IQ News: Think Brings, Er, New Ideas To Redesign Of Rockport Web Site

Think New Ideas, New York, last week launched a revamped Web site for footwear company Rockport and will kick off a banner campaign during the third quarter to promote the site’s newly-created content.
The site,, includes a New Comfort Center on foot and general health, a section on fitness walking and a customizable catalog, as well as maps to local retailers.
“From the beginning, we made [the site] an integrated part of our marketing,” said Linda Lewi, senior vice president of global brand marketing for the Marlboro, Mass.-based company. Since the initial site launched in March 1996, the Web address has been included in print ads, displays at stores and hangtags on the shoes themselves.
“What we’re trying to do is develop the kind of experiential relationship with customers that we have in our retail [stores],” Lewi said. The site will support the slogan: “Be comfortable. Uncompromise. Start with your feet.”
It will provide information on reflexology and other wellness issues as they pertain to foot care.
“We’ve been in general a brand trying to provide more and more foot information,” Lewi said. “There’s a lack of compelling information on how to take care of your feet, and yet your feet are so important.”
Eric Healy, director of Rockport Interactive, noted that the catalog can be customized to include different styles, colors and patterns that customers are looking for. Consumers then are guided to their nearest Rockport location by entering their street address.
Healy said the company’s first online promotions will target core customers, such as adventure travelers, fitness walkers, entrepreneurs and technophiles. There will also be general ads to reach new consumers who have yet to “uncompromise.”
The idea is to lead users to the part of the site they will find most useful, said Ron Bloom, Think chairman and CEO. The banners will link to gateways or interstitials.
The ad responses will be tracked in realtime, he said. By using “message to moment” marketing–geared toward individuals who are in the market for different reasons at different times–Rockport hopes to send customers who are ready to buy to stores. “Point of sale is not a physical location,” he said. “We want to send the customers to the store presold.”
“What we try to do is have respect for the consumers,” Bloom said. He added that Rockport has an “incredibly loyal base that believe in the quality of the shoe itself,” as opposed to wearing them because the logo is a fashion statement.
The site’s first two generations were also created by Think, which is a member of Omnicom Group’s Communicade Group of interactive agencies. “Rockport understands that the Web is an evolving medium,” Bloom said.