One of the hottest US brands is a company called Shinola (owned by Bedrock Manufacturing) which says it makes watches, denim and bicycles among other things in the city of Detroit, which as we all know has fallen prey to bad times. Shinola became the white knight for the city of Detroit, which has badly in need for a hero. Shinola’s marketing message: we are bringing back manufacturing to Detroit. The myth of the brand and that do-good-factor has helped it get an entry into high-end stores like Barneys.
In this story for The Four Pins, Jon Moy takes the mask off Shinola and points out that while creating 150-odd jobs is a great, they might have been overselling the brand and the hype has gotten way ahead of itself. Moy points out Shinola’s Detroit is more marketing, less manufacturing.
Instead of starting in his parent’s garage, Shinola is a trust fund kid that decided one day he wanted to start a company and had his dad buy him all the cool stuff. And much to my chagrin, all this money seems to paying off. Their initial offering of watches sold out before they were even assembled. Shinola is using my city as its shill, pushing a manufactured, outdated and unrealistic ideal of America.
This is a great and a “must read,” especially if you are considering dropping a grand on one of their watches.