I’m really interested in branding. The way customers perceive brands fascinates me – why do we think Nike sportswear is better than, say, Reebok? Is it price? Design? Do we run faster in Nike trainers? Or is it really just brand perception? It’s a great topic to explore.
It’s rare that a brand can change the way they’re perceived by the public. We’re like elephants (in that we never forget, not that we’re huge, grey and wrinkly) – when we think we’ve got a brand all worked out, we’re reluctant to accept any new direction that brand might try take. Burberry is a great example – their classic check was adopted by less-than-desirable types and the brand’s image instantly took a nosedive. And even though things have improved and chavs have moved on, I still can’t see Burberry check (real or faux) without thinking of baseball caps and hoodies.
Some brands manage it, however. Hunter started out making wellington boots for soldiers at war – they made over 1 million boots during World War I and were called up for service again during World War II. The brand supply wellies to the Royal Family and were granted a Royal Warrant from the Queen in 1986. Impressive, yes. But not particularly cool.
But, the Hunter brand story is a lesson in the power of celebrity. Kate Moss wore a pair of Hunter wellies at Glastonbury in 2007 and since then, they’ve been a must-have for stylish field-dwellers everywhere. The brand is now synonymous with countryside couture and the original wellies are in huge demand. The brand have cleverly capitalised on this, recruiting figures from popular culture (including Liberty London Girl) to further boost their image as a cutting edge brand with a traditional product.
Of course, I’ve been desperate for a pair for months. I’ve been thwarted on many an occasion – the pair I found at a car boot sale were a size too small, and despite hitting the Brand Alley sale (which is on ’til next week, so be quick!) early I missed out on an original pair in my size. So when Lucy and Chloe tweeted about Hunter stock in TK Maxx I raced down to my local store to see if it’d be third time lucky. And it was!
Hunter wellies via TK Maxx, Primark sequinned jacket and sheer top, Topshop jeans, H&M rings
I chose a pair of Originals in black and paid £39.99 for them, which is a great saving on the £69.99 RRP. I’ll be selling my car boot pair (which were a fiver… if ONLY I could cut my toes off) to make back some of the cost. I realise £40 is rather a lot for a pair of wellies, but hey. I’m a sucker for a good brand story.
What do you think of Hunter wellies – are they a legitimate addition to the stylish woman’s wardrobe or really just rubber boots for wading through mud? Do you pay much (any) attention to brands when it comes to shopping?