5 Business Initiatives That Succeeded for Brands in 2017

Footwear labels stepped up their game this year when it came to both style and performance. Updated technologies, expanded women’s offerings and celebrity brand ambassadors were all core initiatives that helped to boost business.

Here, five executives share their brand’s most successful launches.

Kerry Hartman
VP of global product, Hush Puppies

“Our new BioTrax technology, which is in our men’s fall Expert and T.S. Field styles. The proprietary Bio-Spine concept is based on the principle of engineering the midsole and outsole to guide the foot toward the most neutral and correct gait when walking. It merges technological aspects traditionally found in performance brands into a brown shoe brand. The technology will expand into women’s for spring ’18, followed by dress looks for fall ’18.”

Tim Engel
Tim Engel

Tim Engel
National sales manager, Blundstone USA

“Based on the [continued] growth of the women’s business, Blundstone has put a lot of energy and emphasis on expanding this market segment. While a women’s-specific collection launched globally a few years ago, the U.S. website has been upgraded to showcase product by gender, making it easier for customers to locate women’s styles. These will include Blundstone’s first-ever heeled boot, set to debut for fall ’18.”

Doug Jakubowski
President, FitFlop North America

“[We launched] the athleisure Uberknit collection, supported by our largest global fashion ad campaign ever, and featured award-winning actress Uma Thurman. As a result, we successfully made a significant brand shift in selling closed-toe shoes that are authentic to our brand proposition. This added enormous brand growth and sealed the deal with the consumer that FitFlop is much more than a sandal brand.”

FitFlop Uberknit sneakers
FitFlop Uberknit sneakers
Dan Simas
Dan Simas

Dan Simas
President, Simco Imported Shoes

“The Easy Walk Experience collection by Arcopedico, marketed on its own  website, is designed to attract a younger customer with its versatility and  affordable price points. Made of Elstech, a trademarked vegan stretch material, the lightweight shoe with built-in arch support conforms to the shape of the foot. The [debut] Lolita ballet style is available in a range of vibrant colors and retails for $69. It can be worn to the beach, yoga and shopping.”

Kerry Konrady
VP of marketing, OluKai

“For 2017, we answered consumer demand for the brand’s signature comfort in all-weather footwear. The rainforests of Kaua’i, Hawaii, one of the wettest places on earth, were the inspiration behind our men’s waterproof boot collection. These performance looks deepen our relevance in the fall/winter season. In 2018, we’re expanding into women’s, providing both warm and waterproof styles that connect back to our island heritage.”

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