Converse to reposition as dual brand

Converse, the basketball shoe company, is repositioning its brand and targeting fashion-conscious consumers with its first major advertising initiative in five years.

The company has also linked with fashion designer John Richmond to design a series of eight Converse shoes, which will be sold worldwide and will be co-branded with Richmond.

Converse has spent three years developing the brand’s new dual positioning which splits the product ranges into fashionable, lifestyle-led shoes and performance sports shoes.

In the UK, a 16-page supplement called “Just rubber and a blank canvas” is being published with the July issue of The Face magazine to promote the fashionable shoes.

The supplement, produced in-house, contains work by seven photographers featuring the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star basketball shoe, and aims to encourage wearers to be individualistic. A similar campaign is running in the US.

The sports shoes, which have helium in the heels, are being advertised in the specialist sporting press to attract basketball players, skateboarders and trail runners.

The company is also considering involvement in music events.

Converse product and marketing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa Jim Prior says: “Our brand awareness is high and there is a lot of positive nostalgia about the shoes, but people have not been wearing them. Our aim is to increase the relevance of what is an iconic shoe.”

Four styles of John Richmond shoes will be available from September 2000 with four more designs due by spring 2001.

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