Un Paso Más, the experience of three generations and the power of networks
23 November, 2015
The footwear firm Un Paso Más (one more step) is only three years old, yet boasts five stores of its own and a following that is very involved with the brand on social networks.
A few weeks ago, Un Paso Más celebrated reaching 100,000 followers on Instagram by offering a 10% discount in its brick-and-mortar and online shops. The event definitely deserved celebration. Very few businesses of this size, only three years in business, reach such a large audience on Instagram. But even more important is the level of interaction and dialog the company has managed to achieve among its followers, not only on Instagram but also on Facebook, where they are about to hit 10,000 followers.
Un Paso Más was born in 2012, the brainchild of the Pou family, as a new footwear and handbag firm for women with a very feminine, fresh and comfortable style. Three years on, it has three boutiques in Barcelona, one in Sant Cugat del Vallès and one in Granollers. Also, it just released its line of women’s party footwear and its men’s collection.
Behind this business venture lies the experience of three generations of shoemakers, starting with Sabateria Pou, which can be found in different towns in the county of Vallés. As the name of the new company says, a decision was made to take a step forward, to take on the challenge of doing their own designing and manufacturing while closely following the cutting edge in fashion trends.
The digital connection
The first Un Paso Más shop opened on Carrer Amigó in Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona. From there, the company has managed to attract a large number of clients who are now spreading the word about their great models and attractive designs. And more importantly, they are sharing their positive opinions on social networks. Un Paso Más’ head of marketing, electronic commerce and construction, Beatriz, went over the company’s online strategy with us in detail, and talked about what’s happening now and its future.
“People take pictures of themselves wearing our shoes. They’re proud to wear them, which is really great for us,” explained the online positioning expert. Un Paso Más has set a winning strategy in motion that increases brand recognition in the target audience in the fashion sector, word of mouth. It’s not easy to attain this enviable position, even less so, according to Beatriz, “when you don’t use bloggers to promote the brand relevance.” She adds, “You always believe other people more than you would the brand itself when they’re pointing out positive aspects of a product. That’s what our clients do. Before, the brand was responsible for trying to build recognition. Now it’s other people who do it for you. We’ve grown by riding this trend. We place the emphasis on the consumer and take part in all of the conversations we start online”, says the head of marketing.
But it’s not only about chatting and sharing. According to Un Paso Más, one of the most important factors in achieving their current growth has been costumer service. “We listen actively to everything they say. We always give priority to complaints. We apologize and fix any mistakes we may have made. It’s absolutely crucial.”
At the same time, the conventional channels like the telephone and personal service in the shops continue to be extremely important ways to attend to customers. Un Paso Más’ priority objective is achieving a high level of customer loyalty, and according to them, to make this happen it’s very important to pay close attention to traditional channels. “When you’re selling online, having a customer service phone line is fundamental. We offer this with two people who answer the phone from half past nine in the morning to half past eight in the evening from Monday to Saturday,” explains Beatriz.
The latest trends and a lot of products
Design and product rotation are other strong points at the budding firm. The head of marketing tells us that Un Paso Más got to where it is today “thanks to the accumulated experience of three generations of a family—two of which work at the company—and pursuing an online strategy.” Their target audience is young, independent, responsible women who need shoes to for their professional and personal lives. To offer what they need, the designers of the firm strive to maintain a balance between the latest trends, between more risky shoes and the classics. “We have two great collections, but every week new products come in. In all, we have about 400 products. We know clients want new products and we have to offer them so they come into the shop and visit us online. So the big paradox is that in the end it’s the basics that sell the best,” she explains.
“We’re a dynamic and flexible brand for young people, moms and grandmothers. We have shoes for everyone, but they’re all for people who are on the go and need shoes that you can wear anywhere,” says Beatriz. Un Paso Más’ first products set themselves apart with a more classic style, but this summer the company hopes to position itself as a leader in contemporary styles as well with its new party collection. “Every woman needs a good pair of stilettos that are comfortable. The competition has them, but they’re expensive and often not very comfortable. We combine these two things,” says the representative of Un Paso Más. However, the firm’s offerings “are all priced the
The company’s products are in the 80 euro range for the winter collection, and according to Beatriz are meant for people who “would spend 200 euros for a pair of shoes before the crisis but not now.” She explains, “We got our start in the crisis and we took advantage of that opportunity. We work hard to attract target clients hat don’t spend what they used to on shoes and we turn them into loyal customers.”
As of last July the company’s target clients also include men because, according to them, “men also want to follow the latest styles.” Beatriz explains that up to now there was only the choice of buying the big brands or going for the basics, while trends in men’s shoes were basically forgotten.” She adds, “What we offer men is being fashionable without the exorbitant prices and without having to buy from the big fashion chains to differentiate themselves.”
The digital future
Strengthening the brand and avoiding being just a fad is the foremost goal of the team at Un Paso Más. Their men’s and women’s shoes are made in Elx, near Alicante, and their approach is not based on competing on price. “There’s always someone who’s going to make it for less,” she says.
Un Paso Más wants to build customer loyalty, to get clients to come back and to keep recommending the company to their friends. Thanks to the online shop, they sell all across Spain, especially in its capital. Madrid is home to their largest client base, also one of the most enthusiastic about the brand. And they’re are not shy about taking pictures of their feet and sharing them on their pages. Even though these clients would like to have a store to call their own nearby, the company’s expansion plans to not foresee adding shops at the moment. Instead they plan to continue building strong brand positioning with online optimization strategies, and above all by maintaining an open dialog with their pages’ followers.