Web and mobile, branding, video, and content strategy for a global shoe brand.
A tractor, a shoe. Cat Footwear built its brand on the back of its burlier big brother, Caterpillar tractors. The relation is readily apparent – Cat boots are as tough as the yellow monsters hulking along the side of highway. In the 90′s their classic tan boot was swept up in a trend wave that washed over major cities in Europe and the US, along with Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, and if you were really on the tip, Vision Street Wear. Cat’s success in urban lifestyle markets led to a slow fracturing of their work-only brand into disparate messages in different territories: US, Europe, South America, Middle East, Asia. Their marketing and web presence reflected some growing pains.
A solid foundation. Since 2008 we’ve been working with Cat to drive its many moving parts in the same direction. Our information architecture challenge was to integrate their marketing and ecommerce websites. There was a pervasive separatist mindset in online retail at the time, and we worked closely with Cat’s brand and retail teams to move past this trend and create one house of Cat. It made sense to us: marketing messages need to have a practical thrust; they should direct a user right to an online purchasing opportunity.
Integration. Our branding goal for Cat was similar: to identify a potent, durable and authentic concept to hold the many parts (in this case, territories) together. In the US, Cat Footwear was as much a work brand as Caterpillar tractors, but in Europe and most other parts of the world, Cat was athletic, urban. As Cat continued to widen its offering to take advantage of the opportunity in casual, sporty categories, we felt that the brand’s original work ethos needed to underly all their messaging. To this end we developed an internal branding document that would align messaging across the corporation, branded a new line of shoes targeted to the urban creative class – a demographic that’s turning the traditional American definition of work on its head – directed, shot and edited a documentary film for the new “Progress” shoe line, and, over the course of 5 years, redesigned the full site four times and created round after round of seasonal marketing content for the site and beyond.