Now, I don’t usually consider myself to be the sort of chap who is ruled by brands and professes ultimate brand loyalty to any one manufacturer of whatever in particular.
It did strike me a few days ago however when I was thinking about buying a new pair of trainers, that I’d only been considering buying a pair from Gola, the British sports wear guys, famed for making tennis shoes. I have two pairs for Gola trainers already, and this made me think that perhaps I’ve found the first brand I feel comfortable wearing as a ‘label’.
So I decided to have a look and see what Gola’s web presence is like. First they have an official website, as everybody does nowadays. It’s presented in a nice easy format with the option to manually search and click through the site to find your favourite shoe which makes use of big bright images, this I like a lot – if you’ve got a product that you’re confident of, shout about it.
Secondly they’ve got a Twitter account (@GolaClassics) which is updated daily since it was created on July 8th, which seems to be coming out of the team in the Carnaby Street store.
So far the stream is, as is to be expected, a bit broadcasty, but once they’ve got the hang of it, they’ll be rocking. The tone is very chatty, but so far there’s little real content, which will of course change over time.
What struck me when I was walking round the store, was the amount of people who were already wearing Gola trainers, obviously looking for a repeat buy.
I am by no means a trainer expert, but I do very much know what I like – that kind of retro look really does appeal, and the contrast of colours in each trainer makes them a bit different, but not overly garish, and easily accessible. And of course, and most importantly, they feel comfortable.
I’m a fan of the Harrier range, and currently have three pairs, brown with blue trim, brown with orange trim and now the yellow and blue. The shape fits with the jeans I tend to wear and doesn’t make my feet look too small or too big.
I think there is a really big opportunity for the likes of Gola to embrace social media – follow Zappo’s lead, and to make the online retail experience fresh and exciting. I hate shopping, but if it’s a bit quirky and a bit more interesting that just wandering round a bunch of shops, I’m more likely to engage.
It is not often I will confess being taken in by a brand, but I’m afraid it appears I too have cracked.