Monday, November 14, 2016

Shinola as Brand Umbrella

How many product categories can fit under the Shinola brand umbrella? The Detroit-based company that owns Shinola, which has been marketing products for 5 years, continues expanding into new categories as it taps into demand for made-in-America products*. (Above, one of the facilities in Detroit where Shinola products are made.)

Shinola's website currently features:
  • Watches 
  • Pocket knives
  • Turntables (for vinyl fans)
  • Leather goods (for men and women)
  • Journals (for writing)
  • Bicycles (of course)
  • Ping-pong paddles and other assorted "supply" items
  • Coming soon: A Shinola-branded hotel in Detroit (2018)
Chief marketing officer Bridget Russo explains the appeal of Shinola: "Provenance is important to the consumer, not just where a product is coming from, but the story behind it."

Shinola has a lot of brand fans and is all over social media. Its Facebook page has nearly 100k likes, and it has a very active Pinterest account, plus nearly 140k Instagram followers and nearly 41k Twitter followers.

The brand is well known and has a positive image. But how many different categories can fit under its brand umbrella? Is a hotel, for example, a category too far?

*FTC concern about the requirements for a "made in America" designation has caused Shinola to change its marketing and clarify more explicitly that products like its watches are "built in Detroit" from "Swiss and imported parts."

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