Jerusalem Sandals is offering college students an incentive to upgrade their footwear from rubber shower shoes to handcrafted leather sandals with a new college brand ambassador program.
Brand ambassadors are provided with a unique code to distribute on campus. When an order is placed online using the code, the brand ambassador receives 10 percent of the sale to be used toward books and other school costs.
Since launching in 2010, the men’s and women’s sandal maker has been sharing its unique story and message of peace at a grassroots level via social media and word-of-mouth. The line is handcrafted by Palestinians for commercial sale by company with Jewish roots, demonstrating how individuals with diverse backgrounds and beliefs can work toward the same goals.
“We want people to how something good can come from people working together,” said Jerusalem Sandals President Kfir Matalon.
It’s an uplifting story fans of the brand like to share online, and it is supported by effortless, cool designs that are piping hot in the fashion world right now. In terms of trends, Jerusalem Sandals’ current collection checks a lot of boxes. The vegetable tanned leather and strappy sandals complete ’70s-inspired bohemian looks, while minimal slides in black or white leather are the sleeker, more sophisticated answer to Normcore fashion.
The brand linked up with the ready-to-wear label Organic by John Patrick for its Spring ’15 runway show, providing footwear for all of the designer’s minimal looks. That type of parred down styling is prevalent on Jerusalem Sandals’ Instagram account where fans tag the brand in photos of its shoes paired cuffed boyfriend jeans, head-to-toe chambray ensembles and crisp white shorts and linen pants.
Matalon says he frequently hears stories about moms that purchased the sandals for themselves, only to have them taken and worn by their college-age kids. The brand ambassador program is a means for the company to establish a more direct path to this end consumers—Millennials, the generation known for valuing peer recommendations, better quality products and brands with a strong social message.
At this stage, Matalon says exposure is crucial for growth. “We’ve talked about how we can get the shoes closer to the consumer, which is why we want to get ambassadors out there and talk about the brand,” he said. So far, Jerusalem Sandals has enlisted a team of college students recommended through family and friend connections, but Matalon plans to grow the program each season.