ometimes life just bursts into bright colour, and you find yourself as fascinated as a child, an instant fan, a willing convert to a brand that appeals to all your senses, as well as your reason. This happened to me last week, and no surprise it happened in Brazil, a country that oozes Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy on a tropical scale. No surprise also that it was great Brazilian born company that captured my heart – Melissa shoes.

The venue for the conference was the celebrated Costa do Sauipe in Salvador de Bahia, however, initial impressions were a little ambiguous. The hotel had certainly seen better days, weather was humid and overcast, communications to the outside world were patchy. I was wondering what I was in for. The only thing for it was to check in and hunker down to some work.

The next morning was brightness itself. The sun was shining, and the conference room was filled to the brim with 300 passionate, energetic, positive Melissa shoes people from Brazil and right around the world, all in Salvador for their annual conference. There was a communal spirit in the air, positivity and genuine excitement. I felt right at home immediately. We spent an hour and half spurring on each other, I could feel ideas fizzing everywhere. The mood was unlike almost every other annual conference I’ve seen. I liked it so much I hung around another day, despite the hotel! Thanks to Paulo Antonio Pedo Filho for inviting me, and making sure all attendees had a copy of Lovemarks.

Melissa is a longtime Lovemark in Brazil, and representatives of the best of Brazilian culture. Their company is a fantastic example of entrepreneurial spirit and charismatic brand building. Best of all, they are Lovemarks people at heart. It’s a huge buzz to speak to a group of people who intuitively “get it”.

My daughter is a huge fan, and if you’re not a convert yet, you soon will be. Melissa shoes are not like any plastic you will have seen before. They are rule breaking. Adventurous, creative, colourful. They capture a sense of adventure, and provide a playground for ideas. Designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood are among many of the first rank of designers to have lent their talents to designing Melissa Shoes.

The brand and the dream continue to grow – a Zaha Hadid designed concept store is opening in February in London’s Covent Garden, to complement the New York Soho store that’s already open. More is to come across Asia and the rest of the world.

Melissa is a Brazilian Lovemark on a journey to worldwide Lovemark status. There are already 4000 points of sale in 70 countries. The best is yet to come. It’s inevitable, because Melissa shoes, Melissa people, are irresistible. With 17 billion pairs of shoes produced in the world last year, Melissa’s relevance has never been greater. Thanks to all who attended, I can’t wait to see you again.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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