On Tuesday night I accidentally (on purpose) spent too much money at a shoe store. In my defense, the store was John Fluevog and anyone who has ever worn Fluevog shoes knows that the comfort is well worth the price tag. Plus, the staff who greet me are always very knowledgeable and attentive, and the shopping experiences are pleasant ones.
During this particular shopping trip I received a special surprise at the cash register. No, it wasn’t a free pair of shoes, which would have been incredible. It was a special gift with purchase, “a thank you for being a valued customer,” according to the customer service rep. This gift with purchase was no ordinary kitsch, though. It was The Fluevog “Adult” Colouring Book.
Now don’t get any fancy ideas, the customer service rep explained that “Adult” was included so that those of a certain age felt like they had renewed permission to participate in colouring book activities (“if the book says it’s so, then it must be true!”) Therefore, there is no “Adult” content in this colouring book; instead the book has twenty Fluevog shoe designs, one on each page, with an intro from John inviting you to add your own “creative wonderment” to each piece. I think this gift with purchase is genius, and I’ll tell you why.
1. The connection to the brand.
Fluevog designs are expertly handcrafted, very high quality and, above all, delightfully playful and wonderfully unique. With this colouring book, Fluevog connects consumers with the playful creativity that he brings to his designs. Consumers can explore their own creativity with Fluevog shoes. As John writes in his intro, “Life is short, playing is genius.” This is Fluevog’s approach to his shoes and his business and he is extending that passion for creativity to his consumers.
2. The $5.50 price tag on the front cover.
Although it’s not positioned for individual purchase (the book sits out of sight behind the counter), the colouring book bears a $5.50 price tag on the cover. Displaying the price gives the gift obvious monetary value to the consumer. Placing a dollar value on this item motivates consumers to keep the item versus toss is away as a trinket.
3. The deep engagement with the brand.
Some consumers will develop a deeper, more personal connection with the brand by engaging with the colouring book. Because of its monetary value, consumers are more likely to keep it around and may even break out the Crayola as well. Having twenty different shoes to colour means consumers may spend a lot of quality time with John Fluevog shoes, and on a very personal level since they are putting their own creative mark on the designs.
4. The promotional component as afterthought.
What I especially love about this book is the small promotional call out at the back of the book. John Fluevog invites you to submit your own shoe design and it could become actual shoes. Instead of pushing this kind promotion at the front of the book, Fluevog placed it at the back; after consumers have expressed their creative wonderment on the twenty pages of the colouring book they will be more likely to be inspired with a shoe design of their own.
5. The piece is just so unique.
Never before have I seen this type of item given as a gift with purchase to adults. It’s refreshing to see a brand put real thought behind how to connect their giveaways to their brand and be memorable on top of that.
Will the colouring book make me purchase more shoes? Probably not; the craftsmanship and comfort is really what keeps me going back to Fluevog. Still, the book has achieved something with this consumer: a blog post, word of mouth, and from that comes potential new customers.