Bill Ross 11:49 AM
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Buckleless Belt Makes Advertising Pro Throw Out Marketing Fundamentals

I’ve been in marketing for over 30 years and the first question we always ask in marketing is what is your target market? Then when I invented the ELTY. A product that seemed to be so universal that to identify one or even several target markets seemed absurd. The ELTY is for everyone that wears pants.

An Elty is a buckle-less belt. I invented it because I wanted a belt to keep my pants up without a belt buckle. I hated the bulge of a buckle under my shirts and disliked the feel of a buckle but needed a belt. I started experimenting. One of the first belts was actually made out of bottle caps:

A buckleless belt made out of pop tabs from soca cans.
One of my very first attempts inventing a buckleless belt in 2010 was this bottle cap version.

From Equestrians to Desk-Jockey's People Loved a Buckleless Belt

Eventually, I got the ELTY perfected and began to show it around. As I did so I found lots of people wanted belts without buckles for the same reason. They also wanted them for other reasons. They liked riding horses, motorcycles, and bikes without the pinch of the buckle, they liked the added comfort sitting in an airplane, in a wheelchair, at a desk, or on a couch.

Women models a Buckleless Belt in the Stable her  Horses
The Perfect Belt for Equestrians

Mom's That are CEO's and Their Kids love Living Unbuckled

Mom’s liked the comfort when bending to pick up a child and my nephew, the plumber, wanted it so he was not showing off his butt when crouched under a sink.

One friend, a CEO who wore it for fashion, asked for another for her down syndrome child so he did not have to try to fumble with a buckle. A friend wanted one for her mom who had arthritis. My first-grade neighbor loved that she did not have to unbuckle it to go to the bathroom—actually, everyone loved that.

Little girl with big smile shows her buckleless belt.
Too Cute for Buckles!

So What IS your Target Market?

The problem of marketing the Elty became of how to choose a target market? I decided the solution was not to choose a target. In the same way, Elty, The Buckleless Belt solves the problem of a buckle by not having one. I decided to make our message inclusivity, not exclusivity.

Some said, it won’t work that the cool kids would not want to wear a belt that solves a problem for people with arthritis but what I’d noticed is that while there are still some very click-oriented people of all ages, there is also a wave of kind, helpful, insightful, accepting people—and many of them seem to be the trendsetters.

Some said that plumbers and cute little girls were not to be found in the same place. I knew that one was not true because my nephew has two amazing little daughters! Some said that people confined to a wheelchair would not want to buy a product that is shown on people riding skateboards. Ha! Maybe they have not seen the extreme wheelchair sports!

Wheel chair athlete does flip on a skateboard course.
People who Express Their Passion are Living Unbuckled

The Future is Unbuckled!

I think we are entering a time when we appreciate and value each other for our uniqueness, our differences, our gifts, and talents—not judge and exclude based on age, gender, preferences, and appearance.

Marketing has a role to play in promoting this change and highlighting those things we all share. It seems many of us share the need to keep our pants up comfortably. There’s even an old saying, ‘We all put our pants on one leg at a time.’ I’m betting there’s a whole lot of us that want to do that with an ELTY threaded through the loops!​​​​

Group of diverse people of many ages and personalities in relaxed pose.
Buckleless Future for One and All

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