This Comic Book Strip Shows Exactly What Startups Should Be Doing Right Now


Photo: Soletron

Branding is the key to getting loyal customers who will return to your products despite economic downturns and price increases.Allen “A.J.” Steigman, CEO of Soletron, a social networking and e-commerce platform for sneakerwear and street gear, knows just how important branding is for his newly-launched startup.

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In order to tell Soletron’s story, Steigman went straight to a formula that would be most appealing to his company’s customer base of teens and young adults: the comic book industry. After months of writing the script, Steigman published Soletron: Rise of the Sneakerheads.

I think it completely brands it. It basically brings retail to the comic book world, builds a story about the brand and creates a community,” Steigman — who wrote the entire script — told us. “I think its a unique concept and perspective.”

The problems depicted in the script are real issues in the industry and Steigman also weaved in Soletron’s iPhone app and website into the storyline. The characters even wear brands offered by Soletron.

“If you’re a teenage guy then this will really connect the dots of what Soletron is all about,” Steigman says.

The corporate bad guys are immediately established. They are the ones destroying individuality and customisation

Eventually, he works too hard, loses hope and throws his shoes away. But his shoes miraculously survive leading to the birth of Soletron

He's depicted as evil, powerful and greedy. A big problem for the industry

Our bad guy — who represents the corporate giants — wants world domination

The Soletron community is slowly being created. FTCSFO is an actual apparel shop in San Francisco and the owner is illustrated to resemble the real owner

Soletron continues to grow and the corporate giant is feeling threatened by the competition

The corporate giant calls in his solution to the threat: The Replicator, who represents the Chinese bootleg market

The Replicator returns to his home to produce fake brands in his Chinese sweat factory

Steigman says this is a real problem in the industry, when consumers don't know where their products are coming from

Consumers buy these replicated products without knowing their authenticity. Steigman says this is a huge risk in online shopping

But the bad guys aren't satisfied. They come up with a plan to destroy Soletron with replicas

The good guy meets the bad guy and the two battle it out

Soletron is hurt badly and needs to find a safe haven immediately through his iPhone app — which actually exists

These Nooka glasses are one out of the 1,000 products Soletron offers

Dunkxchange is an actual streetwear platform that exists

Here's an illustration of Soletron's website

Soletron returns for another battle with The Replicator, who is using iPhone 20s as his weapon

Soletron prevails and so does individuality

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