Buying shoes is more fun than buying tires, but for most people, buying a pair of either is driven by the same motive — replacing ones that have worn out. In fact, 60% of shoe shoppers say replacement is their primary reason for buying shoes.
But that doesn’t mean the purchase is solely practical. Emotions, both conscious and unconscious, play large roles in the shoe shopping decision.
Especially for women, shoe brand choices may represent a statement of their values. And, with each successive generation, what a brand stand for plays a bigger role — 75% of Gen Z say it moves them!
So, what are the (sometimes hidden) emotions that can get women to try on your brand for size? Consider the following.
Designed today for the male gaze, high heels alter body angles in ways that can be perceived as sexually suggestive. No wonder they were once required attire for successful women — especially in male-dominated businesses. Instead, in Silicon Valley today, fuzzy wool Allbirds sneakers are the norm for women and men, and feathered or furred Birkenstocks are gracing runways.
We’re seeing the power of the behavioral economics at work as more women dress for the female gaze and their own definitions of what makes them look and feel good. For generations, the herding tendency we have as humans led them to squeeze their feet into stilettos despite the foot and back pain that persisted after the shoes were off. Today, that same principle of social herding is helping them buck those old “dress for success” rules.
The female gaze is more than a moment. Women increasingly are making choices based on what’s right for them personally. Charting and leveraging the emotions fueling values-driven shoe purchases will keep your brand growing ahead of the competition.