Footwear Today // Brand Profile
Monday, 4 September 2017 | Admin
What’s the story behind the brand?
Pod was established in 1976 by footwear veterans Tony Richardson and Bill Dickenson, who together found a gap in the market for essentially a casual jean shoe. In those days everyday fashion was quite limited and Pod reached success with their unique designs (which subsequently form our Pod Heritage collection), use of soft leathers and wide array of colours. Their complex Veldtshoen construction also made them incredibly comfortable to wear. Over time the brand gained a strong cult following which largely remains today.
Is there a brand philosophy?
Fundamentally we are an easy-wear, comfort casual brand with a contemporary edge. Our focus has always been towards continued product development so that we are able to offer a quality product at a fair and competitive price point.
What sets this brand apart from the rest?
As a result of our commitment to product development, we have strengthened the brand through diversification and now have a strong repertoire of collections ranging from infants ‘Podlers’ to our Heritage brand. In fact, our fastest growing market is our comprehensive XL collection, which offers sizes up to an EU 52/UK 17.
We have also remained a relatively small sized company; all design and development takes place in-house to ensure product continuity and brand authenticity. This also means that we are able to have a direct and approachable line of communication with retailers, which inevitably forms a solid relationship.
Where is the brand assembled/manufactured?
Today, manufacturing takes place in Portugal, China and India with design, product development and brand operations at the Pod head office in Olney, Buckinghamshire, a stone’s throw away from where the brand began in Rushden, Northamptonshire.
Who is the agent?
Aegis Shoes have been the Pod licensees since 2008 and we have a various regional sales agents.
How is the brand marketed? Do you use social networking?
We have an active following via the usual social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, with particularly high interaction through the Pod Heritage facebook page. As a small company we simply cannot compete with the large marketing budgets of many of our competitors so just like in the original Pod era, our most valuable marketing medium is through word of mouth. To give an example, the reasoning behind the re-launch of our Pod Heritage range was down to the persistence and demand from our Pod followers.
Any famous customers?
Aside from various fashion bloggers such as Hannah Rochell from En Brogue, we’re not sure but who knows! It is very possible, especially given the recent resurgence of retro and vintage fashion. In fact our most popular Heritage styles are appropriately named Gallagher, Jagger and Marley.
In terms of well known retailers, we supply a diverse number of shops including Russell and Bromley, McElhinneys, Scorpio Shoes and Walk Tall, many of whom have been with us right from the beginning.