Ask the regular customer why they adore and patronize certain shoe brands, say the likes of Nike, Zappos, Jordans, or Yeezys, and chances are you’ll get many responses like, “I don’t know, there’s just something about them.”
And though this answer may not give you much insight, it still shows how important branding—the invisible pull every business needs—defines your business and influences its success.
This is more the case for shoe brands as most shoes are pretty much the same or have a close resemblance. As a shoe company, your brand and what you’re able to achieve with it is what makes the difference between your business and its competitors.
And today, we’d be providing you with a simple guide on how to give your business a unique feel.
Optimize Your Company’s Brand
The easiest way to understand what a brand truly is is to visualize your business as a person and your brand as its character. Just the same way every individual needs a relationship, and the foundation of every relationship is trust, your company’s brand-customer relationship is also established on trust.
That trust doesn’t only depend on having a business name, logo, and a few other branding essentials. And this is why we’ve seen several businesses like Nike, Amazon, and Google not only go for a rebrand but also invest heavily in communicating the right brand image to their customers.
And so, to optimize your brand, you need to:
- Improve your brand awareness. Don’t just rely on catchy advertisements to get your brand in the public domain; also ensure you build a strong social media presence.
- Align your shoe company with the desires and needs of your target audience. For example, do your customers want premium prized shoes or cheaper ones? Will they value stylish and trendy shoes or classic and traditional ones?
- Encourage brand loyalty through customer satisfaction and relationships. This way, you can transform regular customers into brand ambassadors.
- Improve brand recognition by building your identity around brand elements like your brand name, product name, logo, tagline, and unique packaging. This would make it way easier for customers to identify your brand. Setting the right first impression with your brand name is a vital necessity. And the best way to find a catchy business name is by getting help from a great naming agency.
- Build on your brand’s reputation by reinforcing positive emotions, personalities, and qualities you want your brand to be associated with while doing your best to reduce those that will harm your progress.
By now, you might have seen that optimizing your brand isn’t a day job but rather something you build on and maintain.
Prioritize Customers’ Satisfaction
It doesn't matter what your shoe business hopes to achieve; what it will be remembered for is the experience—and it is what decides how they relate to your brand going forward.
As a young shoe brand, satisfying your customers should be your primary goal because the last thing your business needs is to lose the few you’ve already gained by not meeting their expectations.
In 2010, the popular shoe site Zappos suffered some technical glitch at their sister site, 6pm.com, which caused every item on their listings to be valued at $49.95.
Rather than cancel the orders already made by their customers and disappoint them, the company chose to see this specific mistake as an opportunity to show its commitment to customer satisfaction even when it hurt its bottom line. And even though the company lost $1.6 million, it won the hearts of its customers.
Want to know the best way to raise customer satisfaction? Begin by understanding customers' desires by utilizing feedback, surveys, and interactions on social networks. Use their suggestions to build a brand that is as close to their ideal business as possible. Make it obvious to your target customers that you have their best interest at heart.
Conclusion: Take Smart Risks
Although taking risks is a major requirement of every entrepreneur, several times, most entrepreneurs stop short when it comes to making strategic moves that could help their shoe brand grow.
What Zappos did was an expensive risk, and just like them, most successful brands take strategic risks and do their best to make them work. Nike is a perfect example of a brand that has made an uncommon success by taking bold risks. Here are a few examples:
- The super endorsement contract they gave Michael Jordan, a rookie at the time, far exceeded those by other established athletes like Bird, Magic, and Dr. J and had them create an entirely new shoe line just for him, the Air Jordan brand.
- Nike’s successful marketing hijack of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where Michael Johnson—while wearing gold-colored Nike shoes—won 2 gold medals, broke world records, and appeared in Time magazine, all without paying the $100 million official sponsorship fee that Reebok paid.
Always seek creative opportunities to emphasize your brand's essence in the public domain.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world's leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation.