Blundstone began as a family business way back in 1870 – that’s amazing heritage. What influence does this have on the current operations of the Blundstone brand?
We turn 150 next year, and since then a lot of things have changed. We’ve gone from crafting simple boots for a small colony to designing a wide (and widely loved) range of boots for all sorts of people, all around the world. This dedication and passion of a family owned business still remains a driving force to keep making the best boots we can day in and day out, as well as our historical boot library influencing us to draw on previous designs for upcoming seasons.
How big is the Blundstone family now?
We are currently sitting at 104 direct employees. The majority of us work in Hobart, Tasmania at our global head office, followed by our team interstate and our broader global team all around the world.
How does the design process work?
Blundstone uses a four step design innovation framework to conceptualise and develop new products. The first step is to connect with our end users and customers, this is where we perform detailed studies around their values and habits. Connecting with our customers is the most important foundation activity as it ensures we create the best product offerings for the intended users. The next stage is concept development, in this stage we sketch ideas and source materials. We then build prototypes and samples for ‘real world’ testing in the design development stage before lastly commissioning production. At every stage we keep in mind how the product will be perceived by the customer, and how it may appeal to the market.
How much does customer feedback shape new styles or colours introduced to the range?
Our range of boots is never fixed; we’re constantly learning, being inspired and designing new styles for increasingly diverse consumers, and listening to customer feedback to drive new directions.
What is the most popular style?
Our iconic boots are still our best sellers. The top style is the #585 closely followed by the Original #500 and #510.
Blundstones are synonymous with the image of the Australian farmer, how is this image of the brand changing?
We are constantly evolving as a brand and now have different ranges for different markets and different consumers. Our brand speaks to work, lifestyle and to fashion “Everywhere Life Takes Me” pays homage to every person who starts their day by pulling on a pair of Blundstones. It’s these life stories we want to capture and celebrate to communicate our brand story.” We will always stay true to our heritage, our purpose, and our loyal wearers such as the Australian farmers.
What’s next for the brand?
Engaging with customers, innovating and never standing still lie at the heart of our future and success, in designing honest, trustworthy boots down here in Tasmania at the bottom of the world. With these things in mind we hope to see more people wearing and loving Blundstones all around the world.