- Hello my name is Opeyemi Bewaji, I'm looking to raise £40,000 to start up my footwear brand.
My shoe brand is named MOVE. It’s simple, easy to pronounce, easy to remember and it’s an immaculate name for a shoe brand. I decided to become a shoe designer because I have a lot of passion for making shoes and very keen in the fashion industry. I’ve always loved fashion since I was at a very young age of 11. I have no doubt in my mind this will be successful shoe brand. I have received a lot of positive response from customers on my social platforms. There’s never been a sneaker brand that originated from Ireland. Starting a sneaker brand in Ireland will bring in a mass amount of attention from the Irish community. I’ve been selling the shoes hand to hand and it always sells out at faster rates than I predict. That’s why I want to expand the brand professionally. The brand as so much potential than anything I’ve seen. I plan on making a website to sell the shoes online, going to events to market the shoes, using influential models to model the shoes, giving some free shoes to public figures in Ireland and outside Ireland to promote the shoe. I will create video advertisements which will be uploaded on YouTube with the potential of being seen by millions of users and more. I will use auto fulfill to ship and deliver the product internationally.
I formed my brand a little over 1 year ago. The reason behind starting my own shoe brand was I saw major business possibilities within that industry and for my love for design. I named my shoe brand MOVE, as it represents to move yourself and achieve your goal no matter what it may be. The name works very well for a footwear business. The brand slogan is MOVE YOURSELF. It’s simple, easy to remember and as a motivational presence within it.
I knew the brand had potential to expand from own personal sales. I have a manufacturer from china, who manufacture my shoes and delivers them to my home address. I market my shoes through my social media sites such as Instagram and snapchat. The feedback I received was amazing and I had no trouble selling the shoes at a faster rate than I expected. I sold the shoes for 100€ at first, but as I saw more and more people interested so I decided to increase the price to 120€ per pair. The only difficulties I’ve come across with are not having enough shoes to sell to the awaiting customers. The shoes would always sell at a faster rate than I predicted, in return there would be customers waiting for the product which I wouldn’t have in hand.
I funded the shoes from my own personal savings. It cost 250€ for each sample, I had to do different types of samples before I finalized the shoe. I did 5 samples before I finalized the shoe. It took me awhile to confirm the shoe as I wanted to make sure it was the right shoe that the viewers would buy.
My market is targeted to males and females at ages 13 – 38, but it’s still a brand that would interest an age group older than my targeted audience. The reason why I’m targeting my stated age groups is everything in today’s world is marketed at young people. So why not take that opportunity and target my product towards them. I know it works because of my own personal hand to hand sales. Most of my customers were aged 14 to 30. But older age groups were also interested which was unexpected but valued at the same time. I know the market can only grow, as young people use social media more than any other age group. Which will work in my favor as it gives more marketing towards my brand. My models who model for my brand are also young aged 14 to 27. To target a young audience you must use young people as models, which I did and continue to do.
I’m going to sell my shoes online on my created professional website. Purchase a domain name including hosting for the website, and an SSL Certificate. Obtaining an SSL Certificate allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Selling online is more beneficial then selling in a store. In a physical store the number of potential customers decrease immensely. Over 1 billion people worldwide are using the Internet today, meaning selling online I conceivably have 1 billion people with access to my online store. Compare this number with the population of a city such as Dublin, which is populated with 527,612 people. With a physical store located in Dublin my potential population reach will not rise far compared to my online store. I will make my product visible to the world with online marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Business today reach more and more qualified customers over the Internet compared to traditional offline marketing by targeting specific demographics. With online marketing results can be measured and changes can be made based on my results.
The website will have a customized email address where the customers can send their complaints to. I and one of my voluntary consultants will handle the complaints. We aim to reply to each customer within a 24 hour period. If there are any returns on the product, we will refund the customers money back within a 5 day period. Granted they provide evidence of purchase with the product still in immaculate condition. As we plan to restock and resale any returns. My fulfillment service will deliver the customers product on time, resulting in no delays. All customers should be treated professionally, so we aim to give them a professional and polite service.
I’m going to use social media sites to market the shoes, such as Instagram, Facebook, snapchat, and YouTube. The reasons behind using each are,
- Instagram: as more than 300 million monthly active users who spend an average of 257 minutes a month on the platform. Instagram’s content is visual, which is an advantage over other advertising options, because 40 percent of consumers respond better to visual information than plain text. Instagram offers paid advertising options for businesses. According to data collected by Forrester, branded content on Instagram generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%. That’s 58 times the engagement driven by the same type of content on Twitter. Instagram has a built-in feature that makes it easy to share content to other sites automatically.
- Facebook: With more than 800 million users, Facebook is a fundamental tool in reaching your target audience in any age group. As well as allowing you to post text, Facebook lets you upload pictures and videos from your business. This can be a powerful way to communicate with customers and potential customers, allowing them to see your product or service without having to visit your premises. Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional print, radio or TV ads. Customers can post after-sales questions on your Facebook wall, and I or my staff can answer them. This is often more efficient than I or my staff answering phone calls, and allows other customers to read common questions and answers without having to approach you individually. Can include a link to your website on your Facebook page, many businesses report that the greatest benefit of Facebook is the extra traffic that it steers to their site. Facebook can analyse all the information that millions of users enter into their profiles. I can pay to use this information to deliver targeted advertising to a specific group.
- Snapchat: With 100 million daily active users, an average user spending 30 mins on the app with 8 billion Snapchat daily video views. Snapchat gives businesses the chance to interact with their followers in a not just a real time context, but also a location based manner as well. Snapchat allows you to engage one-on-one with your customers, allowing them to see that you truly value them.
