Instead of positioning Keds as a retro brand, The Original Sneaker website combines history with consumer innovation.
Night Agency was tasked with creating an online experience celebrating Keds’ 94-year history in a way which was relevant to consumers today. Instead of positioning Keds as a retro brand, The Original Sneaker website met the challenge with an engaging digital platform merging iconic moments from history and popular culture with consumer engagement. The site acts as a calendar, marking the current day with a daily or decade fact and newspaper clips, spanning the nine decades of Keds’ existence to tell brand story.
Kristin Kohler Burrows, Keds’ President shares her thoughts:
Not only did our ad agency popularize the term “sneakers” in the early 20th century, but, through the lens of the iconic Keds Champion, we have represented optimism, creativity, collaboration, and style throughout 94 years of American history. TheOriginalSneaker.com celebrates ten decades of culture and style—and makes it relevant to today through facilitating consumer generated content, personal expression, and ideas.
Many brands have a create-your-own customization tool, but Keds takes it one step further. In the Keds Collective not only can you customize Keds and PRO-Keds, but you can upload your own artwork or photos to put on the shoe and then sell your custom design. The consumer actually makes a percentage from their design sold through a partnership with Zazzle. Burrows explains why Keds allows consumers to sell their own customized shoes:
We believe in partnering with our consumer to further develop our brand. Our role today as brand ambassadors is more about being brand curators or editors versus brand dictators. We need to involve our consumer in the brand conversation versus dictate to them our direction. The most empowering and “true” way to do this was to provide them with the opportunity to not only create on the “original sneaker” and the “blank canvas” of the iconic Champion, but to empower them to sell their view of Keds. The marriage between Keds and Zazzle, our third-party partner, allows us to deliver on this proposition.