When we announced Joe Peters as the featured speaker for our debut of Look Who’s Talking, the RSVPs poured in. On May 31st, our very large facility quickly filled with a crowd of lively networkers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a bit of the backstory.
What is Look Who’s Talking?
The team at Star created this series to share experiences, stories, insights, and learnings from across the country. Yes, it’s that simple. In an effort to ensure we never stop learning, the Star team is proud to sponsor this content.
Here’s what you can expect from the Look Who’s Talking series now that we are underway:
- An uber-interesting speaker here on-site, at Star HQ, on a quarterly basis
- High quality networking amongst peers, subject matter experts, leaders, and connectors from the business community
- An opportunity to get outside of your normal stomping grounds to hear and learn from others
In between the on-site speaker events, you can find more great insights via our blog. Don’t worry, you won’t have to go digging for it. We’ll keep you updated though the Star Experiences newsletter and social media. Not signed up for our news yet? Let your request be heard! Sign up here.
Now, back to Joe.
Our featured speaker for the debut event was Joe Peters, Head of Marketing at Vasque Footwear, a Red Wing Shoes company brand. We asked Joe to share his experiences and insights related to marketing this brand. He delivered a great presentation.
In 1964, William Sweasy went to Europe and witnessed a hiking craze sweeping the continent. Seeing potential for a similar outdoor surge in the U.S., he set out to equip American adventurers with purpose-built trail footwear. Building upon Red Wing Shoe company’s legacy, Sweasy started a trail footwear division called Voyageur Boots in the same year.
Joe shared the evolution of the brand from Voyageur to Vasque. We enjoyed seeing the different marketing approaches for this brand from the 70s, 80s, 90s and into the current digital and experiential approach that creates great visibility for the brand today.
I know I speak for many when I say the most valuable insights come from hearing how brands deal with challenges. Just because we admire these brands and enjoy having them in our lives doesn’t mean they have an easy time getting our attention. Indeed, even the most successful brands have dilemmas.
Well, here’s a dilemma Vasque faced.
Joe said, “When you work for a brand that makes getting to places like Horseshoe Bend, Utah, (one of the most instagrammed places in the world) possible, how does that brand take content that’s already being generated, unsolicited, and turn it into ownable digital content?”
Joe quickly realized people were posting photos of their outstretched legs, in epic locations illustrating the fact that in most cases, they had not driven there. They had hiked there. This social activity was a perfect match for a brand that took pride in making boots that get people outdoors into the greatest of adventures. This is the epitome of brand authenticity.
Leading the “Trust on the Trail” mission for Vasque, Joe was looking for a way to compile this social media gold featuring incredible landscapes with an authentic product placement showing the fruit of most outdoor labors - the fact that you had powered yourself to the postcard location. And while you likely took a photograph of the landscape alone, you sure as heck wanted your extended network to know you had, in fact, powered yourself there. Sharing Vasque in this way became what is known today as #VasqueView. Brilliant.
Since inception of the #VasqueView hashtag, the brand has seen over 20,000 tagged photos of their boots accompanied with #VasqueView. This social sharing has taken Vasque followers on journeys to Norway, Big Sur, Thailand, the Irish countryside, Yosemite National Park, Alaska, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, docks in Montana, and beyond. Sure enough, our trusted companions even entered the #VasqueView.
Very humbly, Joe admits the #VasqueView movement was not designed to be a campaign. It evolved from the purest form of brand expression. People who buy the boots believe in the product and feel compelled to share for all to see. That’s a beautiful #VasqueView.
So what’s next? We see you, Joe Peters, contemplating this question at Horseshoe Bend.
As Joe shared in closing, whatever the next step is, it will most certainly be inspired by Vasque’s fans from around the world, making physical experiences the most meaningful bond between brand and person.
Our sincere thanks to Joe Peters and everyone at Vasque for this inspiring story.
Interested in learning more? Visit engagestar.com