As possibly the most iconic footwear brand in UK (and the makers of shoes that this writer has worn for more than two decades), you wouldn’t think Dr. Martens would need too much help articulating it’s “global brand vision.” But things have changed since the days these bouncy soled boots were born during World War Two, and then embraced by pretty much every subculture ever, from skinheads to punks to ravers and goths. As such, the brand brought in Manchester-based agency Music to “help them identify a strategic framework on how to internally communicate to staff their global brand vision and essence”.
The collaboration will continue over the course of a year, with Music helping the brand talk to staff internally through designing items including an unusual take on the traditional brand book. Instead of a printed publication, Music designed a vinyl record packaged in four different sleeve designs with printed sleeve notes elaborating on the content of each record. These were distributed to Dr. Martens staff around the world.
Music then went on to design an internal newspaper for staff called On the record, created with the brand’s internal culture team and aiming to draw together useful information and communicate it “creatively and fearlessly”.
The agency explains that “in the spirit of self-expression, each article is attributed to a member of Dr. Martens staff and is the result of a collaboration between them and Music.” As well as helpful text-based info, the paper also features a comic strip named after the Dr. Martens CFO called Mr Mortimore Money Man and a feature called Rebel Therapy – “a fun surgery with the global marketing director for those struggling with self expression and fashion issues”.