A Lesson for any small company
Pantofola D’Oro used to have a committed cult following in the boot world. They were always known as a company that made beautiful, high-quality, and comfortable football boots. About five or so years ago, they began to lose this image when they began to start having boots that were manufactured in China and began releasing constant (for them, anyways) colourway updates. This led to them losing a lot of that “mystique” that they used to carry and lost a lot of fans, myself included. But recently, they’ve slowly began to go back to their roots.
One of the biggest and simplest ways they have done this is by stopping the manufacturing of their goods in China. It seems like this they only started to do this in the first place is that they were pushed into this idea that Pantofola should be made for everyone at every budget. The issue is that it not only diluted the brand, but Pantofola D’Oro has never really been about that, they built their brand on uniqueness.
A second way they did this was with the introduction of their SL soleplates. Now, some people will definitely call foul but the brand having a lightweight soleplate paired up with a handmade leather upper brings something unique to the market. It also means that people who were hesitating on try their boots because of the weight are no easier to sway. A valid point can be made that the boots should be stitched to the upper and I agree but I haven’t seen any issues in terms of durability.
The third way is by scaling back production of colourways and the amount of models that are being produced. Since they are doing this, they are bucking the trend of the market which is heading towards the direction of overproduction. This allows the brand to save money and have more control over their products. It also means that they are less likely to suffer from overstocking issues like we have seen from a lot of other brands this year.
Another way they have began to take back control is by having a game plan of announcing their products ahead of time. They didn’t do this as much before and boots would just drop with little fanfare. In a time when we have tons of information at out figure tips, it shouldn’t take much from a brand to get their product out there and notice. I will admit that announcing the products back in March for a November launch was too much of a lead time, but at least we knew what was coming. I also think this might have something to do with the pandemic as well, which has upended a lot of plans this year.
The last piece that completed the puzzle was the leather quality finally going back to the place where it used to be. When Pantofola was producing loads of colours and models, the quality of the leather seemed to take a big step down and it would be a stretch to theorize that this was because they were rushing to make as much product as possible. By scaling production back, they have been able to focus more on each pair of boots they make, thus the quality of the leather goes back up.
Given how competitive the handmade leather boot market has become of the past few years, Pantofola have given themselves a great chance to be the leader in that space. Not only that, but because of their past successes, this “re-start” has come at the right time for Pantofola D’Oro to re-establish themselves in the rest of the market as a whole.
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