If a barbershop seems an unlikely place to pitch a basketball shoe, then you're not wise to the ways of the street--street marketing, that is. The idea? To take your product to would-be customers in the hope of generating some buzz.
"[You want your customers to say,] `I'm comfortable with that brand because they always seem to be where I am and they understand how I live,' " explains Peter Roby, vice president of consumer marketing for North America for Stoughton, Massachusetts-based Reebok International Ltd.
To that end, Reebok displays its sports merchandise in barbershops, eateries and parks in cities like Los Angeles, Miami and New York City. Says Roby, "It's part of our overall marketing strategy."
Needless to say, such moves are hardly restricted to the athletic apparel industry. Record labels have long realized the importance of getting new music played at local clubs. Really, what business wouldn't benefit from taking its product to the streets?