In promoting these more fashionable alternatives, Børn’s messaging and marketing materials have been revised to integrate this more chic flavor. But just how comfortable is its website, www.bornshoes.com with the brand’s upgraded image?
A visit to Bornshoes.com confirms the brand’s fashion-forward bent with a tagline that focuses more on aesthetics than the actual feel of the shoe: “Natural sophistication. Handcrafted style. Beautifully Børn.” This emphasis on craftsmanship continues with the claim that “works of art are a way of life for Børn enthusiasts everywhere.” It also employs this arty angle when informing consumers about the merits of Opanka construction, a special single-process sewing technique, by saying each shoe is “a masterpiece of design.”
Sound like the description for a Picasso painting on sale at Sotheby’s? Yes, perhaps. Sometimes, as Freud said, “a cigar is just a cigar,” and in this case maybe “a shoe is just a shoe.” However, the Børn brand positioning begs to differ, and its website is certainly in line, online, with its brand identity.
The look and feel of Bornshoes.com isn’t quite a masterpiece, but it is effective in its efforts to marry the “earthy crunchy” legacy of the brand with a more modern, versatile sensibility. Visual cues that underscore this include the liberal use of poetic fonts, a gentle sea grey background and beach scenes featuring wild-haired models clad in ethnic, bohemian garb.
This e-tail site is clearly and efficiently organized so viewers can easily find and access their desired sections. Clear depictions of each product, the name of the style and the price are all clearly marked. A pull-down menu allows viewers to browse by popularity or newness. Even the View All page isn’t all that cluttered, which is a design feat in and of itself.
Fans of Børn shoes can become more involved with the brand by clicking on The O Club page, where media mentions, company news, photo shoots and celebrity endorsements are all prominently featured. New product launch information and corresponding product descriptions are also included here, written in a casual blog style.
Another section where Børn enthusiasts are encouraged to buy more shoes is in Get The Look, which replicates the how-to section popular in fashion magazines. Organized by each shoe name, the respective pages feature an editorial model photo with lyrical prose describing how to put an outfit together to achieve a particular look.