Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Balance of New Balance

Friday afternoon I had one of those "ohhh that is cool" marketing moments.

A buddy of mine wanted to pick up some new running shoes. He liked New Balance so we went to the New Balance store. And right at the entrance, I saw a machine that tested your weight distribution. Naturally, I had to try it. I found (like pretty much everyone) that my weight balance was not 100% even. I put more weight on my left foot than my right one.

The idea behind the machine is that it drives sales and brand. The machine diagnoses different types of foot needs. Some feet are normal, some need arch support, and some need more stability. Based on the diagnostic, the machine (and sales person) then customize the shoe and sole. The benefits: proper foot stability, more stepping comfort, and athletic performance. I'm not really sure if the foot can notice a difference, but psychologically, I think most consumers get an extra boost knowing they bought the "right shoe" for themselves.

The thing that I really liked about this marketing effort is how this information (or what some might call "gimmick") is true to the brand New Balance. The name says it all. The machine reinforces the balance.