Danner boots / A lovely branding story

I was browsing through the wonderful Cold Splinters blog this morning idly imagining a life of hunting, shooting and fishing when I was struck by this post about Danner boots. I clicked over to the website and came across the company’s Go the Distance series of films featuring Danner wearers.

I confess to being a sucker for ‘branded content’, though I’m coming to detest that term. Films such as the one above express the brand’s values (and product benefits) in a quietly compelling and intriguing way. The style employed here is almost meditative – the films say that these are not boots for frivolous, status-centric individuals.

It’s an approach that many heritage brands employ to good effect. But it seems to me that any brand making high-quality products in ways that tally with people’s own world view should be out there telling stories about itself. In a perfect world, word of mouth would be enough to get your product the lion’s share of the market. But people are looking for more than product USPs – they (or at least me) are looking for meaning in their purchases.

In advertising terms, this is simply having a ‘positioning’ but there’s something way too arch about that now. People are beginning to understand the differences between a positioning and a purpose.