There is a very interesting write-up on the history section of the Dr. Martens website. It is a very creative approach where they are a total opposite from a common brand. A conventional website would have a pretty straight-forward factual based history of the organization. However, what DM has done is extremely creative and provocative just like the brand itself. The history clearly indicate that in the past, DM use to be an icon that defines a „tribe‟ such as the „punks‟, „ska‟, etc. However, with the evolution of internet in 1992, the whole world was re-defined. The boundaries faded and the „tribe‟ identify also faded. “The internet spread like an epidemic, reaching fifty million users in eighteen months – a feat that took radio forty years. The first mobile phone text was sent in 1992; within three years, email was like oxygen. Everything has changed” (http://www.drmartens.com/, Dr.Martens History) Everything has evolved into a one man army, the consumer itself. As such, they continue to defy the norm by propagating for people to create their own brand. Rebel; don‟t get tied-up with what people „dictate‟ through the brands. Be creative all you want and DM would stay relevant as its individuality is defined by the consumer and not the other way around. “ Dr. Martens anchor you, liberate your creativity, inspire and fuel your identity. Our heritage fits your future; your future is our future” (http://www.drmartens.com/, Dr.Martens History) This piece or article itself have clearly articulated the dynamism in the Dr. Martens brand to suit the needs of the ever-changing customer in order to stay relevant for life.
Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08
MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study Question 1 Marketing the shoes directly to the Chinese consumers would definitely hurt the DM brand immensely. As stated in the background study the DM brand is exclusive and holds a heritage which is very individualistic in value which is also very western. As such, in order to protect this key element of the brand, it was wise to keep the sales and marketing activities centered in UK. Having the shoes go through UK for distribution also helps to maintain the perception from the mass that the quality of the product is guaranteed as it goes through a thorough buyoff process by the experts in UK. In true sense, this might not be the process because it is very much viable and profitable to have a tight quality assurance process at the Chinese plant. However, it is the perception that counts. A direct distribution for the local market would also greatly diminish the value proportion of the product hence causing unnecessary demand for a low-priced product which would defy the brand value of DM as an exclusive, individualistic product. As such, based on the brand aspiration it is and would always be a wise decision to market the shoes from a central location in UK.
Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08
MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study Question 2 The key brand value of DM is to portray the individualistic nature of the product. In order to amplify this value, activities have to be designed to be both interactive and allow the consumer to showcase their individualistic elements. Based on this, following are several ideas that could help DM to attract more consumers: 1) Have a shoe design competition online a. This would allow participants to design their own shoes b. There shouldn‟t be any restriction on design hence allowing full display of their individualistic design c. Have an online competition to vote for the best design of shoes d. The final design that wins should be produced as a single limited production for the winner e. Keeping the exclusivity by only producing 1 pair of limited edition shoe would keep people wanting to participate and also to vote which would increase the website traffic and brand awareness 2) Posting of individual commercials about their Doc Martens a....