Periods of transformation often result in some of the most exciting leaps forward for a brand.
That’s been especially true for animal-free footwear brand Native Shoes whose iconic shoes are designed to create a happier and healthier world—a truly inspirational mission that we could all, no doubt, use a little more of in our lives.
While they started as a wholesale business, the last three years has seen Native step right into the direct to consumer (D2C) model, with both physical stores and their website at nativeshoes.com. This was based on a fundamental desire to have a more Radically Personal relationship with their customers, and gaining a deeper understanding of their needs and wants.
Wanting to dig into the details of their incredible growth and transformation, I sat with Native’s VP of Marketing, Channels, and Customer Experience, Bec Boxall, and her two ‘schnoodles’ Watson and Henry, for the latest episode of Radically Personal—a podcast from Gladly.
In the episode, Bec shares how the company’s purpose, Live Lightly, inspires innovation at Native, and how it has helped shape their approach to building Radically Personal relationships with their customers.
She also sheds light on the “four pillars” that drive the Native Shoes philosophy: Do The Kind Thing, Practice Tiny Activism, Lighten Up, and Ask More “What Ifs”, which has seen the brand involved in all kinds of initiatives aimed at making the world a better, happier place.
Take for example Native’s recycling program “The Remix Project,” where the company takes old pairs of their iconic Jefferson shoes and repurposes them as furniture, flooring, and even as the cushioned surface for a local Vancouver playground.
Next up for the project? By 2023 every pair of Native Shoes will be 100% life-cycle managed, with customers being offered prepaid labels to send back their old pairs of shoes, to be repurposed into something new.
Bec also talks about how Native infuses their Radically Personal approach to service within their hiring and onboarding processes as well. Their interview questions are designed to identify curious minds, and once an agent (or as we at Gladly call them, heroes) joins the team, they go through an intensive orientation process involving personal growth sessions, meeting with key leaders across the organization, and most importantly of all—at least one shift on the retail floor.
The latter is an exercise that just makes a ton of sense: by having their employees spend time on the sales floor they gain a deeper understanding not only of their peers in the stores, but the customers as well—what brought them in, what they’re most concerned with when it comes to buying a pair of Native shoes. It’s an important exercise that gives them a whole new insight into the customer that they may not necessarily have just through the contact center.
I love the idea of living lighter, and am proud to be a partner in their mission to bring that to the world.
Native is creating iconic shoes that leave a light footprint on the planet, and designing a business infused with purpose and impact. And it’s awesome to see a mission statement actually come to life.
If you like what you hear, please subscribe to the Radically Personal podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or at radicallypersonal.com. And, as always, thanks for listening and do let us know what you think.