Bandals Footwear: Innovators of Design and Strategy

Shortly after the economic downfall in 2008 began, Tom Sesti started Bandals, a new footwear company through which he introduced a line of women’s sandals with interchangeable  multi-colored tops – their slogan being “Changeable by design.” The sandals were an instant classic and the five employee company was suddenly facing manufacturing and raw materials cost increases of 15-30%. Sesti knew he needed to figure out a strategy to deal with this issue – and two strategies he came up with involved moving the company overseas or introducing a new product.

Tom Seski took a look at how to improve the quality of his product and the strategy of where to locate his business. He gave a lot of thought about how to penetrate new markets. He realized if he could take something like sandals, which are sold mainly in warm months, and make them something one can wear year round, then they wont only sell for one season. Two ways he did this were by adding jewelry that could be taken off and used with other shoes such as boots in the winter, and also expanding his company to new countries where the weather was warm year round.

It took a lot of hard work and research, but Testi was able to figure out how to effectively manufacture his product as well as expand it to multiple countries. He estimated the cost of making his jewelry in China, the cost of promoting strategies, and assessed how many items he could sell and determined it was possible to break even in a year. He also estimated the costs of expanding his company to 15 countries overseas. These strategies had a high chance of being successful, so he decided to go about implementing them.

Tom Sesti’s operation strategies proved to be successful. Through the use of focus groups, multiple designs, bio-mechanicals, market research, marketing campaigns, location strategies, and design of goods and services, Bandals was able to improve revenues by 250 percent and more than triple annual profits. Sesti figured out cost effective strategies that addressed two major obstacles he saw within the seasonal footwear industry and made the right decisions on how to put his plans to action.

5 thoughts on “Bandals Footwear: Innovators of Design and Strategy

  1. This product is quite interesting and is the first I ever heard of these bandals. The idea of having the sandal be interchangeable for different seasons is very different and something I never seen in other products. I personally thought i wouldn’t buy it because my concern is how reliable is the base of these sandals? Since you can wear them for a long time how reliable is it till the bottom wears off and as I would see this would be something for the older crowd as for the stylish younger crowd this I think this wouldn’t be the favorite. But like I said i haven’t seen this product before, so who knows.

  2. I cannot believe i have never heard or even seen this product before in the stores. The idea is really cool and I did some research on them after reading this to learn more about them. Very interesting article that touches on some key aspects to the starting and creation of the product.

  3. I also hadn’t heard of this product before. I am interested in knowing what kind of findings the company came about when doing their research on markets overseas since they can be very different than the US market. In addition, the numbers would show a lot of how well he implemented his strategy and the conclusions that he found through the use of focus groups, marketing, and location strategies. It isn’t easy to bring a new product to a country you aren’t familiar with, but it’s even harder to gain some profit from it, and it sounds like the company was able to do both in an effective and efficient manner.

  4. I have not heard of this product, but it has great strategy. You mentioned that one of company strategy is moving company overseas. The company products-sandals can focus on more warm weather countries. Also, I really like the design that company have because it can attract customers. Sandals is common walking tool, and this company care about women needs to have a great design of sandals.

  5. After reading this I realized that I had never heard of this product. Is this still around / available in the United States? Seems like a great idea as well as a present. Sesti was obviously an experienced businessman as he knew how to expand internationally seemingly rather easily. This was great forecasting as he realized none of his products would be sold in the winter.

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