Unconventionals Podcast | Season 5 Episode 2

The Shinola Story: The Making of A Modern Brand in Detroit

If you want to understand the future of luxury brands, you should take a close look at Shinola. This five year-old company chose Detroit — the original maker city — as the setting for a mission that is ambitious and unconventional: making watches and other highly-crafted products, creating jobs, and building a valuable design brand in the process.

Shinola understands that buying — particularly when we're considering a high-end product — has changed. We want great products, but we also want a deeper connection, which means a story we believe in, a mission we can support, and transparency in how a company does its work.

In this episode, The Unconventionals travels to Detroit's historic Argonaut building to talk with Bridget Russo, Shinola's Chief Marketing Officer. They talk about revival: of a city, of manufacturing, and of categories like watches and vinyl that were written off as dead. They discuss how Shinola balances attention to craft with a need to scale, and how it stays focused on great products while remaining faithful to a broader mission.

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Video Highlights
PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Mike:

I'm Mike O'Toole. The Unconventionals is a podcast series produced and distributed by PJA Advertising. Along with our academic partners at Columbia Business School, we're proud to bring you The Unconventionals. The companies we feature aren't clients, there's no financial relationship, no promotional agenda, just the stories of companies and entrepreneurs that remind us that the biggest risk in marketing is being like everyone else.

Speaker 2:

Next, on PJA Radio's The Unconventionals.

Speaker 3:

I've got a question for you. What does this city know about luxury, huh? What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? Well, I'll tell you, more than most. You see, it's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. That hard work and conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us. That's who we are.

Mike:

Many of you will recognize that as Chrysler's Imported from Detroit ad, which ran in 2011 at the Superbowl. While this ad was ostensibly launching the Chrysler 200, it's really about promoting Detroit. Give Chrysler credit, that ad did a lot to put a new story of Detroit out there. This ad could have been written for Shinola, our guest on this episode of The Unconventionals.

Shinola was founded in 2011, the same year that Chrysler ad ran. Shinola makes watches, bikes, leather goods, and a range of other highly crafted and designed products. It assembles its watches in Detroit and creating jobs and contributing to the revival of Detroit is a big part of its story. Shinola is mining the same vein as Chrysler, Detroit as underdog, a city we want to root for, not write another requiem for.

Shinola is creating jobs but it's also creating a pretty valuable brand. In modern branding, it's complicated. People want a great product, of course, but they also desire authenticity, a knowledge of what and who is behind the product. But, there is no absolute arbiter for authenticity. Shinola's trying to do a lot. They're dedicated to craft, but they also have ambitious growth plans. They're based in Detroit, but they're not from Detroit in the way some of the purists want them to be.

As our guest, Bridget Russo, who's Shinola's Chief Marketing Officer says, "Creating a brand that's successful at both its social and commercial missions, it isn't easy, it's a work in progress." Good brands are adept at finding unmet needs in the market. It makes sense, right? I like the way Tony Magee, CEO of the craft brewer Lagunitas put it. He called them Darwinian gaps: big, gaping holes that open up between what consumers might really want and what a category is giving them.

Darwinian gaps are interesting because they're big and they have this feeling of hiding in plain sight. They feel obvious but only in retrospect, like the Darwinian gap that existed in the US beer market for most of the 20th century. Of course beer drinkers wanted more than light lagers. We know that now because craft brewers like Lagunitas and many others took a chance on brewing IPAs and other beers. I think there's a Darwinian gap in the airline industry today, between the airlines who seem focused on figuring out new ways to make money off us and all of us as deeply unsatisfied consumers. But, that's a story for another day.

Darwinian gaps lead not just to business opportunities but also brand opportunities. You could say there's a Darwinian gap in Detroit between the city's potential and consumers' willingness to support it and current perceptions.

There are a lot of market gaps that Shinola's addressing as well, like our desire for the hand crafted in and age where our lives are dominated by digital. Maybe the biggest Darwinian gap is the brand gap, the way brands were marketed in the mass media era. Big image driven brands that made it difficult or even impossible to understand what was behind them. All of that is changing in a big way and companies like Shinola are at the forefront.

Bridget:

I think our founder, Tom, really saw that there was opportunity to, first off, he was passionate about building a watch in the US. He wanted to do it in a city where it could make a difference and have a positive impact on the community. Also, a city that was known for manufacturing. You can kind of get a sense of why Detroit was chosen. He also saw the business opportunity. If you look at the watch category, you have sort of these fashion watches at the $300, $400 price point and then you have the higher-end luxury watches that are 2 and up. No one was really operating at the price point offering the value that we offer, both the value and the quality of the products that we're offering, many of our components are manufactured in the same places where these higher-end Swiss watches are manufactured, but also with the story. I think that's an additional value that the consumer gets that the consumer is also responding to.

