To the casual observer, Oofos look like regular flip flops, maybe a bit on the ugly side.
The main thing that makes Oofos different is the shape of the sole. Because of that shape, and because of Oofos’ squishy material, your foot hits the ground differently from a regular flip flop, with less pressure overall. The pressure you do feel is right in the middle of your foot. Both your heel and your forefoot are spared. That’s why it’s a “recovery sandal.” (My Oofos were what got me walking again after a bad bout of plantar fasciitis.)
The entire Oofs brand is built around this concept. They’re trying to win as “recovery footwear.”
This brand promise is so much more than a positioning statement. It wasn’t dreamed up after the fact by a branding agency, it is the thing that the company exists to be.
This allows them to ignore Gucci’s $590 GG T-Strap and Versace’s $350 Pallazo Medusa. They similarly don’t care about the latest patterns being offered in a $34 pair of Havaianas or about being so cheap that they’ll get picked out of the sale bin at Wal-Mart. It’s obvious that none of this is relevant to them.
Because the Oofos brand is about recovery, and because this is so clear and so real, there’s a natural alignment in every activity taken by every person at the company.
Being the best recovery shoe is what the Oofos team thinks and talks about. It’s what they notice in their competitors. It is the axis against which they want to win (and are winning). This clarity of orientation grounds the daily behavior and decisions of every single employee, without requiring minute repeated reminders from anyone.
While it’s true that “brand” is the promise you make to your customers, it is so much more than that.
Brand, real brand, orients your entire team to a set of priorities. It is a north star that begets a self-reinforcing dynamic.
We ARE this means we DO these sorts of things, we NOTICE these sorts of things, we CARE ABOUT these sorts of things.
This orientation explains why we’re going to keep on getting better at the things that matter, and why we’ll do such a great job at ignoring the rest.
Brand creates a flywheel effect, allowing some companies to leave everyone else—the folks who thought that “brand positioning” could come later—in the dust.
What do you stand for?