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How Golden Goose Convinced Their Customers to Spend $600 on Dirty Sneakers

Would you ever buy a pair of dirty sneakers?


I'm talking about NEW dirty sneakers. The kind that are intentionally scuffed and stained and worn. Kind of like something you might have worn in grade school after you owned them for a few months.


I'm late to the party, but as it turns out, lots of people want to buy them.


I saw an Instagram reel yesterday from @heather.klawitter taken when she was checking out the shoe selection at Nordstrom. Among them were shoes that looked used. Like something you'd see at a garage sale or in a box in your parent's garage where you left it the past two decades.


This was one of them:



The price tag on them was $625.00. The company? Golden Goose.


As a copywriter, I immediately started wondering how the company would market something like this. What words were used to convince people to buy their dirty sneakers?


I didn't find great results on third-party websites.


Bergdorf Goodman had this sneaker for sale for $495.00:


Here's the product description:

  • Golden Goose low-top leather sneakers with suede and metallic trim.

  • Contrasting star patch at side.

  • Flat heel.

  • Round toe.

  • Lace-up vamp.

  • Breathable leather/cotton lining.

  • Signature hand-stained rubber sole.

  • Made in Italy.

Ok, this design isn't as used looking as the ones in the Instagram reel. But neither the design nor the copy were doing it for me.


My next stop was Revolve, where I found this shoe for $409.00:

Right away, I found this sneaker more appealing than the others. I'm always a sucker for a pop of red, I guess.


Here's the product description:

  • Leather upper with rubber sole

  • Made in Italy

  • Lace-up front

  • Suede star applique

  • Intentionally scuffed

  • Gold logo stamp on side

  • Contrasting leather heel tab


Meh.


I guess Revolve assumes these sneakers will just sell themselves because that copy was lazy. A bunch of features we can already see but no reason for me to buy them. And at that price, it's expensive by just about everyone's standards.


I then checked out Nordstrom, which offered this shoe for $545.00:

It looks pretty similar to the last one, right? So what's with that price difference? No clue.


But this time, the copy was more compelling. Here's the product description:


"This skateboarding-inspired low-top sneaker is scuffed and distressed by hand to have that perfectly worn-in look right out of the box."


Short and sweet, and more than just a list of features. It tries to appeal to the customers and hints at the benefits of buying this shoe.


My last stop was the original source. I had to know how Golden Goose marketed itself. By this point, I had come to the realization that Golden Goose specialized in worn/used-looking shoes. But how did they become so popular? And how were they able to sell them for $400-$600 or more?


This is where it all started to make sense.


Golden Goose had this to say about their brand.


*Light bulb*


Ahhhh!!

Ok, now THAT copy is persuasive! And it tells a story. I know right away that their brand values include authenticity, individuality, and the love and warmth that comes with hand-make work.


The idea of perfect imperfections is one that I'm sure resonates with their customers. Because isn't that all of us?


And if I'm being honest, a few of their shoe designs ARE growing on me. I can see the appeal of that scuffed, almost vintage look. Teenage me would have LOVED them. Especially if they're as comfortable as they look.


I still don't know about that price tag, though. It's not for most people. But I'm starting to see how they became so popular.


What do you think? Would you ever spend $600 for Golden Goose's signature sneakers?


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