Fashion has been used for some time as an upscale or luxury branding tool in travel, especially for hotels and airlines. But in a new twist, we see an effective example of what it can do for a destination with Shinola and Detroit.
Big name designers have been leaving their mark on uniforms for years with airlines and hotels. Luxury designers from Armani to Versace and Missoni brand hotels and spearhead all aspects of design and sometimes even dining. Then we have had fashions made exclusively for resorts such as the Christian Louboutin espadrilles for One & Only Palmilla , fashion popups to generate buzz and new customers, and boutiques that are destinations in themselves. Interestingly enough, cruise lines have been slow to embrace this marketing and sales opportunity for some reason (any ideas why?).
Now, hello fashion and destination marketing. Shinola which makes watches, high end bikes (think $2950 for a city bike) and classic design leather goods, has an advertising program that touts its Made in Detroit roots. It plays on authenticity and a cool factor that also works to be a symbol of Detroit’s renaissance. The graphic design of the ad campaign is sleek, classic contemporary, and pops.
In Miami, home of its newest store, ad agency Partners & Spade opted for large placements as in full page ads, digital advertising and wall ads you could see from the highway. Photography is by the iconic Bruce Weber. And the Miami shop was very well chosen to be in the hip artist district of Wynwood, best known for its street art. The bottom line: it’s effective in branding Detroit, heralding its rebirth, and imparting an image that’s at the same time classic and hip. With revenues of $60 million in 2014, Shinola has also contributed jobs to the city’s rebirth. A win win for all. For more about Shinola, check out this article in the New York Times, “Detroit Cool Hits the Road”.