Mike:

If I had my, and I'm not really a watch guy so I don't really know all this stuff, but if I want to buy a watch and I'm really interested in the time piece and what I get for it, what's the value there? What do they get out of a Shinola watch that maybe they can't find elsewhere?

Bridget:

You're certainly getting the quality. We have quality components across the board. Some of them are domestically sourced, some of them are sourced overseas. For instance, we have a Swiss movement partner named Ronda, they provide the components for our movement. Our case comes from overseas as well. We assemble all of those components here in Detroit. By doing that we employ over 200 people in the factories that we've set up here. We employ over 500 people nationwide. There's that, I guess, social currency that people get by buying a Shinola watch. It's also a great looking watch. It's classic styling. I think people, as we get more digital, are looking for analog ways to feel connected. Wearing a watch is perhaps part of that. Sometimes you do just need to tell the time.

Mike:

I love that you guys play on that, right? Your definition of a smart watch is a little different, right?

Bridget:

Yes. A watch that can tell you the time just by looking at it.

Mike:

It's pretty smart, right?

Bridget:

Totally. We think so. We also like to poke a little fun with our advertising here and there as well.

Mike:

What else, what other gaps, were there other things that in a sort of founding conversations like...

Bridget:

I think definitely, we were lucky in that it was the right product at the right time in the right place. People, this age of conspicuous consumption has gone, you read a lot of articles now today that even the luxury consumer that wanted the Gucci or the Prada are thinking twice about that. Maybe they don't want these logos all over their products. They want their products to have a bit more meaning, to have that authenticity, that positive impact on the community, or positive impact on the environment. I think this desire and this need is coming from the consumer and we're just reacting to that and filling that need.

Mike:

How much is the story worth do you think? I know it's a hard question-

Bridget:

It's hard to put a value on that. I don't know if we were just another watch company if we would matter in the world, so it's hard to say how many people, that's part of their purchase. I'm sure there are some people who are just buying it because they love the way it looks. I definitely don't want to discredit the story because I think we wouldn't be where we are today and had the growth that we've experienced so quickly if it wasn't for that story.

People want to connect. There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. People want to know that the products that they're buying have value and in many ways, certainly with the younger consumer, I would say the under 30 consumer, that value is extremely important. They're asking those questions, they want to know how their products are made, they want to know who's behind the products, they demand that transparency.

Mike:

They get it more now, right?

Bridget:

Yeah, you can. You couldn't get it as much before. The media was really and the FTC were the watchdogs, the FDA were the watchdogs on brands to make sure that whatever claim they were making was actually true. Now the consumer has direct access to this information. I think brands are required to provide that.

Mike:

Brands like to create social currency. This is a fancy way of saying that we like to own products that make us look good. Bridget has a lot of stories about Shinola customers. She'll notice someone with a Shinola watch on an airplane or at a restaurant and when she asks about it, before revealing her connection to the company, people will launch right into the back story, how the watch is made in Detroit, how it's creating jobs.

Back before it launched, Shinola commissioned a study about consumer attitudes in Detroit. They found that people would pay more for a product in Detroit, way more than the same product made in China, even more than that product manufactured elsewhere in the US. Detroit is an underdog that people root for, for sure, but the world has changed since Chrysler ran those ads in 2011. Detroit's revival is no longer a hidden secret. Unemployment is at 10% in the city, less than half of what it was in 2011. Who knows how long that price premium will last.

There is more to the Detroit story than that. There is Detroit as the original maker-city. Detroit is the center of innovation. Not for nothing, Shinola's factory's in the Argonaut Building, which was General Motor's original research lab. The first GM pickup was designed there in 1939 as was the first automatic transmission. Detroit's story, and Shinola's story for that matter, isn't just about nostalgia, it's about futures.

Bridget:

For us it was really about the people. We knew we wanted to be in a city that had the manufacturing legacy but also where we could make a positive impact. There were a ton of people here without jobs who had this amazing skill, had worked on a line, perhaps working in an automotive factory, and either their job was eliminated because it was automated or it went overseas. Granted, there weren't a ton of watchmakers sitting around Detroit, but there's some relatable skill sets there.

