Insights - Andrew Horner-Glister

Keep me engaged. Please.


Big day for me.

Going through my morning mail and filtering all the 'subscribed to' notifications, skim reading incase I spot something exciting. Today though I stopped myself, had a bit of a cleanse, unsubscribed from a handful of GDPR chancers and the odd printer that I haven't dealt with for 'forever', but also found myself hovering over the unsubscribe on an email from Howies.

Howies for those who aren't familiar are a clothing brand from the early 2000's, a brand that had such great personality, a story, relevant stuff for me when I was in my 20's and early 30's. Over time they were bought by VF who are the corporation that own the likes of VANS, Timberland, Dickies and many more and then fairly recently bought back by members of the original team I believe.

Over that period of around 5-10 years I have become disconnected, uninterested in the story, they fell from my radar other than that weekly email which simply became wallpaper. I still had a soft spot for the brand though, I felt as though I could never let go as it was part of my past and I still wanted that connection with that 'retired skater' tribe.

I wonder whether this departure was down to VF removing the hands on, gritty, passionate, 'love what we do' feel to the communication or whether I just grew apart, I'm unsure. What I am sure of though is that they no longer engage me, no longer make me smile when I read an email or see a post. Maybe I'm not the person they want anymore, maybe the 'retired skater' persona is not their focus.

To manage growth and still retain brand personality is incredibly tricky, someone needs to be that guardian within the brand who keeps everyone real, keeps everyone living the original manifesto.

Goodbye Howies and I truly wish you good luck.

UPDATE//// I've just re-subscribed. I'm not ready.