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The luxury-goods company Shinola is capitalizing on Detroit

The luxury goods company Shinola is capitalizing on Detroit The Washington Post


This Shinola is a luxury-goods producer that chose to start up in this struggling city, and less than two years later has become an innovative giant in branding, storytelling marketing and, above all, understanding the consumer zeitgeist, what people want at this very moment.

This Shinola knows watches, bikes, leather goods, pet toys and, yes, shoe polish. Perhaps what this company knows best is that a little consumer guilt — or “responsibility,” if you prefer — can translate into a lot of company dollars, a projected $80 million in gross sales this year, its first full year of production.

The Shinola story is all about marketing Detroit, selling Detroit and attempting to build the first great nonautomotive brand out of the city in decades — and watching buyers respond. And respond they have. Bill Clinton has purchased more than a dozen $550 Shinola watches, and he has hawked the company’s story in speeches, declaring: “We need more American success stories like Shinola in Detroit.”

Stashed in: Brands!, Luxury, Luxury, Michigan

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Amazing the Shinola brand has thrived given the comparison to poop.

Many tech companies are now embracing Detroit, too:

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