Jonak: A Shining Example of Omnichannel Success 

Jonak: A Shining Example of Omnichannel Success 

Cathy Carpetta

Cathy Carpetta

April 26, 2024

Jonak started by making shoes for nuns, and now they're a brand on a hit show like Emily in Paris!

Founded in 1964, this family-owned business has carved a unique niche, offering high-quality, stylish footwear at accessible prices. 

Their dedication to quality, innovation, and understanding their evolving customer base has been key to their success.

Let’s explore Jonak's journey, from a single Parisian boutique to a global omnichannel brand with a thriving online presence! 

1. Jonak’s history: A distinctive brand positioning

1.1 A family legacy spanning over three generations 

Established in 1964 by husband-and-wife Marcel and Josette Nakam, Jonak began as a single boutique in Saint-Germain-des-Près. 

Did you know? The name is a fusion of the first syllable of his wife Josette and son Joseph's name with the one for their family name Nakam! 

It symbolises the family-oriented spirit that would define the brand for generations to come.

They started by selling orthopaedic shoes for nuns (as they were close to many convents!) and being a retailer of brands like Birkenstock and Scholl.

Marcel’s son, Joseph, played a pivotal role in Jonak’s transformation. Recognising the changing taste of his generation, he steered the brands towards trendy and stylish footwear.

Today, the company is managed by the third generation, with Marcel Nakam Jr. as co-CEO and Lisa Nakam as General Manager.

1.2 Embodying Parisian Chic with high-quality footwear 

Jonak is renowned for its meticulous focus on quality, producing shoes in Europe—primarily in Spain, Italy, and Portugal. 

By producing smaller batches (100-200 pieces per colour), Jonak adeptly tests market trends, allowing rapid adaptation to consumer preferences while maintaining fair pricing. 

Despite not being a luxury brand, Jonak sits comfortably in a niche between high-street and high-end, with prices ranging from £95 for sandals to £315 for cowboy boots. 

In 2022, Jonak’s successful strategy led to over €50 million in revenue, marking a 20% growth from the previous year.

2. Decoding Jonak's marketing magic: A recipe for success

2.1 Strong social media presence and customer engagement

Faced with a need to stay relevant, Jonak has undergone a remarkable comeback in recent years. A key driver is their strategic use of social media and influencer marketing. 

As early adopters of platforms like Instagram and TikTok, they've built a strong online presence that resonates with their target audience (young and social media-savvy women).

Their strategy is to focus on authenticity and brand fit to create a loyal community. 

They mostly share product photos, style inspiration, and behind-the-scenes content about product fabrication. 

587k+ followers on Instagram (#jonak with 53k+ posts!), 231k followers on TikTok, and 1.1M+ monthly views on Pinterest

2.2 Strategic influencer campaigns to target new audience 

They strategically collaborate with influencers across platforms to create engaging content integrating Jonak's footwear into cool lifestyles.

In 2017, they teamed up with influencer Lily Rose to create a unique photo exhibition in Paris. 

Lily Rose travelled the world for six weeks with Jonak shoes, capturing them in stunning photos. 

These photos were displayed in a pop-up art gallery with proceeds going to a women's empowerment charity. 

More recently, they partnered with Lena Situations (one of the most famous French influencers) and organised a gifting contest. The videos racked up more than 800k views! 

This approach has boosted brand awareness, attracted a younger audience, and significantly increased sales (25% of their sales came from Instagram in 2021!).

Jonak's marketing strategy is a prime example of how a brand can reinvent itself and connect with a new generation by understanding its audience and leveraging the power of social media.

3. Jonak’s omnichannel excellence: The key to their growth 

3.1 Evolving from pure player retail to digital transformation

Jonak's success is built on continuous adaptation. 

From expanding across Paris to entering international markets and major department stores like Galeries Lafayette, Jonak has mastered the art of omnichannel retailing. 

Recognising the digital shift, they launched their e-commerce website in 2013, generating almost 50% of their current sales. They were one of the first French brands to do so! 

In 2023, they even achieved €1M in sales on their website in only one day! 

Jonak perfected testing new markets through department store corners. 

In the Netherlands, for example, they started by building an online presence on Bijenkorf's website for a year. 

Seeing success online, they opened physical corners within the stores. Now boasting three locations (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Maastricht), Jonak ranks among Bijenkorf's top 3 contemporary sellers.

Today, with over 90 points of sale worldwide, they truly set the standard for omnichannel retail growth. 

3.2 Seamless integration of online and in-store experiences

For Jonak, social media conveys messages, builds loyalty, and creates desirability. 

Their stores and website must then convert this engagement into sales through immersive experiences.

On the website, they have a dedicated blog "The Journal" and a "Lookbook" section where you can easily check the model and add it to your cart!

This curated content features fashion trends, styling tips, and collaborations with inspiring women, keeping their audience engaged and coming back for more! 

Jonak elevates the retail experience by incorporating luxury codes and innovative concepts. 

Their boutiques resemble Parisian flats, creating a welcoming and cosy atmosphere with high-quality materials and well-chosen furniture.

They have a team of in-store stylists equipped with tablets for personalised assistance and digital kiosks keep customers engaged with Jonak’s latest collection. 

They also capitalise on direct and 1:1 communication with their clients through WhatsApp to create deeper connections with their clientele. 

Source: LSA

By adapting to evolving consumer preferences and embracing innovation, Jonak remains a leader in the shoe market.

Jonak's transformation from a small Paris shop to a major global player is a fantastic example of how brands can evolve and thrive. 

This journey, shaped by a family's passion and smart moves, shows what's possible when you blend tradition with innovation. 

As Jonak continues to win hearts with its stylish, timeless footwear, it begs the question: What's next for them? What opportunities might arise as they continue to explore the balance between physical presence and digital engagement?

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