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Shoemaker, Alfa helped onto new trails to success

Designed for success

Alfa. An almost ancient Norwegian brand. Used by multiple generations. A essential for the police and Norwegian army. Your friend in the mountains. A solid product.

For the traditional company; known for quality and durable shoes, the challenges of the market became rough. Foreign brands started to get a foothold in the Norwegian market, and the Army's need for boots was reduced along with a reduction in personnel. The shoe producer from Hadeland saw a need to revitalise Alfa, to meet the demands of the market regarding durability and fashion. Katalysator, which went in as the principal shareholder in 2007, was looking for new opportunities that could bring a traditional quality shoe into the future. It was all about design.

With assistance from Norsk Design og arkitektursenter's (DOGA), design advisors, the company went into an exciting cooperation with design companies Red Rabbits and Work. Alfa established a new branding strategy with the customer as the centrepoint. A new and innovative mountain shoe was launched, along with a renewed online shop.

The response came fast. In 2015, Alfa got the “prize for good design”, and the jury said this: “Alfa is dominating with a full offence strategy against their competition. The products have a defined design philosophy and strategy. Choice of colour and form speaks to both sexes, regardless of age. This is how design can lift a brand and make space for bigger market shares.

But the most significant recognition came from the market. The orders increased, and sales through their online store went through the roof. Alfa was also ready for the international market, something that had only been a dream a short while ago.

Part of Alfa’s success is that they are also daring enough to walk a different path. In November 2015, Alfa was looking for a full-time product tester. This position required an individual to walk around in the Norwegian nature. The response was tremendous, and after an exhausting interview round, the choice fell on Andreas Orset (23) who started his walking in June this year.