Christian Louboutin: Seeing Pink?

Meet Mr. Louboutin
Christian Louboutin is one of the hottest shoe designers out there right now. Celebrities love his shoes. Most importantly, Oprah loves his shoes. She frequently wears his shoes during the taping of her shows and she talks about him on the show once and a while.

All Christian Louboutin shoes have solid red soles – that’s his trademark. It’s what he’s known for. People pay big bucks for those red soles. They’re easy to recognize once you know what to look for, and they make quite a statement among people who care about fashion.

Pink is the New Red

But Christian, why stop at the red bottoms? Wh
y not try different colors? Sure, I know red is your thing and it would probably be very difficult for someone to successfully convince you to change it up. But that’s what I’m going to try to do. My idea is simple: I want you to change it up for a great cause.

I want you to come out with a pink-soled shoe in order to raise
money for breast cancer awareness. Pink is the color worn by breast cancer supporters, and since your target demographic is women, it’s a perfect fit. (Pardon the pun.)

Here’s what you should do: create one shoe design per year with a pink sole instead of a red one and donate all of the proceeds to breast cancer research. It’s a great thing to do for a number of reasons:

  1. Breast cancer research is important and a very worthy cause.
  2. You’ll create tremendous good will among your target demographic.
  3. This will be a free PR bonanza and you’ll probably grow your business as a result of this.
The first reason is by far the most important. But, this wouldn’t be a blog post about a good marketing idea if I didn’t mention numbers 2 and 3.

Pennies for a Pair
I’m going to throw another idea your way, Christian: Don’t charge your typical price for the pink pair of shoes. Charge $100. That’s it.

Think of all the women out there who love your brand but can’t afford to wear your shoes. They’ll line up outside of stores in order to buy this $100 pair of shoes each year. I’m sure of it. You’ll raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research AND increase awareness for your own brand.

Want to raise even more money? Announce that the suggested price for this pair of shoes is $100 and encourage women to donate whatever they’d like on top of that amount. I guarantee some celebrities will pay thousands of dollars to buy your shoes AND give to a good cause.

That’s a win-win situation if I’ve ever heard of one.

You Can Thank Me Later
I don’t want anything in return for this great idea, Christian. Just go out and raise a ton of money for breast cancer research. That’s it. I’ll be the first in line to buy a pair of pink-soled shoes for my wife. She’s your biggest fan, but we can’t afford to plunk down $1,000 on a pair.

But I Don’t Make Shoes… What’s in this for Me?
So what’s the lesson for us Marketing folks? Well, to start with, look at your current products and services. What can you do to spice things up? How can you create a limited edition? How can you open your product line up to new consumers? Can you raise money for a charity in the process? Find ways to give back while also expanding your brand appeal. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. You just have to do a little creative thinking.

Add This to Your To-Do List
Brainstorm five creative ways to create differentiated products or services. You can change the color. You can change your store hours. Have the creator autograph the product. You can change anything and everything. Then, begin to figure out what’s do-able. Start there and let your imagination dictate the rest.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

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