Inside Business: The boot in front is a Land Rover

Want to cross miles of rugged terrain, ford rivers, haul yourself up mountains and experience the great outdoors? Then you need Land Rover - not the car, but the boots.

The car marque synonymous with toughness and durability is about to launch its own range of branded footwear. At first sight it may appear to be a classic case of stretching a brand too far and sceptics may be tempted to ask where the synergy between the two lies.

But David Fulker, the marketing manager, sees no anomaly and believes that the Land Rover brand is elastic enough to stretch into another product area. "The introduction of Land Rover footwear will prove very popular with our vehicle customers as well as providing the general market with an additional quality product," he says.

Land Rover's motives are obvious. It is entering a very lucrative market. Tastes are changing and industrial footwear is advancing at a rate traditionally associated with "designer" trainers. However, Mr Fulker adds that the move also "plays an important part in Land Rover's international brand protection and extension strategy".

The range of footwear will not be produced by Land Rover but under licence by specialist manufacturer Dickies UK, which supplies workwear and footwear to a number of industries. Richard Chilcott, the sales and marketing director of Dickies, says: "The Land Rover brand is instantly recognisable and has an image and a focus. It's tough, durable, rugged and fit for purpose. Those values can be successfully extended to the footwear business."

The footwear goes on sale in selected department stores and country clothing specialists at the end of this month and Land Rover intends to expand into other areas such as outdoor clothing. Mr Fulker explains: "This is the first step of a deliberate strategy for Land Rover to realise full brand potential in the lifestyle arena. We will continue together with our licensing agents, Design Rights International, to look at further opportunities to support and enhance the marque."

By moving into "lifestyle" products, Land Rover is following a route well trodden by Caterpillar. Initially associated with tractors and earthmoving equipment, the brand name now has new parlance, particularly in the youth market where Caterpillar is synonymous with streetwear and is the brand to be seen in.

Caterpillar originally extended the brand from vehicles into workwear, providing boots for the building workers who put up America's cities. However, by 1991, when the brand waslaunched into the UK, it became, like Doctor Martens before it, a fashion item.

Shubhankar Ray, creative director of the Overland Group, which licenses Caterpillar footwear in the UK, says: "The Caterpillar name has a heritage and the product performs on all technical levels - it is comfortable, lightweight and durable." He adds that in the Nineties, the youth market especially wants functional products with "relevance to the real world around them".

To get the message across, Caterpillar is running an advertising campaign in the fashion and style press featuring real building workers wearing the product in a bid to give the brand credibility and emphasise its industrial heritage. Mr Ray says: "It's a very street-oriented brand and we are building Caterpillar as a modern urban myth like Nike is building itself as a sporting myth."

Caterpillar is certainly an urban product, worn more for hanging out on street corners than scaling peaks or yomping across fields.

Land Rover says it will not be positioning itself in the same way or targeting the youth market. The brand will focus on rural rather than urban values and take on Timberland by appealing to more traditional consumers.

Mr Chilcott says: "Footwear provides the best business opportunity to establish the Land Rover brand. This in many respects is on the back of various branded items that have created awareness. This is best demonstrated by Caterpillar, which over a three-year period has created a cult image.

"But one must always be mindful that in doing business this way it will be subject to fashion peaks and troughs. We want to ensure that the Land Rover brand for footwear will become a traditional rather than fashion product."

All that remains now is for the product's consumers to ensure that they are in good enough shape to take on the challenges of the great outdoors with Land Rover - but without the wheels.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam