If you’ve not been living under a rock (pun intended), then you probably know that Nordstrom created a social media stir by listing a pair of jeans. A pair of jeans isn’t something shocking for the multi-brand retailer, but this is one covered with fake mud. Designed by PRPS goods, the mud jeans are retailing for $425. But what does the Nordstrom brand gain out of inviting such backlash?
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Jeans image via Nordstrom
What Does the Nordstrom Brand Gain Out of Fake Mud Jeans?
A brand as big as Nordstrom is well aware of social media criticism. But turns out listing fake jeans is a low risk proposition. Here are some reasons why:
1. Increase in share of voice/ unpaid social marketing:
Listing mud jeans has meant that Nordstrom is trending on Facebook, Twitter and has been covered by all major news channels. They didn’t need to pay social platforms for this free publicity.
2. Potential of launching a new fad/ trend:
Nordstrom is not new to such listings, having retailed a stone in a leather pouch last year that sold out. Fads can be silly, but they can also be seasonal favorites. It’s hard to imagine that we lived in a world without crazy selfies. But they started with a fad till they became legit. This may not happen with the mud jeans given the initial reaction, but then there are takers for pretentious beauty too. Many Japanese brands see crazy trends in their market. PRPS brings Japanese jeans to the US, so this should not be so shocking
3. Showcasing a brand with a sense of crazy
Free shipping, great brands, customer service are more like hygiene factors but each brand sometimes needs to change the conversation and show their crazy side. What’s the harm?
We may all become social media critics, but the fact is, no one can stop anyone from buying these jeans. And a single listing within millions of products doesn’t hurt the brand at all. If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it. For those of you who run businesses, the million dollar question is:
Should your brand also launch crazy products in hopes of going viral?
The answer is a yes and no. Some questions that you need to ask yourself are these:
- Are you at a stage in your brand curve where negativity/ criticism won’t hurt you?
- How far are you going with your crazy product?
- Is it just pretentious vanity or can it be construed as being offensive to anyone?
- Most importantly, what sort of brand associations are you planning to build?
- How will viral products help your business goals?
What’s your take on Nordstrom’s mud jeans?
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