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I had the privilege of attending The Digital Footprint Convention in Philly this past weekend, and not only did I get to hear Brian Smith, founder of UGG Boots speak about Branding, but I had a chance to meet him and tell him my UGG Boot story.

I learned a lot about Brian’s journey to California Surfing, to Entrepreneur, and the development of The UGG Boot Brand, but what I found to be most interesting is when he talked about UGG Boots going from a product to a category.

What do I mean by that? UGG Boots went from being a shoe, a boot, a product to be sold alongside other boots to its own category “UGGS” and today companies are still imitating the boots unique design and referring to them as UGGS.

Brian said the transformation happened when a photo of Actor and Model Pamela Anderson wearing her UGG Boots and iconic red Baywatch swimsuit landed on the cover of a popular magazine and overnight his seasonal shoe became its own category. This transformation and the continued success of UGGS has touched us all. Brian shares his story around the world, and year after year, person after person, people approach him excited to tell him their UGG Boot story.

Two other example of this type of transformation are Coca-Cola and Kleenex. Coca-Cola went from being a type of pop to a category and in many cases people ask for a “coke”, and are referring to a category of several different kinds of pop. Kleenex went from being a Brand of tissues, a name for a product to a category too and the word Kleenex and tissue are used interchangeably.

And This got me thinking what if you don’t produce a product but you provide a service can you transform your service into a category? Yes, but even better than a category you can turn you service into a verb, like Google. Google is one of several search engines but with its quick rise in popularity and Brand Equity we soon started using the brand as a verb, “googling”.

I know this is no easy task and not every product can or will become a category, and not every service can become a verb but you can still achieve a Strong Brand for your small business modeling after Entrepreneurs like Brian Smith.

To find out what Marketing model you should be using call MICROMarketing (513) 335-4381.

– Creator of Opportunities, Allie Ganino