Crocs are the "ugly freedom" of this generation.

Fashion is always cyclical. For cavernous shoes, this cycle is 15 years.

In the beginning, cavernous shoes were only made for those who were active on boats. Then the founder of Crocs debuted the first Crocs product, the Beach, at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in Florida and sold two hundred pairs. The legend of the "holey shoe" officially began.

In 2006, Crocs listed in the United States, once became a "popular fried chicken", set a record for the first day of the NASDAQ footwear companies, the highest share price rise. The trend of cavernous shoes also jumped up.

Then there are more than ten years of silence, and even the originator of the cavernous shoes Crocs almost bankrupt.

Crocs are the "ugly freedom" of this generation.

However, the easy to wear and take off, convenient to match the characteristics of the hole shoes, or in the young people group formed a fashion. Starting from last year, the hole shoes are hot again, and this year, they have come into the young people's fashion circle again: searching for the keyword "hole shoes" on facebook, there are more than 520,000 notes; there are more than 110,000 notes under the keyword "hole shoes DIY".

About crocs, consumers in the aesthetic contrast is very great, like the people extremely like, hate it is think "ugly terrible". Polarized evaluation, so that the crocs red rushed to the microblogging hot search.

Why this generation of young people to fall in love with crocs, the originator of the hole shoes Crocs (Crocs) and experienced what trough and back to the peak? Behind the popularity of the hole shoes, and inspired what new trends?

01 Who is the "true flavor" of the cavernous shoes?

Along with the explosion of hole shoes this summer, # buy hole shoes after this life is fixed # topic rushed to the hot search.

"After buying hole shoes, you will realize that you will wear hole shoes on any occasion." Under this microblogging, a collection of "hole door" people. Some commented, "crocs are kind of glued to my feet." Some said, "In addition to winter, has always been crocs." Some wondered, "I'm the only one who doesn't understand?" Others talk about the brand of holey shoes, claiming that Crocs is the OG (patriarch) of holey shoes... ...

"crocs are suddenly out of the loop again this year and I'm quite excited. Cave shoes were almost missing in previous years, but this year many brands came out with all kinds of DIY charms and various styles of cave shoes, especially croc lights shoe lights, so I can get back into the 'cave door' again!" John said.

After 00 Rose, was recently ins screen brush screen "hole shoes DIY" after "into the pit." I originally was not interested in hole shoes, but see ins bloggers all kinds of sun how to DIY their own hole shoes, I really moved."

The fire is hot, and it's reflected in Crocs' earnings report. Its Q1 2023 revenues rose 33.9% year-on-year to $884 million, with its main brand Crocs contributing $649 million, up 19.0% year-on-year. Of that, the Crocs brand generated $140 million in revenue in Asia-Pacific, up 46.1% year-on-year, outpacing North America and Europe and the Middle East over the same period.

Therefore, if we talk about this wave of holey shoes flip-flop, one of the winners is bound to be the OG brand of holey shoes - Crocs.

02 The bitter history of the OG of cavernous shoes

Hole shoes have been around for a long time, and it was only in 2002 that the founder of Crocs started the legend of "hole shoes" with his own marketing skills.

Crocs in 2006 when listed, can be called "red fried chicken", hit the NASDAQ footwear companies on the first day of the highest share price rise record. And in 2006-2007, its share price from 15 dollars / share once soared to 67 dollars / share, more than four times.

However, Crocs' "high time" didn't last long, and in 2008, many problems began to ensue.

For example, any hot fashion item can't escape the fate of "being copied". Although Crocs in the United States and Peru have applied for design patents for hole shoes, but a variety of "improved" hole shoes are still everywhere. Until now, there is still a special "god" on Zhihu, how to bypass the Crocs patent to do the hole shoes.

And with the 2008 global financial crisis brought about by consumer weakness and other problems, coupled with the introduction of other kinds of holey shoes, Crocs in 2008 and, 2009 annual revenue fell by 15% and 11% year-on-year, respectively. Its share price also plummeted from its peak of 67 dollars per share to 1 dollar per share, and even faced delisting. In a chain reaction, shrinking marketing led to higher inventory backlogs and less cash flow, and the company laid off more than 2,000 employees at its most difficult time.

And Crocs at the time made one adjustment in the face of these difficulties - to diversify its product offerings by stepping out of a single monogram.

Crocs began to expand the product line, the launch of clothing, boots, rain boots, high heels and other products. However, not all the launch of explosive products can be well stacked product pyramid. crocs other types of products did not sell, but therefore can not reduce the market, marketing costs; and was a lot of products stacked crocs, also because of the loss of the hole shoes "love", and lost the initial style.
Crocs are the "ugly freedom" of this generation.
Painful Crocs in 2014 accepted the intervention of foreign investment Blackstone, and started the reorganization. Next, Crocs downsized its production lines, closed inefficient stores, and removed some of its other products from the shelves, returning to its strategy of focusing on holey shoes. Then after that, Crocs announced that it was officially closing all of its own factories in favor of outsourcing everything.

Beginning in 2018, Crocs revenue, which had experienced underestimation, began to rebound, and from 2018 to 2022, Crocs annual revenue grew positively for five consecutive years, and the growth expanded from 6% to 67%.

While Crocs is struggling on the edge of danger, "black fans" still continue to express their disgust for the design of the holey shoes. 2006, there is a website called "I Hate Crocs" (I hate Crocs), and later Crocs was even named by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most unsightly objects on earth", and even the former President of the United States, George W. Bush, was ridiculed by netizens for wearing the holey shoes. The netizens mocked.

However, this time, Crocs did not because of these voices again self-doubt, but firmly hole shoes single product strategy, and later the company also said in an interview, through these experiences, Crocs finally feel their own brand of unique.

03 This generation of young people to realize the "freedom to be ugly".

Crocs can "come back from the dead", because of the "ugly" positioning, and the hole shoes of the popularity, inseparable from the young people's "pragmatism" and "ugly culture".

"Ugly culture" driven consumption, not only the red hole shoes.

New consumer observer Lin Beibei told Value Planet, with the 90, 00 gradually become the main force of job-seeking, accompanied by the Internet derived from the development of entertainment, games and other industries, the sudden workplace dress and hierarchical relations gradually become easier, many companies tend to flat management, which makes the workers have a greater willingness and the possibility of expressing their own different. And some "ugly things", can let the young people with very low cost to meet the psychological display personality. In addition, due to the special nature of the product and its high social attributes, it is also in line with the consumption habits of Generation Z consumers.

Leo, a senior PR manager, said that from a PR point of view, the emergence of the "ugly economy" is actually in line with the "contrast theory". This means that when everyone tends to pursue "beauty", the brand will pursue "ugly" to create contrast to get out of the circle." Therefore, it can also be said that the marketing innovation of the business created the 'ugly economy', 'ugly economy' and meet the different pursuit of consumers, and ultimately the cycle of realization of the 'freedom of ugly. "

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