We came in, we invested in building the factory, we invested in the training and continue to do so, and we've been able to transfer that skill and create jobs in Detroit. The majority of people, you had the opportunity to walk through our factory, are from Detroit. Not everyone worked in automotive. There's sort of varied backgrounds within the group. They are predominantly Detroiters and many of which did not have a job until the opportunity came up with Shinola.

Mike:

There has to have been an element though about when you guys told people that you were going to be in Detroit. That like, "Well that's crazy. You don't start a big company like that in Detroit."

Bridget:

Our founder, I'm sure, was told many times that he was crazy. We were very convicted from the beginning that this is something we wanted to do. We believed in Detroit, we believed in the people of Detroit, because if you come here the sentiment is, "Hey, listen, maybe everybody else forgot about Detroit, but we didn't forget about Detroit." That's the sentiment that we got loud and clear. When we arrived here, we didn't see all the negative portrayals that you see in the media.

Now, fortunately, I think that's starting to change. We just saw opportunity in the future and a group of people that were really ready to roll up their sleeves and help in any which way they could.

Mike:

That assumption that you've got people here who've spent time in factories, worked in factories, maybe there's relatable skills. Has that born out?

Bridget:

I think the idea of assemblies, so our watches are all assembled here, the differences, cars are much bigger, the engine of a car is much larger than the movement of a watch, but in the end those two things are what drives the vehicle or tells time in a watch. It's just I think the thought process is similar. It definitely takes attention to detail. It's certainly assembly, some people say, "Oh, that must be easy, it's like putting together Ikea furniture." It really isn't. By the way, I can't put together Ikea furniture, no less one of our watches. It is a complicated, delicate process that not everybody can do.

Mike:

A fair amount of training it looks like.

Bridget:

Absolutely. Constantly, and as new people come in, we still have the original team that started here and you can talk to them. Also, there's a lot that happens here throughout the company in terms of that camaraderie and just sense of working all together, that we're a part of something that goes deeper than just making a watch, that it's building a community. It's being part of a community that's getting back on its feet.

We're certainly not the only ones doing stuff here in Detroit. There are loads of people working in their corner of Detroit to get things up and running again and bring this city back to its glory of when it was one of the leading cities in the United States. The first paved road was in Detroit. There's a lot of innovation that came out of this town and it's certainly not finished with that. I think now the rest of the world is starting to see and hopefully get out of the gloom and doom imagery, the blight imagery, that has been perpetuated for so long.

Mike:

As I mentioned when I opened the show, authenticity is complicated. When people talk about authenticity, you have this sense sometimes of a binary term. You are either on the level or you're a fake. There's a vocal minority of people who like to point out holes in the Shinola story. Their watches are built in Detroit, but the movements, which is kind of like the engine, are made in Switzerland. Shinola is headquartered in Detroit but none of it's executive team are native Detroiters. It is a brand that leans on heritage, but the company was founded only five years ago.

For me, I understand asking questions. When you attach your brand to a bigger mission, we like to think of this as aiming for a movement, not just marketing. You open yourself up to a lot of scrutiny. We have a lot more information and control as consumers than we used to have. That gives us more responsibility to do the work and take our own measure of the brand. To take a critical eye on how the brand tells its own story for sure, but also of what the critics have to say.

Here's my take. The jobs at Shinola are real. The company maybe artful in how it tells it's story. I think of the McCann Erickson "Truth Well Told" philosophy, but it doesn't make any claims that aren't true. With Shinola, you also have a sense of a company that welcomes the questions, invites you in to see for yourself as I did when I toured the factory.

Bridget:

For the most part, people have been really overly welcoming and appreciative and supportive of what we're doing. We realize we are not born and bred in Detroit. We get it. Never, never said it. Certainly there's a small community of folks who push back and maybe think we're not Detroit enough or we're staking claim on Detroit and we shouldn't do that. Ultimately, we're walking our talk. We're doing something positive here in town. We're not staking claim that we're the only people in Detroit doing things. We are part of a community of individuals and organizations, both on the non-profit and the for-profit side of things, that are looking and have good intentions to put this city back on its feet.

For those who, the naysayers and they're in the minority, all we can say is, "Look, come here, our doors are open. Tour the factory. Talk to the people. If you still feel that way, that's unfortunate." The reality is, is that we're here. We are creating jobs. We believe in the city. We invested when everybody thought we were crazy to do. We're continuing to invest, to really build this company into something that's not only has impact here but hopefully can bring Detroit and this new view of Detroit to the world. We really aim, in order for us to be sustainable, this really has to be a global brand that not only is selling and operating in the states but also has success outside of the US and we're just putting our toe in the water with that in Europe.

