The Power of Brand: It Starts With Trust

air jordan iv bredI’m a huge Michael Jordan fan and have written about how the Jordan brand has driven culture and stayed relevant; even though MJ has been retired for almost 20 years. Air Jordan’s are highly coveted, specifically the older ones. Last week saw the re-release of the Air Jordan 4 Bred; one of the most iconic sneakers thanks to a very famous shot.

This makes it a highly coveted sneaker and one I wanted to add to my collection!

The release begun at 10 am ET. I woke up at 9:50 am ET and went to Finish Line website. I was greeted with a “wait your turn” message; which was the same in Foot Locker and other websites. I waited and waited, by the time I was able to get into the website the AJ 4 was out of stock in my size. Around 12:45 pm ET I got an email from Stadium Goods telling me they had a re-stock of AJ 4’s. I clicked the link and sure enough there it was at $299.99.

I remembered I had received via email 10% discount code from Stadium Goods a few weeks earlier so I went to my email and got it. I added the AJ 4 to the cart, and thought to myself, If I was going to put this money down and had a 10% discount, then I would get the AJ 6 Infra Red (which was re-released in February) too; so I did for $295.99.

Although this looks like an impulsive decision, I had been thinking about the scenarios for weeks; including buying the AJ 6. So I was prepared to pay the after-market prices. You see, sneaker heads have many options to buy new sneakers, StockX and eBay are where resellers sell sneakers. For some reason, I’ve never thought of buying Air Jordan’s from these websites.

Why did I choose Stadium Goods?

Stadium Goods is a well known brand in the sneaker community. One key activity that has lead to their rise is their YouTube collaboration with Complex, where celebrities, athletes and entertainers go sneaker shopping.

Building brand starts with trust

How do you build a brand? There isn’t an authoritative checklist, but it all starts with trust. And my decision to buy the sneakers at Stadium Goods was one out of trust: I’m willing to pay over-market prices from them, not from individual resellers on eBay and StockX, because I believe they offer authentic and unworn sneakers.

They’ve reinforced that promise and built that level of trust over the many interactions I’ve had with the brand.

Key takeaway: Define what your promise is and deliver on it, reinforce it through the interactions customers have with you and the word they spread help it spread.