Is It Too Late For Crocs?

I’ve never owned a pair of Crocs, but I feel like I’m probably in the minority. Three years ago you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing people wearing the hole-punched shoes. Every store from Dillards to Hallmark was selling them. Crocs were a hot fad if I’d ever seen one.

Since the company’s founding eight years ago, Crocs has sold more than 120 million pairs of shoes, most of them the original design, but they now have 120 styles and the originals account for just under half of the shoes sold, according to the company. You may be surprised to find out that the company has not had a profitable year since 2007, when revenue totaled $847.4 million, and it posted a profit of $168.2 million. Revenue fell to $721.6 million in 2008, when it posted a $185.1 million loss, and to $645.8 million in 2009, when it posted a $42.1 million loss. The Crocs brand spent $4.3 million on advertising in 2009, one-third the $12.8 million it spent in 2008, according to Kantar Media. Ken Chaplin, Vice President for Marketing at Crocs, said “First and foremost, what we want to do is establish Crocs as a brand and not that one shoe”. With new loafer styles and flats, the company hopes to gain more of year-round presence. “Spring, summer – we own that,” Chaplin said. “But we also have a great shoe for back to school, fall and winter. There’s a lot of opportunity to expand wearing occasions and the seasons we play in.”

This new strategy can be seen put in action in the recently launched advertising campaign which was featured in the NY Times. The new campaign injects the benefits of Crocs original shoe in its new styles. Telling consumers to feel the love of the Crocs brand in its extended line for all seasons. It’s believable and entertaining but is it as meaningful now that Crocs has lost a lot of its momentum. Did they wait too late? Or is this exactly what they need to get sales comfortably moving again? Will have to wait and see.

And thank you for the header image Crocs.

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