We've been looking at some examples of brand innovation that come culturally charged. The common thread? The component which makes the difference is very much at the heart of these companies, rather than a marketing bolt-on. And the innovation is crafted from real world sentiment, not just built from a digital breakthrough. All new-ish brands, here's their stories...
Finisterre: cold water surfing
Think surf culture and the bright colours and karma of Hawaii most likely come to mind, or the sun splashed ways of California. But Finisterre are reimagining the sport in the form of ‘cold water surfing’ – casting it as a culture that’s unique from that of the warm water variant, with a completely different set of rituals, behaviours and, naturally, product requirements. In a sphere as codified in deep-rooted imagery and customs as surfing, it’s quite a feat to have you reconsidering things.
Shinola: bringing manufacturing back to Detroit
Few cities have been through tougher times than Detroit – when the car industry and its wealth left town, poverty and a sense of abandonment set in. Shinola have built their watch business (closely followed by bicycles and other product lines) around reinvigorating the story of this American city and indeed of gutsy American industry. Thus the brand comes with a tangible spirit of striving heavily embedded in its DNA.
Story: if a store thought like a magazine
A store called Story ought to come with a good story of its own and it does. Situated on Manhattan’s 10th Avenue, this is a shop that thinks like a magazine, starting completely afresh every four to eight weeks and bringing together a new issue in which the product acts as content. Previous themes have included Wellness, Love and Made In America. This time it’s Home For The Holidays, an ‘editorialised gift guide’ shaped in partnership with Target.