We're seeing positive results. I think this story of resilience, this underdog story, is something that's relevant to people who may not even have been to Detroit, have an affiliation to Detroit. People want to see it win. There's a Detroit I feel like in every state and every country that people can say, "Oh, yeah. Remember Manchester. Remember Glasgow."

Mike:

We all have Detroit moments in our lives too, right?

Bridget:

Exactly, exactly. I would say the overwhelming response has been positive here. We're very humble over the positive response the community has given us and realize that we're not from here, there are brands that were born and bred here, but we're here to help and we're here to work as a team with the community to move in a forward, future direction.

Mike:

It maybe gets back to what we talked about at the beginning around story, that consumers have, if they want it, almost perfect information about a company. People can fact check, right?

Bridget:

That's the thing and it's funny. That recently came up. I was on a panel in San Francisco. The thing that everybody needs to understand is that this isn't a perfect, totally figured out world. Brands are going to make mistakes. People are going to make mistakes. It's about how you handle those mistakes. Ultimately, if we're transparent and we own up to a mistake or a misstep, I think that's what the consumer is looking for. If the consumer is going to put a brand on a pedestal and say, "Ah, look, see, I told you they were up to no good," the reality is, is that's not how the world works. It's about what you do when you fumble. You learn from it, you move forward, and you course correct.

Mike:

I love Bridget's point here. People do put social brands on a pedestal and they are in a hurry to knock them off. There was a recent Fast Company article pitting Warby Parker against Shinola. Who would be millennials' choice for an authentic retailer, the article asks, now that Shinola has announced plans to sell eyeglasses. This feels like such a false choice to me. Both of these brands are remaking consumer taste, meeting the Darwinian gap we talked about earlier, that desire for us to have a more meaningful connection to the things we buy. The people who liked Warby Parker are inclined to like Shinola. Both have a sense of bigger mission and both are pretty transparent about how they're pursuing their missions.

Bridget:

Because manufacturing has been so behind a curtain, I think there's also a misunderstanding of how things are made today. There isn't just Geppetto sitting in a corner, cobbling together a watch.

Mike:

Authentic is another word. Authentic doesn't mean pure, it could be for some people, but...

Bridget:

For me it's transparent. I think where and if a company is walking the talk, to me that is authentic. If you have a friend and you're like, "He's a good guy. He's a solid guy." There's a level of authenticity that I think that comes with that. You know where you stand with that person. We like to think that we, our consumer knows where they stand with us and that we're doing our best. We're learning too along the way. We're getting into categories that are new for us. We hire experts in those categories. We'll be launching audio later on this year. We hold ourselves to very high standards as well because we will not put a product out there if we don't stand behind the quality and we don't think we're offering some level of value in the market for that product.

Mike:

Yup.

Coming up, it isn't just watches, it's bikes, leather goods, and coming soon, turntables, another analog technology once given up for dead.

Speaker 2:

You're listening to The Unconventionals, a podcast produced and distributed by PJA Advertising.

We're always on the hunt for great business stories, not about share price or scale, but about the element of surprise, to find out how to apply the best practices and behaviors of companies like GE, Warby Parker, and Big Ass Fans to your business, visit our website agencypja.com.

Our academic sponsor is the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School, which turns the research of academia's foremost thinkers on branding into practical tools and insight for real world application. To learn more, visit globalbrands.org.

Mike:

Welcome back. I'm Mike O'Toole and you're listening to The Unconventionals.

There was a recent New York Times article that talked about the Frightful Five. Those are the big technology platform companies, like Apple and Google, that will dominate our digital lives for the foreseeable future. The frightful part is that so much of our lives are lived online, and as much as we depend on that, we worry about it. Despite this dominance, or maybe because of it, we're drawn to smaller brands, to the analog and handcrafted, to old categories that are reinventing themselves.

Shinola is smart about this. Part of their brand opportunity is finding those craft driven categories that are in some stage of revival and bringing the Shinola design and manufacturing touch to them.

Bridget:

Yeah. For us, Shinola even so, our flagship product today, our watches, we really see ourselves as a design brand. We sort of somewhat joke if we could make a toaster tomorrow in the states at the quality level and at the design aesthetic that it's in line with the brand, we'll do it. We have a variety of categories, some relatable, some not. We started with watches, bicycles, leather goods, journals, we'll be introducing audio later on this year, so turntables, headphones, speakers.

