Don’t start a boring shoe brand
When you are launching your own shoe line, it can be tempting to play it safe. For some shoe brand founders that could mean starting with generic styles. Others might lean towards neutral colours like black and brown. With my experience of launching shoe ranges, it’s time for me to tell you: Don’t start a boring shoe brand.
What makes a new range of shoes sell isn’t all about how easy your customers will find it to match your footwear to their wardrobes. You will first need one or more of your products to catch their eye. This is true whether your future customers find your brand on Instagram, TikTok, Google, in the press or in a store display.
There is a subtle art to creating stand-out shoes which still feel like a coherent part of your range. One way is to introduce a print or bold colour in a simple style which you also offer in neutrals. It is wise to make sure that your scroll-stopping styles are wearable for people who fit your customer profile but dress in a more expressive way than the majority of your customers. Be conservative with the number of pairs you order of your stand-out styles/colours, but make sure you have enough pairs to send to the press, and gift to the right influencers.
I dare you
You are under no obligation to create a classic shoe brand with just a few eye candy options. If you realise that your customer’s deepest unfulfilled wish is to buy the cutest/zaniest/most daring/conversation-starting shoes, then you can choose to launch the shoe brand of their heart’s desire.
It’s not all about boring shoes
Just as we aren’t drawn to spending time with boring people, our hearts can sink when we interact with a predictable shoe brand. Be trustworthy, but don’t be afraid to be playful and memorable in your brand communications. That’s how you will build emotional connections with your potential customers.
If you got bored reading this 😉 here’s the TL;DR
Don’t start a boring shoe brand because:
- Nobody will find your brand or products
- Playing it safe is unsafe!
- Your customers won’t feel emotionally connected to your brand
- There won’t be anything memorable about your brand
- You won’t have scroll-stopping product images
But I’m still terrified!
If starting an exciting new shoe brand still feels scary to you, you will find support from other brave shoe brand founders with unboring concepts in The Shoe Community.