Tisza Cipő ® – that’s all you need to say on the streets of Hungary and you’ll be best friends with most of the pedestrians walking by. It’s a promise.
Only very few brands can be successful and cult for more than 15 years, then disappear for a while, followed by a re-birth, and keep excitement and customer loyalty thereafter on a constant high level. Well, Tisza Cipő is definitely one of them. The brand is full of emotions and it stands for a lifestyle that connects generations. The other special thing about Tisza Cipő is that it is 100% made in Hungary. Really, how many sneaker brands today are still made in their countries of origin? Not many.
Tisza Cipő was born 1971 in Martfű, Hungary. During the socialist years it was the sneaker brand that local Hungarians wore. Not because this was the only casual shoe brand available at that time, but it was also extremely durable and long-lasting. You could wear these shoes for years. As with many things around the time of political changes, locally manufactured products were not cool enough to buy anymore and the shoe factory eventually had to closed down to make place for other Western brands.
Around 2001 Laszlo Vidak, a local entrepreneur, wanted his childhood shoe brand back. He acquired the trademarks and product related patents with his graphic designer friends and opened the first ‘new-age’ Tisza Cipő flagship store in 2003. I do not think anybody was prepared for the huge fan love that followed the brand-renaissance. It might have been even the first Hungarian brand after the socialist era, that used grass root marketing techniques to re-introduce itself on the market. There was no outdoor-advertising, no TV spots, there were not even magazines ads – only small flyers in bars and discotheques, and the power of word-of-mouth. It turned out that Hungarians were waiting for Tisza Cipő to return and it became a huge success again. Now almost 10 years later Tisza Cipő stores can be found almost in all big towns of Hungary. And only in Hungary.
The brand has found its place in the heart of locals again, even though temptation is big and competition with other street style brands is tough.What I particularly like about the re-branding is that the logo remained almost untouched. The famous T. It is there in the heads, and it is there to stay. The entire feeling around the brand is retro-hip, but it is adoptable to new trends and styles.
Viva Tisza Cipő!
Source of images: courtesy of Tisza Cipő.
Following a TV-spot from old days. Love it. (I can recall watching this . . . ;) )