What we do is we sort of look at our categories in two different ways. There are the volume drivers, so audio certainly be a volume driver, we hope to be a volume driver, watches, leather, and then the brand builders, so that's more the pet accessories, for instance, that we launched in 2014 with Bruce Weber the photographer. Bicycles would be a brand builder.

Equally as important for us, because they are a differentiator in the market, but ultimately we choose categories where we see there's opportunity. We develop these categories with category leaders, but as far as how do we select the categories, it's a combination of looking at where the business opportunity is, where maybe the jobs went off-shore and how can we create opportunity to bring those jobs back to the US by introducing these categories. Also categories that I guess follow a lifestyle of our consumer that some may say leans in the analog space.

Mike:

That's interesting because across a couple, maybe not all your categories but a couple, they're categories that are in the midst of some revival, right? Analog watches, vinyl is big and-

Bridget:

Huge, yeah. They're huge. With all of these things, there's so much advancement in the technology, so there's so much that you can take from the past, combine that with the refinement that the new technology brings, to bring back those analog products. A turntable, for instance, there's something to that experience of sitting in a room and putting on that record. For us, these are all categories that are relatable to the lifestyle of our consumer, the consumer that is interested in buying these kinds of products, the consumer that's interested in products with a positive story behind it.

Craft is absolutely the underpinning of all of this. It's design that's not going to, the next year you look at it and you say, "Oh, let's go put this in the drawer," or "let's throw it out because it's broken all ready." It really comes down to buying less but buying better. I think people are starting this whole fast fashion craze, that's not to say that it's going away, but I think people are starting to reevaluate how they purchase things and their buying frequency. Because if you're buying something that's super cheap but you have to throw it out in a month or in a year, was that really worth buying it?

When you're paying $9 for a t-shirt, someone along the line is paying dearly for you to get that deal. I understand that not everybody is in the market for buying a $700 watch, but it's that price point that if you want something nice for yourself, for some of our customers, it's a no-brainer. It might be the guy's wearing a Rolex and likes to wear a Shinola on the weekend or when he's dressing more casually. For some folks it's a, "Let me save up a couple of paychecks because I really want to buy that watch. It's important for me," or, "I want to buy that for my son or daughter who's graduating or my mom for Mother's Day."

The connecting factor really is that craftsmanship. I think that slow, I don't know if you want to call it slow manufacturing, but that-

Mike:

I know what you mean, slow food, slow content, slow consumption, I don't know-

Bridget:

Exactly. It's part of that vernacular.

Mike:

Shinola talks about itself as making an investment in skill at scale. I call this out because revival and craft, the maker movement, generally means small and intimate to people. You can't really stay small and create a brand that has global presence. You can't be small and expect to get the economies that help you sell watches at a profit. Balancing skill and scale, or craft and growth, isn't easy.

Bridget:

It's not small and it's not mega big either, but we need to get a little bit bigger in order to be sustainable, because ultimately we need to be profitable and we need to be able to sustain these jobs and make more jobs. That requires a certain size, a certain scale, and we're-

Mike:

Is that about just being in enough markets that you can sell enough or is it more about efficiencies-

Bridget:

Yes.

Mike:

Of operations?

Bridget:

We still are just scratching the surface in terms of our reach. We do think there's a comfortable size and that once we get there we'll maintain that and not try to big a massive, multinational brand. There is a size that definitely goes beyond the, let's say Etsy seller, that we need to reach in order to be sustainable and in order for us to have impact as well.

Mike:

How do you quantify that? Is it something you can quantify?

Bridget:

I'm sure there's a number out there somewhere. We general don't give out numbers but as far as how big do we want to get, I think it's a growth that we're very mindful of because too big and it probably wouldn't work but too small and it wouldn't work either, so big, but not too big. Certainly it needs to be accessible to a wider audience in order for us to be sustainable.

Mike:

Shinola is nothing if not intentional. From small design decisions, like what box manufacturer they'll use to package the watches to big things like what new categories they'll enter. It gets me thinking a bit about the future. A lot of the great formerly independent, Swiss watch brands are now part of one conglomerate, the Swatch Group. Maybe in the back of people's minds somewhere is that what happens when the Shinola brand achieves the scale and recognition it hopes for? Do it's watches just become another part of this conglomerate? It happens a lot for fashion brands in particular.

I asked Bridget to talk about independence and whether that was part of the long term intention for the company.

