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Crocs Case Study: Brand Strategy Breakdown

Sep 09, 2023
Crocs Case Study

This week’s “Brand Breakdown” is about how an “ugly” shoe became a brand worth billions.

Let’s get into it…

💼 The Brand: Crocs

Durable. Versatile. Comfortable. They’re a shoe brand that’s now sold over 800MM pairs since they started in 2002.

💛 The Heart

Crocs has a simple mission that aligns with their “Fun” brand personality type: make the world happier by making people more comfortable.

👤 The Head

The Crocs brand was known early on for making an ugly shoe. But they didn’t care. Why? Because it made them different and people still wore them.

Why would people buy and wear an ugly shoe? Because they’re so freakin comfortable. Before long, celebrities like Bad Bunny and Post Malone were wearing them. And then “ugly” became “cool” which has printed cash for Crocs ever since.

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✋ The Hands

So, how did Crocs pull off this briliant positioning? It might seem like an accident. But it was quite calculated.

  • Exploit the Tension: Some people love Crocs. Some people hate them. Crocs’ CEO Andrew Rees loves to play into this tension with collabs ranging from a KFC pair to an $800 Balenciaga pair. 

  • Create Scarcity: How do you create scarcity for a mass produced foam shoe? You manufacture it. One drop with Bad Bunny sold out in 30 minutes.
  • Add Personalization: In the early days of Crocs, one couple started making and selling Crocs charms for the shoes. Crocs quickly acquired them for $10M and now kids and adults around the world can make their shoes completely custom.

🧪 Try It Yourself

Want to grow like Crocs? Try this… instead of playing it safe.

Pick a side.

Choose a point of view for your brand that some people will love and others might even hate. It’s not about creating controversy. It’s about creating clarity.

Some people probably think “empathy” is too soft for the world of marketing and making sales. WE believe people deserve to feel seen, known, and understood in business — regardless of what other marketers might think.

Some people probably think that a “5-Minute Marketing Plan” is too simplistic. WE believe that the best plan is the one you actually use — regardless of what other marketers might think.

Now, it’s your turn. Go try it yourself.

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