Building a fashionable brand image
A Dr Martens case study

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Page 3: Building brand awareness

Dr Martens 4 Image 3In creating a strategic marketing plan, an organisation determines its own strengths and weaknesses compared to its competitors and analyses the market environment for opportunities and threats. It can then create objectives and activities to capitalise on market opportunities. A clear strength of the Dr. Martens brand is the statement of individuality it makes. It is therefore a logical step to build on awareness of the Dr. Martens brand through an association with new bands and artists - the new trend-setters of the day.

Dr. Martens has therefore sponsored a number of leading music festivals around the world, including Phoenix and Reading since 1996 and the legendary Glastonbury festival in 1997 and 1998. The Dr. Martens promotion, entitled ‘The Summer of Music’ can be illustrated by examining its associations with the Glastonbury festival.

Seen as the biggest and the best, tickets for the legendary Glastonbury festival sell out before the band line-up has even been announced! By sponsoring the festival, Dr. Martens was able to secure a quantity of tickets to use in a ‘register to win’ competition. Nearly 200 Dr. Martens stockists were invited to take part with the planned period of the promotion running from Friday 29th May to Monday 15th June 1998.

The four main areas focused on were:

  • win tickets to the festival Entrants were asked to fill in their name and address on the form provided and post the form in the entry box within the store. No purchase was necessary although it was hoped that people would impulse-buy whilst in store. The promotion enhanced the perception of Dr. Martens and its association with music and encouraged potential customers to enter the store.
  • a free gift with every Dr. Martens purchase In this case, the free gift was a pair of Dr. Martens sunglasses - providing an obvious incentive to make a purchase once a prospective customer entered the participating store.
  • in-store support

Dr Martens 4 Image 4In-store support consisted of an A2 poster and A4 showcard showing the Dr. Martens ‘Summer of Music’ graphic and the Dr. Martens logo and trademarks. These briefly explained the promotion whilst also giving the festival dates and a taster of some of the artists appearing. The national advertising support was consistent in appearance with the in-store support. Full page colour advertisements appeared in the New Musical Express and Select when the promotion first began. The sponsorship of the festival also allowed certain other benefits, such as branding on festival programmes, posters and on-site.

The pattern used at Glastonbury is similar to the approach that Dr. Martens has adopted at other festivals, with some additional extras. For example, on-site branding at the Reading festival included a Dr. Martens stage which was used to showcase new talent (just signed or even unsigned artists). The stage emphasises Dr. Martens policy of supporting youth - up and coming bands such as Kula Shaker, Mansun and Space have all appeared on the Dr. Martens new bands stage.

Dr. Martens is also involved with music sponsorship on a smaller scale – for example, The Barfly evenings at the music venue, The Camden Falcon. The net effect of this activity is that Dr. Martens has become a universally understood and respected brand with ‘opinion formers’ from the world of music, as well as the people that help to make the leading performers what they are.

Dr Martens | Building a fashionable brand image