Workshop in collaboration with Buttero
Workshop: Innovation Through Design
How can a brand be revamped on its own premises? Buttero is one of Italy’s finest purveyors of shoes, boots, and leather fashions. The brand shines in the Orient, almost enjoying cult following in Japan. How can a brand so accomplished be revamped? The workshop, under the leadership of Damon M. Pitman, framed concepts designed to reintroduce the brand to its own company values and history so as to rejuvenate it form the inside. Its iconography was updated following the original spirit, and new lines of products were suggested that would bring forward into the future what made Buttero stand out in the first place.
PROJECT: IRON HOURSE COWBOY
by Victoria Botero, Anahi Munoz, Felipe Vanegas, Shirley Wongso
Since the old lifestyle of the brand was related to the cowboy image, we searched for the image of a more modern cowboy. We realised that this lifestyle had move to the city and was transformed into the city biking lifestyle. This is a growing way of moving in many cities around the globe in order to have a faster, cheaper, and more environmentaly friendly way of transportation. This new lifestyle has many things in common with the original image of the brand, but targets an increasing and popular routine all around the world that can expand the brand’s future portfolio of products.
By identifying this, we created a complete persona that represented the new target market. Which activities they do, what they like, the values they live for and what they like. With this we realised that Buttero was not far from this kind of lifestyle and could easily enter this new market segment. Benchmarking other companies was a way to find and reasure that the market was viable and interesting enough for the brand’s intentions, and also was important for showing examples of how to sell a lifestyle to a new audience or adapt products of their exsisting portfolio.
The strategy consisted in adapting some products of their existing range in order to satisfy the market needs. From there it is just a matter of time to start creating and diversifying the brand’s offer for this new lifestyle. At least a range of ten different categories were suggested as a future strategy for Buttero. The second part of the strategy was about communicating this new image to the audience, and we suggested to do it in an unconventional way. For example by placing a biking park place outside the store or by partnering up with a bicycle brand to create a special edition of products and sale it in the stores.
For the future we imagine the brand not only as a shoe company or accesories company, but as a lifestyle store that sales everything related to a particular lifestyle that increases everyday and is here to stay.
PROJECT: LE LEGGERE
by Ananda Marissya Widya, Jose Combatt, Piyush Bansal, Stephanie Hornemann, Thananid Thammavijukpond
A first glance at Buttero reveals a high quality, made in Italy, family company that are eager to grow as a brand in Italy. Briefly analyzing their website (Italian and Japanese), the Corso Garibaldi store and their range of products you can easily grasp the problem, incoherence with the identity and design language.
The products lack identity mainly in two factors: first, some of them you can easily find in other stores at lower prices and lower quality; second, you cannot identify that the products belong to Buttero or that they are of the same line. There is no identity element. Another problem regarding the products is the fact that there are too many collections sold under the brand image of a cowboy that don’t necessarily communicate that image. In their store you can find cowboy boots, sandals, sneakers, running sneakers and formal footwear.
Having the problem identified we started our research trying to understand first what is the cowboy image now and how Buttero is currently communicating that. We analyzed brands that have a design language coherent with their identity comparing them later to Buttero. We used as examples Levi’s and Dr. Martens, researching their identity, how they communicate that through their stores, website, brand advertising, and comparing that to the real final consumer.
Having completed the research part of the workshop, we identified Buttero’s real final target and decided that the best way to work with the brand in Italy would be to reintroduce it to them with a coherent narrative. With that said, we conducted a survey with people that had already bought Buttero shoes to understand better how the experience is.
As a result we learned that the brand is perceived at first as stylish, fashionable, with premium quality, handmade, long lasting and made in Italy. But once they had bought and wore the shoes, the perception of the brand changed to conservative, vintage, heavy, good quality, “need to be broken in” and wearable all year long.
From the survey we selected a few key points that we wanted to work with: stylish, quality, light, accessible and colorful. With that in mind we came up with the idea of using the classic Buttero sneaker and making it lighter with thinner leather and lighter sole. We chose the sneaker because other then being a trend that is here to stay (you see sneakers everywhere in every situation), it is Buttero’s product that has the most identity (for example, the stitching detail).
We wanted to use the light sneaker to bring more brand awareness to Buttero, so we decided to make a special edition aimed at trend setters sold through pop up stores strategically positioned along side key events in Milan accompanied with a coherent marketing campaign. The goal was to make a fresh and light collection that would in the end bring more consumers to Buttero’s store in Milan.
With all that said we developed the collection Le Leggere, a special edition of colorful light weight sneakers (18 colors) that are sold only through popsicle themed pop up stores.