Tuesday, October 2

Flip Flops

Off brand
I guess I feel the need to make a cultural statement.  I don't like flip flops, particularly on men, particularly when not at the beach, particularly after (way after) Labor Day.

I just don't like the look, and it's not because I don't like feet.  To me it looks sloppy and lazy and dirty.  With a pair of jeans, it just looks like you didn't care.  How about a nice pair of shoes?

Now some may say that this is part of their brand, and far be it from me to argue that point.  If you are at the beach and you are a "surfer dude," then I wouldn't argue with you.  But sitting in Manhattan at a bar on a Fall day doesn't cut it in my book.  That's not on brand at all, it's off culture and way out of style.

Just my two cents.  Put some care into your look, because that is your brand.
On brand
What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

PS - Coming next year, the next book in The Experience Effect series all about personal branding.  No flip flops allowed!


  1. How do you feel about mandals, Jim?

  2. Mandals are ok - it's the flip flop that just belongs at the beach. :)

  3. I think some people choose their convenience more than their self branding (how they look like in public). So they choose flip flaps even though a pair of shoes seem to fit with their denims. If some people prefer to choose their belongings(this case, shoes) according to functional(rational) benefits more than emotional benefits, should Marketer consider about functional benefits deeply? Or should they forget about these people (because they are not a target consumer)? Kyoko

  4. Emma Tupay - In this case I look at men wearing sandals in some of these fall days them fighting the change of seasons. I am in general not a fan (other than the beach) of men wearing flip flops. My many friends, men and women, say they push the issue due to the fact they do not want to admit it is fall and they want to extend the warm weather. I don't know how that interacts with brand, but this is my frame of reference to this issue.

  5. I'm not a fun of men wearing flip flops, neither on the beach or in the city. I think that some men do not notice that they are a "brand" and they just put on whatever they find. Also, that they haven't find, yet, a brand that engaged them emotionally and rationally.
    Jasmine Galeotti

  6. As you, I am not fan of guys wearing flip-flops in the city, but I think it is only our perception and this is what marketing is all about. For me something is interesting that people, as brands, have an image and they have to take care of it. Maybe for a group of people could be good what we are doing but for others could not, and it does not mean that things are right or wrong (which makes it more difficult).

  7. I hate to get technical, but I have to say it depends on the flip flop, or "changlas", as I call them. Maybe I spent too much time in San Diego, where a nice set of flip flops go with jeans just about anywhere, without sand in sight. Also a popular choice in humid climates (at least in VA in the spring-fall).

    At the same time, anything can look great when done right, or not so great if done wrong. Example, what's with $150+ jeans that look like somebody broke them in for you, matched with awkward socks and over the ankle boots shoes (often oddly paired with a blazer as if to "class it up a bit")? If done right, you're a fashion week favorite, VIP at Limelight; if done wrong, Jim will have you in the next Blogspot :) For the record: A properly matched leather loafer, lace up, or even Chucks with well fitted jeans, matching belt and nice, casual, blazer is a favorable combo.

  8. True enough ... if they are appropriate and "on brand" for personal style then I can let it go! Jim.