Tackling competition from mass producers in India and China is almost impossible unless your brand offers something special. Locally-manufactured shoe brand Tsonga knows this better than most.
The brand’s business-through-community-investment model and unique African-ness helped to set it apart when the market was being swamped with imports. “Our niche is the Tsonga story – it forms the heart of our brand. We believe that the world is ready for brands that mean something on a human level,” says founder and business owner Adrian Maree.
Tsonga has also learnt that being a niche brand built on meaning doesn’t preclude you from running a volumes-based business. The newly launched Tslops range appeals to the more price-conscious consumer. Tslops are made by grassroots container-based manufacturers, most of whom are women in rural or under-resourced areas. “It’s a business that depends on large volumes in order to be successful, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your brand or your quality,” says Maree.
Player: Adrian Maree
Contact:+27 (0)33 387 9200;tsonga.com