OMG Austin

Payless and Palessi: the importance of branding

How much would you pay for the newest, most expensive shoes out there? Well, it depends on the brand. A shoes brand that is synonymous with luxury and being expensive is Christian Louboutin’s Red Bottom heels, sneakers and other shoes. However, what if you were tricked into thinking the shoes you paid for were expensive and luxurious? One company tricked influencers into believing their shoes were a new luxury with a simple brand switch.

The importance of branding

A brand is synonymous with a business. If you have a negative brand image online or by word-of-mouth, then customers and clients will take this into consideration before buying products or using your services. How do you think top selling brands made it to the top of their industry? The right branding.

So, one marketing agency took this into account when thinking of the new brand for Payless. The brand fabricated a high end designer and staged a grand opening with expensive shoes in an old Armani store!

The Palessi store screamed luxury: the decor, camera crews, press and the shoes. The fashionistas and influencers paid up to $3,000 for shoes that typically run between $20.00 to $39.99. This stunt shows the importance of branding. One shopper stated, “It’s just stunning. Elegant. Sophisticated.” The whole time, they thought it was a high end luxury brand, but the shoes were really just  Payless with a new brand name.

You can watch the video here of the Palessi store and customers reactions after they realize they’ve been tricked and were shopping at Payless.


The takeaway from Payless: brand awareness matters. This shows that the marketing strategy of brand and brand awareness isn’t done for nothing. This shows that customers and clients are willing to spend a large amount of money on services and products worth their investment.

A $600 pair of shoes that a shoeaholic buys represents that the shoe and company is a luxury and the product is made to last for years to come.

For store fronts, this shows that location is everything. The store was placed inside an old Armani store. The customers were more willing to head to the store because of its location and the atmosphere. It all makes the difference for these shoppers at “Palessi.”

Finally, consumers relate country and origin with your brand and services. A great example is us at OMG Austin. Since we are located and operate in Austin, Texas, companies and businesses in the area are more willing to use our services. We understand the area, we know the locals, we know what Texans want. It’s just best for these local businesses.

While this faux brand was a store front, don’t forget about your social media presence and brand awareness. Your social media presence and brand is just as important as a store front.

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