Brand “programming” is a real thing, both inside and out of the skate world – that pair of running Nikes that your mom bought just may be a result of “brand programming.” I prefer to see “brand programming” more so just a deep familiarity with said brand. While many reasons as to why we pick a certain brand over the next may be explicit, a lot of the reasons behind why we prefer certain brands over the other can be hidden deep into our subconscious minds. After seeing the brand since the beginning of our skateboarding, and seeing so many pros back said company, it could be hard to deny that that shoe company just may be the best out there. Or if not a lot of people back it, and they don’t have a good team, it may be easy to reject them and never consider trying out their shoes. As in the article I am responding to, they mention that much like writers, brands have a thing known as “accumulated literacy,” where that person/writer/brand has a certain history behind it/them, whether it be literary work or a brief hiatus much like éS footwear, thus adding to their “social identity.” Giving a thing/person a sort of back story, which kind of gives the brand/writer/person something which to associate itself. Having some sort of awareness as to why you are making your decision will very much help you in making them.
I for one, have found myself – plenty of times – seeing a person who isn’t skating too well, or is a “poser,” kind of just loitering, sitting around the park but not skating at all, and this actually turns me off from the shoe that they are wearing. Even had it been a shoe that I was considering buying prior to seeing the “poser,” and seeing them made my decision a whole hell of a lot easier. And I was fully aware of the decision I made and why, regretting my ever seeing that “poser” sporting the shoes that I thought I wanted. There have also been times where I have seen someone skating a pair of shoes, and they were skating very well, and this made me want to buy the shoe. It’s kind of an irrational reason behind the decision, isn’t it? Me wanting to buy a shoe simply because another person is wearing them AND also happen to be exceptionally well at skateboarding? Well, this is indeed a very real phenomenon. The shoes I’m skating in right now (Vans Sk8-his), I bought because my friend was wearing them and he is good at skating, thus advertising the shoes in a good light. It can literally be the same exact shoe, but depending on whether the person skates well or not makes all the difference as to how it is being advertised. And I’ll be honest, besides the whole “poser v. kid-who-can-skate-well in a pair of shoes” situation, I had not really thought about it any further, so I guess that you could include me in that 19%. Rather than purchasing a shoe because of a Name, we should be purchasing shoes simply because we truly think that they skate well, without associating said shoe to the Brand Name, or to the pros name that is printed on it. It may be a lot easier said than done though, after being “programmed” for so long, old habits can be hard to break but they aren’t impossible.
This is a very great and well written article, prompting me to be more aware when making decisions as to what shoes I would like to skate in. Am I skating them because I think they will make me better? Is it my current shoes’ fault as why I’m not skating how I want? Will this brand make me more tech? Will this brand allow me to huck it? All of these questions are irrelevant. Granted, we all have our bad skate days, but it is truly up to you, and you only, as to how you will skate.
In Response To: Programming 101: Logos’ Effects On Skateboarders (clickable) by Jeff Martin