In November 2017, Fogo Island Inn joined forces with independent designer and retailer John Fluevog Shoes to release the limited-edition Fogo Island Inn Vow. 50% of the shoes' retail sales were directed to Shorefast to support their innovative charitable and social business work on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada. Designed to honour the community they helped support, the Fogo Island Inn Vows featured colours inspired by the living lichens found along the craggy shores of Fogo Island, had a custom stamped-insole, and were made of mixed leathers from Portugal, one of Fogo Island's traditional trading partners. This meaningful collaboration told the story of converging like-minded organizations getting together to imagine the possibilities for honouring and strengthening community and sense of place, visually, in words, and across social platforms. Our ultimate objectives for this collaboration were to increase return visits from past guests, improve awareness of our destination, establish our economic nutrition labelling program, maintain prominence across social media channels, and reach out to an unfamiliar audiences (ex: Fluevog customer base).
-We targeted writers, editors and influencers through press releases, newswire service, blog entries, and social media posts to drive interest in the project and destination.
- A video piece (http://www.fogoislandinn.ca/b/dispatches/limited-edition-fluevog-x-fogo-island-inn-vow) was created on Fogo Island showcasing the shoes in harmony with the singular landscapes that served as their inspiration.
-We produced an Economic Nutrition Label, meant to give consumers insight into making more conscious purchasing decisions, showing the derivation of the labour, materials, costs, etc. of producing each pair of shoes.
-A special launch event was hosted at the Fluevog Distillery store in Toronto, ON. Press and past Inn guests residing in the city (one of our largest markets) were invited for first access to this collaboration in appreciation of their support for our endeavors on Fogo Island.
-A limited-edition framed original sketch by designer John Fluevog of the Fogo Island Vow was auctioned off.
The implementation tactics we used included:
-Gifting to past guests which in return increased bookings from that audience: Pairs of Vows were sent to past guests with multiple stays at the Inn as part of the Inn's Permanent Visitors Programme (our loyalty program), in a personalized show of appreciation to supporters of the Inn's and Shorefast's endeavors brining economic and cultural resilience to Fogo Island.
-Media relations via press releases delivered numerous stories and increased awareness for our destination.
-Premiering the economic nutrition labelling program across social platforms and in a retail setting: The partnership between John Fluevog and Fogo Island Inn marked the first time that the Shorefast Label for Economic Nutrition had been presented on a merchandise collaboration outside of the Shorefast group of entities (Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island Shop, Fogo Island Fish). The aim was to bring attention to the Shorefast Economic Nutrition Label, which allows purchasers to understand where their money goes, and to make economic decisions that support the social realities that they value. It tells the story of how each product is conceived, crafted, and priced to optimize for well-being at every step along its way to the consumer.
The promotional images and video shot on Fogo Island to showcase Fluevog's unique shoes against the remarkable landscapes of Fogo Island were meant to resonate with those sharing in these same ideals and outlook to be inspired to travel to Fogo Island, experience this singular place, and contribute to Shorefast's mission of bringing economic resilience to the Island and its communities. Past guests and Fluevoggers similarly shared posts across social media channels showing off their Fogo Island Vows far and wide, demonstrating the reach of our guest network and partnerships across the world, and the breadth of support for the story of Fogo Island and its communities. The whimsical shoe style as well as the surprise and delight our past guests expressed (https://hotelmogel.com/fluevogs-and-continuing-the-guest-relationship/) at having received the Vows as part of our loyalty campaign was meant to further inspire and encourage repeat visits to our destination in the future. The collaboration successfully raised funds and awareness of this remote Island and its communities. It gained wide attention, as the story got picked up by numerous news outlets across Canada, the USA, and Europe, and the shoes sold out in Fluevog stores well before projected dares (there are currently only 1 pair remaining in size 5 and 5 ½ available on Fluevog's online boutique). The campaign received much positive feedback from our joint use of Shorefast's economic nutrition labelling program, and has prompted us to leverage the label in other areas of our business communications.