Think Tank Public Relations & Marketing Blog

Where Ninjas Shout Their Messages From Rooftops

A Ninja’s Right To Shoes April 5, 2009

So I think I may have to be admitted into rehab.  I have a serious, serious addiction and I don’t think I can kick it on my own.  What is it, you may ask?  Alcohol?  Gambling?  Online social media?  Networking?  Working too much?  No, no, no!  My addiction is something that I am not even shameful of….I am addicted to shoes.

What is it about shoes?  Why are they so amazing?  How is it that they can take me from feeling so very average to feeling on top of the world with one tiny slip of my insole into a Manolo Blahnik?  Why is it when I am in an outfit from Old Navy and I put on a pair of Dolce & Gabanas and rock the Main Street sidewalk I feel as though I can CONQUER THE WORLD?  Hmmmm……

I pondered this very question as I shoe shopped the other day.  I walked into Nieman Marcus in St. Louis and did the “dance”.  I slowly go up the escalator, and make my way to the amazing shoe department.  I have this strange ritual where, as I walk up to the shoe department, I will not allow myself to actually LOOK at the shoes – as though there is an eclipse! – I will no allow direct eye contact until I am there, firmly in front of the shoes staring squarely upon the Christian Louboutins.

My crazy “Nieman’s Shoe Department Approach” is reminiscent of when I would go to church with my grandparents – the old Vatican I days in the Catholic Church – where you would go up to the communion railing, slip your hands under the starched white cloth, and wait for the priest to lay the body of Christ upon your tongue.  It is with the exact same fanatical ritual in which I approach the shoe department of Nieman Marcus.  Perhaps too many years of Catholic schooling?  Perhaps I SHOULDN’T have gone to a Catholic college?  Anyway… back to the shoes…

As I approached the shoe department, like a girl with a crush on a boy who won’t look directly at him, I smell the familiar smell of leather.  Mmmmmmmm…..I inhale deeply and then lay my eyes upon my prey.  I look at each individual shoe on it’s own, pondering it for seconds before looking at the next.  I appraise each one – the height (first and foremost for this vertically challenged Ninja), I appraise the design, the aesthetic, the materials, the brand, the buckles, EVERYTHING.  Nothing goes by unnoticed by my keen, addicted eyes.  I appraise it like a raging alcoholic appraises top shelf vodka.  With skepticism, with respect, with lust.

I refuse to make a selection without first giving each individual shoe a once-over.  After the initial dance is done, I then make my selections.  Sometimes it is only 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, sometimes it is 15.  It depends on the season, the designers, the thirst in which I feel I NEED the shoes.  Then the fun begins…

I place my newly pedicured feet into the finest of designer shoes.  I walk around Nieman’s imagining how my life will change simply by WEARING each pair of shoes in my everyday life.  One by one, I try on the shoes – walking fast, walking slowly, sashaying around the department like the addict I have become, until I find my perfect mate.

With complete reverence I place the shoes that have not made the “cut” back into their cloth bags, and then firmly back into their beautifully designed boxes.  Goodbye Prada, goodbye Manolo, until next time Christian… I have found my fix for the time being.

I walk up to the cash register, giddy from the anticipation of taking my shoes home.  I am already thinking of all the different events in which I can wear them.   I imagine how, with these shoes on my feet, I am going to change the world.  I will go from regular Ninja Trish to Superhero Ninja Trish with the simple slip of the shoe onto my foot.  No superhero cape needed.  I have Dolce.  Dolce and I can change the world!

After my day of shoe shopping I come home spent – tired but exhilarated – and I start to think about what it is about these shoes that make me feel so enamored.  I mean, I am the kind of Ninja who will wear Old Navy clothes, Target jewelry, Forever 21 accessories, and Walgreens nail polish.  What IS IT about designer shoes that send me into such a state of euphoria?

Or…better yet….how can I REPLICATE this sentiment and incorporate it into my own marketing?  How can I get my clients products to have this same amazing, salivating, orgasmic effect that designer shoes have on me?  I feel as though it is the secret of the Holy Grail.  If only I can answer the questions right at the gate…

Designer Pink Shoes

Until then, I guess I will have to keep going back to Nieman’s for Market Research.  After all, a Ninja has a right to designer superhero shoes…