Brûlons les crocs !!!! ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Brûlons les crocs !!!!

So popular that entire families are wearing them. So ubiquitous they are spawning "we hate crocs" campaigns (500,000 Google hits on "we hate crocs": this was #1). Love them or hate them, you've just got to be amazed how Crocs have managed to go from an idea originally intended as a slip-resistant boating shoe to an all-purpose, all-conquering phenom.

So, what accounts for the success:
1) Unique design: some say it's ugly but it's also bright, distinctive and simple - the shoes do their own talking
2) Unique features: slip-resistance, easy to put on, incredibly light, waterproof, aerated, comfortable (and, yes, I am a Crocs user)
3) Better than the competition - much better performance than its immediate competitors (flip flops, beach shoes..)
3) Inexpensive
4) Customizable: Thanks to Jibbitz
5) Operational excellence: Managing to handle, seamingly flawlessly, the incredible growth in sales

Not on the list - advertising and promotion. Products such as this that catch a great wave like this don't need any extra help.

The challenge for the Crocs management team will be how to handle things once this first wave of growth starts tailing off (as it inevitably will). Can they prevent Crocs becoming a passing fad? Can they look for new growth opportunities without compromising the initial, simple, focused product proposition?

Already, they have started widening the product portfolio to include all sorts of new products. Are all of these new products Croc-worthy? What are the critical things that make Crocs, Crocs? This product and this one, for example, don't fit what I think of when I think Crocs. A few product missteps won't kill them (unfortunately, if you're a Crocs-hater) but losing sight of who they are and where they are going surely will.

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