Think of a brand that’s going through a tough time. What would you suggest to revive it?

I actually wrote this article in February 2020 with a bigger research presentation to go with it. I was asked to summarise and answer this question in 500 words! Can you analyse a brand and summarise how you would provide a clear point of view and strategy in less than 500 words? Give it a try!

Crocs started as a shoe brand sold at boat shows with a unique dual function of being for land and water (like a crocodile) and a long-life shoe (a crocodile lives 70-100 years). Crocs almost crashed in 2008. Since founding in 2001 they have been making higher revenues but are not achieving target profits showing a lack of stability. The brand introduced multiple new styles to entice purchases. Through focussing on fashion the company lost its recognition as a brand ideal for lifestyle, various outdoor activities and wet environments.

Crocs has a current marketing campaign of “come as you are”, “a shoe for everyone both style and comfort no matter who you are or where your life takes you.”. This strategy does not successfully communicate the values that differentiate the products from competitors but takes a view . Crocs manages to successfully reach larger lifestyle audiences but fails to communicate to users who require the specific functional values of the shoes.

The brand needs to:

– Communicate different consumer benefits such as easy slip on, no laces, waterproof, float, easily cleanable, odour proof, breathable, durable, long life.

– Run innovative marketing concepts that emphasise the durability and long life of the shoes. E.g. build sculptures in store throuhg repurposing shoes or showing the impacts they can go through.

– Reinvigorate brand voice. Identifying with consumers by using more relatable user stories across different consumer touch points such as in store, brochures, social media and website/ digital fronts.

– Utilise social media influencers and leaders in the lifestyle and outdoor space to help the brand appear relatable and connect with target user types of each shoe type and use.

Multiple retail locations have been closed due to lack of sales and products being seasonal. Currently stores do not communicate through imagery or descriptions, user stories/ relatable uses and benefits of each product. Other than colour and shape, it can appear overwhelming to differentiate between product offerings. Physical retail locations could focus on outdoor activities and events for which the shoe provides functional benefits and relates to the specialist consumer i.e. boating, beach activities, outdoor, travel etc.

Websites and online marketing focuses on everyday lifestyle rather than the multiple other benefits of the shoes which other competitors cannot necessarily live up to. There are no relatable scenarios of the product worn in context for different consumer types and It would benefit to see more scenarios on the website. The current website is not filterable by context, scenario or function.

Images, quotes and user stories can better support website product descriptions, social media communications, print,  brochures and in store marketing materials. Store communications could become more seasonal focussed and product specific (Pictures of children wearing crocs boots in the winter). This will bring back life and change to stores.     

Example stories:

“I saved up and decided to explore and travel the world. I only needed one shoe… Crocs! They are very durable, waterproof, comfortable and met all my needs, the shoe for me wherever I’ve been and wherever I go”.

Steven – Adventurer and traveller

“I love wearing Crocs! Like the shoe I spend most of my time in and out of the water and so I need something I can slip on when I’m wet and walking in the hot sand after a good day hitting the waves”.

Sarah – Pro Surfer