Bridget:

We'll never do things that are gratuitous. There's so much thought and attention that goes behind every category that we're in even down to the box that the watch comes in. We sought out this manufacturer here in the states and we have a great video actually that's on the site, I believe it's on the site now, about that story. They were able to hire more people as a result of making our box. We probably should shout that story higher atop the rooftops but we're very careful to, if you're a consumer and you're buying our products, there's layers to this story that you can peel back and find if you want. Ultimately, we have to create a beautiful product that can stand on it's own and then that back story of creating jobs with the guy who's making the box or creating jobs here in Detroit is that cherry on top.

That's the thing where I think a lot of maybe brands or entrepreneurs that go into this arena with very high ideals of, "I want to create jobs and pay more than minimum wage and I want to be organic and I want to do all these things," which is fantastic and we should all aim for that double, in some cases triple, bottom line. Hopefully that will just be the way business is done in the future.

It's hard to do all those things and maintain a business, especially if you don't have an infinite amount of funding to tick all those boxes. In the long term, there's a return on that, certainly from the consumer who cares there's some efficiency to doing a lot of that work, but it comes with a cost. I think, for us, it does come down to offering quality products and the back story is just that added piece, that reason to buy, that let's say, if all other things are equal, price and quality, that that would be reason to buy Shinola.

Mike:

The one thing that you guys have to do or will do more than anything else is about the product.

Bridget:

Yes.

Mike:

Yup.

Bridget:

Definitely. It has to start with the product. Certainly we have a commitment to creating jobs in Detroit as well as outside of Detroit in the US. We're looking at doing eyewear, for instance, in Chicago. Absolutely, it has to start with the product. If by making that product we can create jobs, then that ticks our boxes.

Mike:

Can I just, the commitment, do you have a commitment, it's an internal commitment-

Bridget:

Yes.

Mike:

Do you get funding from the city or the state or anything like that?

Bridget:

We don't.

Mike:

Okay, so you're not making commitment at we're going to create 200 jobs-

Bridget:

No.

Mike:

Which is very common now, right?

Bridget:

Yes.

Mike:

Tesla will open it's next factory based on where they get the best deal and I think that's pretty common.

Bridget:

Yeah. There were tax breaks when we first came into town. I don't know if that's till the case for businesses to set up shop here, but we did not take any of those. We wanted to make sure it was clear that we were here because we wanted to be here and not because we got a deal.

Mike:

You wanted your watch to say, "Made in Detroit," right? That's-

Bridget:

Right, and have that mean something. I think when we first came here and we opened also our first retail store in Detroit, everyone said, "Oh, that's nice," "Oh, how much business does that store do?" We honestly didn't know but we thought it was the right thing to do. If we're going to come here, put Detroit on our product, we sure as heck better open our first store in Detroit. I have news today that it was from day one all the way through to now year four, Detroit continues to outperform any of our other stores and we now have 15.

Mike:

Better than New York, better than London.

Bridget:

Better than San Francisco, better than Chicago. That is a testament and you're seeing it now. Sure, a lot of people were here and had to leave for jobs or whatever. There are a lot of people in Detroit still. It's a small community and it's growing, but there are people here who have a sense of style who want those things and to have Detroit on a luxury product, we're at that entry point of luxury so we are accessible luxury if you will. To have a high-end product come out of Detroit, there's a sense of pride around town. Yeah, this watch has got "Detroit" on it. It's sitting there next to TAG and all these other high-end brands in the department store.

Mike:

Thanks for listening. I'm Mike O'Toole, President of PJA Advertising and host of The Unconventionals. The Unconventionals is produced and distributed by PJA. We couldn't do this series without the help of our academic sponsor, Columbia Business School Center on Global Brand Leadership. If you like what you hear, check us out on our website agencypja.com to hear how we're helping companies achieve big success through unconventional marketing and brand strategies.

I have a favor to ask. Please go to iTunes and leave us a review. It makes a big difference to Apple's algorithms and it reminds me that you're out there and enjoying the show.

Speaker 2:

The Unconventionals is written and produced by Mike O'Toole with Reid Mangan. Production and technical direction by Reid Mangan. Promotion and distribution by Greg Straface and Graham Spector. Additional media by Anthony Gentles and Ryan Do with Ehis Osifo. Our executive director is Phil Johnson with PJA Advertising and Marketing. I'm Jaffia Lehey. To listen to more episodes of The Unconventionals, visit agencypja.com/theunconventionals.

Mike:

This is PJA Radio.

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