FEATURE25 February 2021

Best foot forward: How Dr Martens is stepping into the future

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Features Retail Trends UK

Dr Martens has a long history of identification with subcultures, but insight is helping the brand to keep its solid footing for the future. By Liam Kay

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Whether it’s a punk pogoing at a gig, a goth striding into a local bar or a guitarist stepping out on stage, Dr Martens has been a staple footwear of many subcultures in the UK in recent decades. The iconic brand celebrated its 60th birthday last year, and continues to be a prominent presence on today’s high street.

Despite its unique look and devoted fanbase, Dr Martens is always looking to stay relevant for a new audience, and insights and market research help keep it on the front foot.

Michelle Faure, head of brand strategy and insights at Dr Martens, leads the company’s insight function. She heads up a team of two others, including a strategy director who sits on the company’s global leadership team.

The team has not always had insight in its remit – it adopted the discipline 18 months ago, after a request from the company’s chief executive, having previously been focused solely on strategy. “We used to do a ...