Analyse the design and promotion of a product range marketed to a sub-cultural or niche market identity

Sub-culture is based on the age, geography, ethnicity and social class. The most represented historically of social emergence for sub-cultures as the Teddy boys, Punk Rockers and Hippies. This essay is going to discuss how brands promote their product by using the effect of sub-culture. Taking Dr.Martens as an example, their relationship with sub-culture; the image they want to transfer to the public; how they change the ideology of punk and rock will be shown in the following essay.

The background of the Dr. Martens is that “Dr. Martens boots were first introduced into this country 50 years ago, a half-century that has seen Britain transformed, as musical movements have emerged and declined, and fashions come and gone. Yet DMs have been the footwear of choice for everyone from punks to policemen, skinheads to socialists (Sarfraz.M , 2010).” Punk’s imagery is that acting different with others such as they listen to different kinds of music like The Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the clash, punks have choice to wear distressed and battered clothing to let people thinks they are scary and strong, so that military character style of Dr. Martens has become their first choice of footwear. Because of Dr.Martens boots have numerous colours can be chosen, it suits the punk’s ideal of subverting the common colour of apparel and hair. One of the sub-cultures that Dr. Martens has represented is the meaning of freedom.


By the time passed, Dr.Martens has now become one of the most popular and fashionable shoes that people choice. Take a singer Miley Ray Cyrus as an example, there is a scene that she is almost naked but only wearing a pair of Dr.Martens in her Music Video called wrecking Ball. The reason why Miley chose to show this indelible impression to the public with Dr.Martens is because this ‘Boots’ not only suit the meaning of the lyrics of Wrecking Ball but also represent her spirit which is persuading freedom but still being tough. (Wrecking Ball is a song telling that a woman wants to get into her lover’s heart like a wrecking ball. It shows a strong emotion of love.) From this example, it is clear to see that Dr.Martens has already built up its brand personality and ideology. Olins (2003) mentioned that the image of brands are not only belong to them but become consumers image as most people take product’s characteristics to define themselves. Therefore, celebrities and people who want to be unique and give others a strong impression would choose to wear Dr.Martens.



Olins,W (2008). Wally Olins: The Brand Handbook. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.. P14

None. (2013). The History Of Dr Martens In Youth Culture. Available:  [Last accessed 08/12/14.]

Manzoor,S. (2014). Dr Martens at 50: these boots were made for… everyone. Available:  [Last accessed 08/12/14.]

Thompson, S. (2012). Punk productions: Unfinished business. SUNY Press.

Sinfield, A. (2006). Shakespeare, authority, sexuality: unfinished business in cultural materialism. Routledge.

Dr.Martens . (2014). THE FULL STORY . Available: Last accessed 08/12/14.

Goggle(2012) Miley[Online image] Available from: [Accessed 08/12/14]

Google image(2012) camden town punk[Online image]Available from: [Accessed 08/12/14]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s