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Boot Barn Blazes the Fashion Frontier while Staying True to its Roots

Boot Barn Creative Director and VP of Marketing Isha Nicole on capitalizing the viral Western moments while preserving the company's core customer.

From Coastal Cowgirl to Cowboy Core, Western style has been enjoying a squaredance in the spotlight. A leading retailer for Western footwear and apparel, Boot Barn is capitalizing on the moment while staying true to its roots. We sat down with Isha Nicole, Boot Barn Creative Director and VP of Marketing, to uncover how the brand is drawing in new fashion consumers while preserving its core customer of real-life cowboys.

Have you seen a big boost in business since the rise of the cowboy boot trend and aesthetics like “coastal cowgirl?” 

Isha Nicole

We have seen an increase in women’s business over the last few years, however, we attribute the increase to our marketing strategy. Since the 2018 launch of Wonderwest, our contemporary women’s fashion sub-brand that merges runway trends with classic western threads, we’ve been able to speak directly to the women’s western-inspired fashion customer. Through Wonderwest, we are uniquely positioned to curate timely collections and drive marketing tailored specifically to this customer, drawing more people into the overall Boot Barn brand.

How do you capitalize on these trend cycles without isolating your core customer? 

With nearly 400 stores spread across 41 states, Boot Barn serves a core customer that is dispersed throughout the country, especially in middle America. This customer feeds, builds, and protects America. This is a needs-based lifestyle—these customers rely on Boot Barn to replace worn-down work boots or stock up on layers to work through the winter.

Our approaches to the core customer and the fashion customer are very different, and we keep them segmented to make sure we meet the customer where they are. For example, while our core customer strategy is rooted in consistency, our fashion strategy is focused on constantly driving newness within the brand, including by partnering with leading designers and artists to create new collections for the western-inspired fashion enthusiast. We don’t shift our business model based on what’s popular, but when it comes to fashion, we keep an eye on trends to keep the brand fresh, active, and at the forefront of the industry.

Boot Barn

Boot Barn is making a lot of buzz on Tiktok and Instagram. How are you balancing traditional marketing and social media?

We have an always-on strategy that keeps us focused on diversifying and tailoring our content based on the platform we’re using and the audience segment we’re targeting. For example, our direct mail pieces are based in storytelling—we focus on sharing rich narratives of life out West. By contrast, our social media is a mix of storytelling, product features, and snapshots of the greatest lifestyles on Earth.

 

 

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You have locations all around the country. Do you personalize brick-and-mortar selection by region? 

There are small nuances between each store to better support local communities, but overall, our stores offer the same selection of western wear, workwear, outdoor gear, and western-inspired fashion pieces.

How do you balance boot selection with your fashion and accessories offerings? 

Boots have always been our primary focus, given that they comprise of half of our business. While we carry everything from cowboy hats and accessories to apparel for western, work, country, and fashion customers, boots remain our top priority.

What can we expect to see from Boot Barn in 2024?

We’re planning on expanding our partnerships with country music artists, athletes, sports teams, and noteworthy fashion brands. At the same time, we’ll continue expanding across the country at the pace of one new store a week.

The February 2024 Issue

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