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Living the Toughees Lifestyle with New Social Media Campaign
Market Trends

As the classic, trusted school shoe in South Africa, the Toughees brand needs no introduction, having been a staple of the classroom and playground for over 60 years. In order to help the brand continue to develop and resonate with a digital audience, Bata South Africa has launched an online campaign, along with social media partner Collectiv, with the goal of turning Toughees from a product into a lifestyle.

The social media campaign is designed to build a more relevant brand space on social media, reaching out to Toughees customers, who are primarily mothers, and the end users, their children. The shoes remain the core business, but the company feels these customers are keen to relate to the product in new ways. It is therefore taking a multi-faceted approach in order to position Toughees as the choice lifestyle brand when it comes to school shoes.

One of the approaches taken by the campaign is to show that Toughees do not only make school shoes, but they also make school fun. This has been done by highlight the parts of school that kids find awesome, including sports, friends, music and other hobbies that inspire learning. In addition to this, the campaign involves communicating with target customers through current events, positioning the brand as being on the pulse and up to date with the latest developments.

Another approach taken by the current campaign is to create two-way communication with customers via social networks. In understanding that mothers have a strong opinion when it comes to what they want for their children, the company decided to create content that reflects this. For example, even when asking kids to choose their favorite sporting star, Bata South Africa is also encouraging them to share their thoughts on these athletic role models. This positions Toughees as a brand that cares about what customers think. Results have been favorable, showing that, when prompted for an answer, fans are always keen and willing to voice their opinion.

Toughees has pushed many boundaries to remain relevant over 60 years since its inception and intends to continue to do the same, so that the nation’s favourite school shoe brand can expand its digital footprint in the future and continue to appeal to future generations.

Khutjo Madisha, Toughees brand manager, commented: “I am excited about the direction, as Toughees is a strong and well-recognised brand in South Africa that needs to align with the trends of the modern day school market, both mums and children alike.”

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