When Feethaüs first started in 2007, in Guadalajara, Mexico, the project was just an idea Ramiro Zamudio had, and an entire team ready to go. We worked on some initial concepts, tested different colors, fonts, and icons. However, were doubts about the name Only Feet, which was eventually changed to Feet House, and yet this was not convincing enough. There was "something" that wasn't working. I thought that if we changed the word English word "House" to its German equivalent, would be more visually appealing. At the same time, the German word added a "newness" to an English saturated businesses' names. I ran the idea by Ramiro and his team and they agreed that the change of language was fresh and new, and the way to go. All we had to do, was completing the flag.
After the name was set in stone, it was time to work on the icon, even though we had many to choose from. The icon had to be, well just that, iconic. A team formed by the CEO, marketers, account executives, a junior designer, and administrative personnel were involved in the selection of the icon. Several options were created until one day... I was on the phone with the team (I was in San Antonio, TX, and they all were in Guadalajara, Mexico), and I had a red marker in my hand when I started doodling on a piece of paper when I came to draw a foot... Not a pretty one if you like. It looked like something Picasso would do... No, I do not consider myself like Picasso. However, it was right there staring at me and I had to show it to the team. I scanned my sketch and emailed it to Ramiro and the team right away. They loved it! We had a great name and a great icon. Now were ready to move at full speed.
At this point, we had to start thinking about brand identity; store design, stationary, corporate identity, manuals, marketing strategy and production in order to meet the deadline for the store's grand opening. We (I was working with their junior designer) had to design business cards, signage for the store, and everything in between. The most sensible way to go about it, was to identify; the most immediate, the most meaningful, and the most delicate brand's points of contact.
We had a plan. We would create templates based on concepts presented to the team, the junior designer would work on create files that were production ready, which gave the team time to work on other assets; marketing campaign, store design, and manuals.
Data Gathering Tools
A very important aspect of the overall design, was the creation of tools that would let employees collect customer's information in a fast and comprehensive way. The personnel in charge of data gathering, would be trained to do so, but we wanted to make it pleasant and as easy as possible to fill out. This was the first step before attempting doing it digitally. That way, it would let us test the tools and make changes at a very low cost.
The most important aspect of the business model, was the user. At the moment, it was a unique offer that had to align with the core values and mission statement. One of the most competitive advantages, was the consistent and unique experience provided for each client. We wanted to be at their feet, providing an exceptional customer experience.
We met all the deadlines, had everything in place, and We made sure everything was in order; promotional material, business cards, welcome kits, product display, signage. The marketing campaign was running on all channels possible. Now it was a matter of waiting...
The Grand Opening
The store opened and it was a success! Attendance was no less than fantastic and the reviews were even better. Feethaüs opened 14 stores within its first 2 years in two different countries; Mexico, and Guatemala.
With the feet on the ground...