We spend our careers trying to please customers with ever-more-appealing footwear from the season before. What research indicates, however, is that customers really aren’t that loyal to us. Consumers are slaves of habit. It’s hard to argue this point anymore when innovation is low or they can buy similar styles at better prices from other brands.
INNOVATE INSIDE THE BRAND
The problem is that product innovation often flames out, despite great effort to make improvements to design and style. Consumers don’t want to spend the mental energy needed to choose among products. The solution is to look at innovation as a progression rather than a total reinvention. This allows the brand to strengthen a habit for purchasing. For example, you made a shoe in leather for spring, this fall you detail it with waterproof, Gore-Tex and a new outsole. It’s the same shoe, but re-configured for the new climate conditions.
DESIGN FOR HABIT
e-Commerce sites dominate the footwear buying landscape. This shopping experience has to go beyond what we think of as a habit. Consumers regularly check social media sites for updates: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They can be updated on new product offerings from your site, too. Design for habit is not limited to the design of the shoe. It is also focused on the design of the sale or shopping habits.
KEEP COMMUNICATION SIMPLE
Consumers are busy and don’t have time for complex, clever advertising. Tell your consumer what the product does and why. The mind is lazy. Simply tell them to go buy the shoe and what the features and benefits are.
BECOME POPULAR EARLY
This is the most difficult of them all. It’s the “originals” concept. If you are the inventor of a style, and everyone wants it, price it aggressively early on, ahead of the experience curve, and win sufficient market share to lower costs. Early market share matters a lot. The consumer will always associate your brand as the “original” and take it into his habit for purchasing.
Wolverine Worldwide Leathers, Inc. offers a broad range of pigskin nubuck leathers to help you solve your product development needs. No matter how complex your project is, we have the leathers and experience to deliver. From waterproof and colorfast, to stain resistant and Gore-Tex approved, Wolverine is the inventor of pigskin nubuck – since 1956.