The footwear sector has long been driven by a unique mix of fashion and function that garners intense loyalty among consumers — and makes the battle for market share especially fierce. In such a highly competitive, global marketplace, footwear brands turn to L.E.K. Consulting to help them win market share.

We apply deep industry expertise and worldwide resources to help clients design and implement consumer-led strategies based on insights into the market landscape and underlying trends, and to pinpoint overlooked and underserved consumer opportunities via consumer segmentation. We also develop holistic digital strategies that unlock untapped market potential, optimal channel strategies that drive performance improvement with partners as well as company-owned channels, and much more.

Key questions and challenges

Our experienced professionals have an extensive understanding of key footwear brands’ business challenges in today’s marketplace. With our encouragement, these clients start by asking themselves a few key questions:

  • Do we have a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of consumer purchasing for the brand, and of how to grow the most attractive and valuable segments?
  • In an evolving digital world, how can we alter our channel strategy to best target our key consumers?
  • How will the rise in spending power of the millennial generation affect our brand or business? How are our customers thinking about brands and footwear trends?
  • Is it critical that we develop a direct-to-consumer strategy? What business models are most likely to generate strong financial returns?
  • How do we become a true omnichannel brand? Are we taking advantage of all the options to reach our consumers beyond the buying occasion?
  • How do we think about penetrating new geographical markets? Which are most attractive? How should we go to market, and what resources will be required?
  • Has our organization evolved along with today’s market to refocus resources against the most value-creating growth levers?

Examples of our work

To learn more about how we help clients create value in the footwear sector, please refer to these additional insights and case examples:

  • A leading women’s footwear brand with strong success to date asked L.E.K. to develop a strategy to further harness its market position and drive step-function growth. The client lacked a true database of its current and addressable consumers, its brand DNA and competitive position, its market potential, and strategic considerations across various aspects of the business. Through deep market, customer and channel analysis, and through rigorous strategic planning, we provided a clear vision to inspire the entire organization, including the designer/founder and the owners, toward a much greater and strategic vision. This included a prioritized list of critical initiatives to remove those that were distracting from overall growth and a shifted focus toward the roadmap to drive immediate progress.
  • A global, multichannel footwear brand asked L.E.K. to develop a holistic channel strategy spanning numerous third-party channels as well as the brand’s own retail stores and ecommerce. We developed distinct channel roles, rules, and strategies for managing channels to drive sales and margin growth and avoid channel conflict. Additionally, we developed a global strategy designed specifically to win with Amazon in the context of the brand’s ecommerce and e-tail partnerships.
  • A mature global footwear company asked L.E.K. to help develop a deeper understanding of its consumers and determine how much of the brand’s growth story was being driven by a fashion fad versus a true connection with customers. Ultimately, we assisted the company in leveraging an in-depth customer segmentation model to modify its long-term growth strategy for the brand and to find further room for growth with existing and new customers. Read More


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