Innovator's Dilemma In Leather Bags
One of the things we struggle with as a small company with a limited budget is how to communicate the many features we've put into our handmade genuine leather handbags. Our Stretta bag, for example, is the result of over 20 different prototyping and testing exercises. Everything down to the zipper tape has been carefully selected. But, how do we communicate that care and attention to detail to potential customers?
Features Of Our Stretta Leather Cross Body Bag
Staying with the Stretta leather cross body bag for a minute, let's take a look at the quality and functional features that make up the bag. It all starts with the selection of the raw materials. For this bag we looked long and hard to find a leather that is both soft and durable. This bag is meant to be worn as a cross body or as a hip bag meaning it has to be soft and supple enough to wrap your hip and not stick out at the corners. After literally months of searching we found an amazing Italian tannery located in Leon that works with Capretta hides out of Africa. Now that's a find. The leather itself has a high level of naturally occurring lanolin that makes the bag both durable and water resistant. It has the softness we require and the multi-generational Italian family that owns and operates the leather tannery are quality fanatics. This same care and attention to detail went into selecting the zippers, clips, and the tiny label that goes on the back of the bag.
As for functional features, the bag has a small front pocket for credit cards and similar things like your license and coffee shop punch card. The larger main zippered pocket is gusseted so there's actually a surprising amount of main compartment room for carrying all the items you need. We put long tassel pulls and a detachable decorative tassel to dress up the outside of the bag. Finally, there is a leather channel in the bag that allows you to wear the Stretta as a leather hip bag once the shoulder strap is unclipped.
Bottom line: The Stretta leather cross body is a very high quality well thought through design created with top of the line leather and hardware.
But Again, How to Communicate?
Probably the perfect method of communicating the wonderful features and functionality of this beautiful leather cross body bag would be via TV commercial. Alas, TV commercials are far beyond the budget of a self funded start-up. Instead, we conduct training sessions for retail sales teams like the one pictured above at Island Farm Boutique in Boulder, Colorado. We also have been testing different point of sale displays and tags that might accompany the bag.
In addition, we have video's on our web site and on YouTube that walk you through the Stretta bag and we write blogs and Facebook posts in an effort to educate the market and distinguish this special leather cross body from other brands. Other experiments in brand building have included hiring a PR firm, running magazine ads, and participating with booths at trade shows and local festivals. In the end, the best communication by far is done by our existing Stretta leather bag owners who send us fantastic reviews and pictures of themselves traveling with their Stretta all over the world. A bit slower that what one could do with a big TV ad budget but we believe more genuine and likely a lot more impactful.