy Choo shoes command $400 to $4,000 and more?

Tribal marketing with story -Jimmy Choo shoes

Sure Jimmy Choo shoes are hand made (first in London by Choo himself, then after 96′ in Italy.) And yes Jimmy Choo Ltd. has a team of four designers who’s only job is to create to-die-for shoes and handbags.

But what’s the real profit power behind the Jimmy Choo brand? It’s something that as a Jimmy Choo lover you might not have realized, because it’s something that is never said. It just is. (A key in effectively using Tribal Seduction marketing.)

Ultimately the Jimmy Choo brand is not only the story of the man behind the name, but also the fortuitous linking of his story with the greatest real-life fairy tale of the 20th Century.

Jimmy Choo was born in Malaysia in 1961 to a family of shoe makers and made his first shoe when he was 11 years old. OK, authenticity. Good start for a story.

After attending college in London he opened his own workshop in 1986 and gained international fame when his creations were featured in a record eight pages in a 1988 issue of Vogue magazine. Public recognition of passionate pursuit of excellence. Another good element of the story.

But the real boost in the Jimmy Choo story comes with the loyal patronage (and vocal sharing of passionate love for hand made Jimmy Choo shoes) by Princess Diana. The real-life fairy tale Princess became the catalyst for dozens of other celebrities to become Jimmy Choo Loyals as well; spreading the story, passion and love of shoes even further.

Jimmy Choo = beauty, elegance and sexiness… protected by price

Tribal Seduciton marketing with story - Jimmy Choo shoes

Today the Jimmy Choo philosophy, as stated on jimmychoo.com is:

… to create exclusive shoes and accessories that are both luxurious and practical for all occasions, while at the same time creating a look that’s instantaneously recognized as “Jimmy Choo”. The understated distinctiveness of the brand, and its integrity, is controlled with the limited distribution of the products to a few select retailers.

Jimmy Choo shoes are void of obvious labels and logos. Yes, you are marketing and reinforcing the brand when wearing the shoes. But with a Tribal Marketing approach it’s subliminal and seductive, not in your face. It takes a true shoe lover to know and recognize Jimmy Choo’s. You know you’ve met another member of your Tribe when someone recognizes your Jimmy Choo shoes.

The story behind the brand is protected and kept intact by the unique use of materials and exclusivity of both pricing and distribution.

Sure customer service and the experience of buying Jimmy Choo shoes is part of the aura. But the true profit-producing power of the brand remains the authentic story of the founder imperceptibly linked with the fairy tale stories of the rich-and-famous Jimmy Choo Loyals. It happens when you first slip your foot into the shoe… or watch your lady slip her’s into a pair. :)

What about you?

  • What’s your story? Have you given thought to how it relates to your business?
  • Do you agree that the Jimmy Choo story teamed with the fairy tale is a big part of profit-producing power of the Jimmy Choo brand?
  • Are you passionate about Jimmy Choo or any other brand because of the story behind it?

Share your thoughts in some graffiti below.

John-Paul Micek is a co-founder of the entreprenuerial development company RPM Success Group® Inc. He and his partner Deborah Micek are authors of the hit book Secrets Of Online Persuasion, and creators of the BLOG i360™ New Media Marketing Hub Site Software.
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