- YouTube: There are more than 1 billion users on YouTube and the number of hours each month that viewers are watching videos has been steadily increasing by 50% year over year. Its reach is far more comprehensive than regular television and cable stations. YouTube provides many viral marketing advantages, from easily embedding videos on websites to sharing them on social media. YouTube is international reaching countries around the globe. It is accessible anywhere, on a multitude of different devices, such as PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets. In fact, about half of all views come from mobile devices. YouTube is available in 61 languages and is being used in 75 countries. About 60% of views on a video come from outside the country where it originated
With the money I raise I intend to use it for the following stated below,
- To the manufacturing of the shoes. The shoes consist of 1200 pairs, 300 in 4 sizes of 8,9,10 and 11. The sizes are in EU. The shoes cost 15.00USD per pair to manufacture.
- To ship the 1200 pairs from china to a warehouse in Galway. I’m using auto fulfil to ship the shoes to the customers. They are Ireland's leading Internet logistics provider.
- To making the website, I’m using only the most reputable and professional website builders. The website will have a nice elegant look to it, so its eye catching to the viewer and draws them in. The website quality will be no less than any other worldwide recognisable brand.
- To registering the company and business name including corporate services registering the newly formed company for taxes, registering a domain name and website hosting.
- To marketing, it will be split between each social media site. I will use paid ads and other reasonable advertisement offers they have.
- To the cost of extra shoes to give free to public figures and social media influencers to promote the shoe.
- To hosting fashion events to bring more awareness to the brand from the local community.
- To the Photographers, Models, Video shoots, and any other involvement needed.
- To registered the logo, trademark globally.
- To patent the created design globally.
- To buy a Nikon D810 for the photography and video shoots for the brand.
My competitors are Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, New balance, Converse, Fila, Vans, Under Amour, and Sketchers
Nike is the most valuable sports brand in the world. Its “Swoosh” logo is instantly recognizable around the globe. Its long partnership with legendary basketball player Michael Jordan has driven strong sales of the company’s basketball sneakers. Its ability to maintain and enhance its iconic brands has allowed it to enjoy continued success for decades.
Nike was facing intense criticism of its labour practices and work conditions. The cost of its footwear is higher than most of its competitors, which make its products out of reach for many customers around the globe.
The company has a long heritage and high brand value since 1924.They have worldwide presence and is internationally recognized.
They have stiff competition and similar big brands mean customers have high brand switching.
Puma is established over 90 countries and employs around 8300 employees all over the world. They have entered into partnerships with famous companies like Ferrari and BMW.
Puma has tough competition and limited market share compared to Nike and Adidas. The Company has less financial strength compared to the other brands in the industry
Reebok is amongst the top 3 largest seller of athletic footwear and athletic apparel in the world. The brand has been endorsed by many sports stars and movie celebs globally.
The brand faces tough problem from fake and duplicate sales.
New Balance: Strengths
The company has been a part of several philanthropic efforts since past many years. New balance has sponsored teams and players in the Australian Football League and NBA.
The brand being among the elite brand is prone to recession and economic downturns and limited presence in emerging economies.
The company has a long history since 1908 and a huge loyal customer base. The company has partnered with a NGO called RED, working for AIDS relief in Africa.
Tough competition from existing brands means limited market share. Converse buys and sells in different currencies and hence can be at a loss sometimes.
The brand has very popular sports brand ambassadors which has promoted their brand very well. The brand has over 100 stores all over the world.
Lack of products in the women’s segment compared to men’s. Fila have tremendous competition from sports apparel brand globally meaning smaller market share.
High product quality and strong brand reputation and Shoes Fit from infants to people with size 16 shoes
The brand as not been able to penetrate emerging markets compared to competitors. It focuses on mostly skateboarding style of clothing.
Under Amour: Strengths
The company as top notch marketing and top-profile endorsements, in return which keeps the brand in the limelight.
The company has yet to establish itself around the world. Over 90% of its 2013 revenues came from North America. UA also doesn’t manufacture its own products. This leaves the company vulnerable to disruptions in its supply chain that may or may not be under its control.
Sketchers are now the second-largest footwear company by market share in America, trailing only Nike. Retail sales have increased nearly 20 percent in 2015 with endorsements from celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Brooke Burke-Charvet, and Mark Cuban.
The shoe designs are not preferred by everyone, which in return drives customers to other brands. There’s been lot of controversy that the brand copies other company’s shoes. Lack of originality sees a fall in some consumers who look for something new and original.
The advantages of my shoe brand compared to the brands I’ve stated above are, firstly my brand name is simple and easy on the tongue. Not only do you need to have respectable products, but your brand name must be reputable. MOVE is easy to pronounce, remember, and fits the name for a shoe brand perfectly. My shoes are different from any other shoe that has been manufactured and sold in the world. The fact they are different but still a good product draws a lot of attention from the consumers.
The weaknesses are my shoe brand does not have the popularity, solid reputation, worldwide recognition or a strong following base as the other brands stated. But when it gets more publicized I have no doubt it will match the level of the other brands.
If you read everything above I thank you for your patience. As I'am asking for a lot to start up the business it's only reasonable I go into detail of why I need the amount and what it will be used for. Honestly I will be so grateful to any donation I can get, it would mean the absolute world to me. Even if I don't raise my full target, the fact I still got donations from people who don't even know me but donated because they believed in my idea means more than anything. This is my passion and I will not stop for anything, no matter who we are if we believe in something we should fight until the end. But there is no end because we should never give up. Thank you all so much.