How I Build My Brand - Meet Founder of Nigeria's Infamous by Glenn Brand as he Shares From the Brand's Journey
Sometimes, serious business starts as a thing of passion. This is the story of how Glenn started the shoe brand which has become loved and sought after by elites and the crème de la crème of fashion consumers.
Mauvelli had an interactive fashion chat with Glenn and we learnt a lot from the story of this shoe brand. In sharing this journey with you, insights from the brand growth as well as lessons from challenges faced by the brand will be made open to you.
Brand Name: Infamous by Glenn Judo
Infamous was started in Lagos by Glenn Judo in 2015. According to him, " I did not expect it to grow into a business because it was simply based on my love and passion for shoes."
I’m Glenn Judo. The founder of Infamous by Glenn Judo brand; where I offer stylish and classy bespoke shoes at affordable prices.
Here is how it started. Glenn summarised, "It all started with my ability to combine clothes pretty well and my love for shoes, this triggered me into making my shoes to the taste I wanted (the shoes usually available in boutiques or online stores needed an extra touch). I got so much positive feedback from people concerning the shoes I created".
Wine double-tone monkstraps from Infamous By Glenn
Glenn's shoes are made from scratch with materials sourced locally and abroad. The shoes range from Oxfords, Brogues, Monkstraps, Chelsea boots and Derbys to a whole lot more. The shoes are bold and comfortable.
After 5 years in the fashion industry, we asked Glenn how he builds his brand and he said, "The major thing that has helped me succeed is ‘facing front’ or as people call it ‘minding my business’. I do not compare myself with anybody else. Most people don’t realize that whatever is working or has worked for someone’s business may not work for yours."
What challenges did you face in building your brand?
Without hesitating, Glenn responded, "The cost of exporting is too much!". He went on to explain, "A shoe is worth about 16,000 NGN, If it's sent to the UK, it would be charged 11,000 NGN for delivery, that alone is very discouraging. There are other exporting options but they take too long, no one is going to sit around for 3 weeks waiting for their packages to arrive, at least not with so many viable options around."
Glenn is right. International delivery service that deliver within a week are usually premium and they charge premium rates, while regular post office deliveries take an average of 3 to 4 weeks. If you are thinking of solving this problem or recommending a solution, the problem box below shows you the kind of solution we think might work.
A middle scale service can be created to bridge this gap and help people move their goods internationally within a week or two at most. It should be at a moderate cost to SMEs.
Something designed for start-ups at a price that will encourage their expansion.
We backtracked a bit and asked Glenn for one of the mistakes he had seen designers make when they copy business practices from others. He shared it below:
- Most fashion brands (startups) believe that if a celebrity wears or uses your product, you’ll make more sales.
Casual Loafers from Infamous By Glenn
According to Glenn, "While this is somewhat true, in the long run it’s not. Most celebrities would require a startup paying them for advertising; money that would have been used to run vital campaigns, money that would have been used for R and D to produce better products."
So often , you’ll have a product that’s very 'out there' but with very poor quality and low costumer return rate.
The business would bleed dry.
In rounding up what was a very interesting chat with Glenn, we asked him how the brand handled finances, feedback and customer relations. According to him, "I always separate personal funds from proceeds from business transactions". He added that customer relations was key to sustaining a brand.
Customer relations is very important, people believe entrepreneurship is about being your own boss. In truth, I have found that your costumers/clients are your bosses. Keeping your bosses happy and satisfied is very key in sustaining a business
Feedback from customers helps your business grow and understand the customers' needs better.
As at when we had this chat, the Infamous by Glenn brand had three permanent staffs and 13 temporary (contract) staffs and delivered worldwide. While we have seen challenges from the growth of Infamous as a footwear brand in the Nigerian fashion industry, it is also noteworthy that Glenn and other designers keep turning out amazing designs and pushing the barriers on sales, despite all.