Recently, however, I started noticing an independent Los Angeles-based shoe brand making noise online. Launched in 2002 by two best friends, Robert Nand and Rich Cofinco, Creative Recreation caters to men and women — and even kids now too — who consider themselves “young professionals with style.”
But the company has also cultivated an enviable celebrity clientele with big-names like Robert Downey Jr. and Kanye West who wear CR’s shoes.
So how did Creative Recreation do it? In addition to never missing a photo opp with a celeb donning their shoes, CR made connections with influencers like Perez Hilton and, more recently, MTV’s The Buried Life whose cast members collaborated to create 50 pairs of limited edition LED-light shoes. (Fans can now win a pair by uploading a picture of what they would do with their unique flashy kicks to CR’s site.)
CR also teamed up with one of Hollywood’s elite talent agencies Creative Artists Agency’s new celeb-photo sharing site, WhoSay.com. At the site, CR posts photos of celebs like comedian Chris Hardwick and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Casey Matthews wearing the company’s shoes.
Through Twitter, Facebook and our blog, The CR Journal, we have the ability to engage our consumers with the latest news about our company, as well as write about new styles, exclusives, limited editions, contests, giveaways and events. Our digital following acts as our street team, spreading the word about the brand. This gives our fans more access to Creative Recreation and the ability to interact with our team.
Offering our most loyal customers and followers — or “digital ambassadors” as we call them — exclusive content has been integral in growing our community online. We are currently creating a program where our fans can earn points online, and in turn, free shoes.