The success on any company is entwined with the innovation quotient of the company. The knowledge of the consumer is the heart of any innovation. Your innovation today will be the trend of tomorrow. The footwear industry is no exception. The companies in the footwear space are also coming up with innovations but do they reach the consumer is to be discussed.
The consumer of India, likes to be casual as well as formals. They love wearing a tie, a formal shirt etc. in office while the opposite i.e. wearing jeans, casuals shoes etc. is chosen for informal situations. The inflection point to me in the consumer behaviour is that there is an overlap happened in dressing and grooming. The consumers now have a trendy beard as well as trendy hair styles while having trousers and suites (read in formal situations). So now the order of the day is ‘forcasual’ (formal as well as casual). Even the fabric giant Raymonds was forced to respond to this change in life style(recently they launched a campaign stating that colour white is not exclusively formal now but there are other occasions).
Hush Puppies, an international footwear brand started in 1958 has deep-rooted experience in innovation. They were the first to invent the truly casual shoes and also have developed dozens of patented technologies that make its shoes more comfortable, lightweight and worry-free. The segmentation used is a mix of demographic, psychographic as well as occasions. Hush puppies have in their portfolio foot wear for men, women and kids, casual and formal in the Active sports and premium space. The USP of the company is their innovation.
For instance their ‘The Body Shoe’ line is a unique innovation like a bevelled heel and toe that increases walking efficiency by encouraging easier, smoother, more natural walking motion; an exceptional fit created by using anatomically correct moulds so the shoe envelops the foot, and a multi-density foot bed with Ortholite foam in the arch and Poron foam in the heel and ball of the foot; an advanced climate control system composed of Ortholite foam footbeds to wick away moisture. This have addressed even the trivial problems a consumer faces.
The significant feature to me in this brand is that you can use the shoe for both formal as well as casual situations. It has touched the sweet spot of a consumer. A formal shoe is always priced premium. A typical middle class can’t afford to buy one more for casual occasions. Hush Puppies come with a sole of a casual shoe and the remaining formal which makes it apt for any occasion. The brand now is gaining popularity in the country as it is available in leading BATA outlets apart from being available online.