I have a serious question to ask, Why do companies in (Africa primarily) feel they can ignore what their customers want? There is no regard for solving a problem or creating innovative user experiences. Most brands don't even have a design team or understand what R&D(research and development) is. Products must stem from ethnographic research, otherwise you stand to fail as an established brand if confronted by a start up with more validity.
Now let me start the story that influenced this post. It was a long day of walking around Balogun market looking for certain prints for our collection, little did we know our current WINDOW shoe would come from this trip.
We had no intention of buying this fabric much less making it into a shoe but when we saw it, we had to have it. Then we went to the lab, mocked up a CAD (Computer Aided Design) of the shoe and asked our customers if they would want to buy. We even pit two colours against each other. The responses were swift and unanimous, there was major interest on both side of team yellow and team blue.
This brings me to my final point on this matter, most companies today keep creativity in a room where the customers are locked out of. They need to make it a point to get a conversation going with their customers on whether a product will sell or not. In the wise words of Hypebeast, will you Cop or Drop?