Footlocker’s Sneakerpedia is Bang on Trend

Footlocker SneakerpediaWith Google’s recent updates codenamed Panda and Penguin, it’s now more important than ever for companies to move away from on-page SEO, and towards building on-line community, reputation, loyalty, and authority.

As yet, few companies have worked out exactly how to do it. Footlocker, on the other hand, is blazing a trail with its website!

It has created a cool, non-commercial website that appeals to the company’s core customers.

What is Sneakerpedia?

Footlocker’s Sneakerpedia is a wiki site dedicated to cataloguing old-school sneakers. It aims to be an authoritative resource complete with photos and information about as many sneakers as possible. Users can upload photos of their prized shoes, and fill in details about the model. They can even add a personal story involving their favourite shoes, and share their contributions on Facebook. Sneakerpedia is not linked through to Footlocker’s on-line store, and is admirably free of corporate blurb.

Sneakerpedia’s role in the Marketing Mix

Footlocker is tapping into a passion for sneakers that only became evident to non-sneakerheads in December 2011. Hundreds of people queued outside sneaker stores for the privilege of buying pristine pairs of Nike Air Jordan basketball shoes. The queues degenerated into violence in several cities, and there were numerous arrests. While riots, violence and arrests are not the best publicity for a brand, the passion involved is a marketers dream.

Sneakerpedia combines social media with a non-commercial resource that is of interest to sneaker enthusiasts and collectors. Not only can users search through a database of collectible sneakers, but they can also compare collections and research future purchases. Footlocker is building brand loyalty by giving its best customers an amazing resource.

How Sneakerpedia Furthers Footlocker’s Brand Image

Sneakerpedia definitely has the cool factor, and appeals to sneakerheads willing to spend big on shoes. Sneakerpedia moves Footlocker away from discounts, and into community building and social marketing. It now knows exactly where to find its high margin customers!

Sneakerpedia is Not a Commercial Venture

Sneakerpedia is not designed to sell sneakers, as there are no links through to sales sites. Nor does it hype up new releases, but focuses entirely on cool, retro sneakers. Sneakerpedia gives Footlocker credibility, and makes it the authority brand in its market sector.

Footlocker will need to tread carefully if it tries to commercialize Sneakerpedia. It may add more quality content, such as celebrity interviews, to draw in traffic from search engines. Other options include giving members advance news about new releases, and invites to exclusive, in-store events. It needs to protect Sneakerpedia’s coolness, and avoid “buy this sneaker now” links at all cost.

In a Nutshell…

Provided it is restrained, Footlocker’s Sneakerpedia website will keep the company cool, and profitable, for years. The website is a fantastic example of how to tap into social media to add to a brand’s reputation, authority, and customer loyalty.

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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