I recently took a couple of weeks off to enjoy a vacation to the most inspiring and wonderful place on Earth. The fam went to Disneyworld Orlando and although my feet hurt like the writer in Misery after Kathy Bates did her thing with the club, I was still inspired. I was able to step away from my Amazon Sneaker Shop, which is the bread and butter of the company, and I was able to analyze ARCH.
After running Sho-Shot Athletics from 2005 to 2008 and then launching ARCH in 2009 I encountered the same issues as before. I only sold my brand when I was standing in front of someone at a local market, or with SS I sold them packaged into basketball camps. I’ve always had somewhere to sell my shoes until this past year once I learned to really run my Sneaker Shop. Once the sneaker shop became the primary business, I stopped really dedicating the time and thought to promoting and really selling my own line. I’ve been making shoes and if they don’t sell, I basically sit on them or warehouse them at local stores without a marketing plan. Yesterday, I ended all of that. I pulled the shoes from the local stores and although they are still up for sale on the site, I haven’t been promoting them and there isn’t any real traffic on my site (especially now that the Nikes are not on the site).
Going to Disney made me recognize I have really been going through the motions. Without giving away too much, I think I finally figured out why my brand hasn’t done very well. I have not attended any trade shows. Trade shows generate orders and sales. I don’t currently plan to attend any trade shows so how have I rectified this situation? What have I done to potentially change the direction of the brand and get people to buy into what I’m doing here?
I have created my own connection to the larger market. There are certain things that have to be done to be carried in chains, mom and pop, or large online outlets. I implemented phase one of change by making it possible for my shoes to be searched on Amazon and by retail outlets. This cost approximately 1 thousand dollars. I now have to learn how to use the system, but by making it so that my brand shows up when a person uses the keywords casual, athletic, or other name brand shoes, I will soon be showing up alongside every national brand in the country!!!! This is huge.
On a different level instead of just dumping shoes in local boutiques, I pulled them and I am creating a complete marketing campaign with marketing materials showing Made In Memphis along with the styling. I don’t plan on doing anything with this until next month, but it’s a good start. I also redesigned the ARCH Casual shoe The Allen and it’s fall line. Although I had already made samples, I thought they needed an upgrade and they needed to be defined. The shoe looks less like a skate shoe now and more like a casual lifestyle shoe for cool, mature, men.
In short, by not selling any shoes and growing, I’m growing in a more confident and positive manner. Sometimes a vacation is just what is needed. I hope you have rested and feel re-energized… Stay Motivated