For a developing brand like L&B, there's not much of an advertising budget to work with, nor is there much of a marketing budget to work with. We have to make decisions every day as to where our money goes, and the answer is always 'back in to the product.' Otherwise, we don't have anything to work with; we don't have new styles coming out every week, we don't have quality materials, we don't have quality lasts, etc. We don't have the foundation for a company that's producing product that can lead the pack.

Still, having the product doesn't mean anybody knows about it. What's nice is that we're positioned in NYC and have access to some of the top talent in the country through the universities in the area. Our team is partially composed of undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurs that make noise. They see the inner workers of L&B and become the evangelists. 

This won't sustain us in the long run, but in the short run it's successfully building us a dedicated foundation of return customers. Return customers is key, because brand dedication is everything. We need to stand for more than just the best shoes-- we need to be a lifestyle and a brand that customers want to associated themselves with. Otherwise, the trap is set for being a one-off brand. A novelty that isn't deserving of repeat business.

Brandon Cohn