Footwear design is more than simply getting someone else to come up with creative ideas for your company. It’s a viable operational strategy to successfully make and move new shoe concepts into an intensely competitive marketplace.
Here are three critical ways innovative footwear design helps your brand win those competitive bids and deliver quality shoes to your customers:
- Fresh Perspectives Ensure An Iterative Selection Process
Although your brand may have in-house design resources, it’s often a challenge to continually stoke the creative process. That’s why many footwear brands seek out a sourcing partner, to tap into an expert, alternative vision for possible shoe prototypes.
Typically, your sourcing partner will ask for a consultation on the product brief to get a clear, definitive understanding of the intended prototype. From there your partner will design a number of product iterations, in a sufficient variety of colors, materials and design features, for consideration.
This provides an overview, and drawing representation, of what the end product might look like, but the initial smattering of sketches is really intended to stimulate commentary, discussions and revisions. The selection process is reductive from that point forward.
An iterative footwear design selection process is a simple statistic of reality: The more drawings you create, the more intensive your cut-down and the closer you’re going to get to your true intentions for a final physical shoe prototype.
- Co-Creation And Collaboration Encourage Brand Continuity
You could hire someone who takes a heavy free hand in your footwear design, creating a very compelling shoe, but the design also unnaturally sticks out from the rest of your product catalog.
The end game is, of course, beautiful shoes that customers respond to. But your footwear sourcing partner should always be in tune with your messaging and philosophies. While you want the benefit of having an alternative viewpoint, the designs must be congruous with your brand DNA.
Look for a footwear sourcing partner that knows exactly how to collaborate with your in-house design team – this is the only way for your partner to understand your brand’s mentality and inspirations. Co-creating is the best way to come to the ultimate conclusion of the right prototype to carry forward with and manufacture, increasing merchandising opportunities as a result.
- Footwear Design For Speed To Market
Sometimes you just can’t get samples done in time to beat your competitors. Your customers, however, will request to see a new set of designs immediately – and, if you win this type of account, they have a lot of numbers behind them.
The first to the finish line is often the company that wins the order. So, what’s the ideal turnaround time for getting a sample to a large wholesaler?
The answer largely depends on the complexity of the project. The key is finding the right footwear sourcing partner that can take on simple and complex, sophisticated projects.
To be in a position to strike when these highly coveted sales opportunities arise, you need designs feeding swiftly into the next step of the bidding process. And that only happens when you achieve a design cycle that runs slightly above the pace of everything else.
The right footwear sourcing partner should have an established mechanism that’s set up to deliver quick, quality creative shoe concepts in these seriously competitive bidding situations.
Through collaboration, co-creation and a fast turnaround on developing the final shoe prototype, you put your footwear brand in the best position to win the big bids. Innovative footwear design, with the right sourcing partner, has the potential to really take your footwear brand places.
Ready to learn what questions to ask when selecting a footwear sourcing partner?