Crocs, a shoe brand that was immensely popular at one point, has seen sales taper off after 2008. The manufacturer, which uses Canadian technology to make the water-resistant foam shoes, started selling the shoes in 2002. The company came out with a public offering of its common stock in 2006, following a period of rapid growth. Some of the decline in the sales of Crocs is related to the company's marketing.
One problem the company encountered in marketing Crocs is that the product is not exactly stylish in appearance. This limits the market of people willing to wear the shoes. Crocs tried to make a positive out of this negative aspect in their advertising for the shoes. For instance, Crocs took out advertisement for the shoes saying, “Ugly can be beautiful.” In another Crocs advertisement, a young man looked at a pair of Crocs, screaming and wondering why he was wearing them.
Another marketing problem the company faced is that the shoes are longlasting. While this is good for initial sales, it hurt the chances of repeat sales. Once a consumer tried the shoes and liked them, she had no need to buy another pair of Crocs as long as the first pair lasted. Thus, there was less scope for additional sales.
Crocs initially marketed the product to a target audience of boaters, as well as chefs and nurses who worked on their feet and enjoyed the comfort of the shoes. People with foot and back problems liked the shoes, too. And children found the shoes comfortable. However, the company later started marketing the product to a larger audience, including overseas customers and introduced a variety of styles. This sort of diversification took the company away from its roots, and it became less attuned to its consumers.
Managing the Problem
After the company’s sales started declining following the recession of 2007, the company realized it had a problem. The company hired a marketing expert in 2008 to provide marketing input. And after 2009, the company has focused more on its core markets of people who have back or foot problems and those who work on their feet.