Crocs (& Recommended Books)

September 11, 2006 at 1:30 am 1 comment

The Crocs Craze (Video)

*You will need IE and Windows to watch

Crocs have quickly risen to become an international phenomenon. This summer, I’ve seen these shoes being sold in the grandest of malls in Singapore (retailing at $50 Sing.), sports shops and even in large bins in Thailand ($3, although, I’m pretty sure those were just Chinese knock-offs).

Although at first they seem to be like one of those things that come out of nowhere (and disappear just as quickly, can anyone honestly recommend a buy on that stock just yet?). But if you have a look at the video, they’ve been around for a while (since 2003 at least). Just goes to show that even overnight success needs years of planning :-).

The other thing this reminds me off is Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. Just how and when do localized fads become national and international crazes? Mr. Gladwell tackles these questions (and others pertaining to the Science of Fads) in an interesting way in his book.

The knock-offs I saw in Thailand warrant a whole post for themselves. Just another small example of how China is changing the world. Could the factory that produces real Crocs also be running a small, covert third shift to make a little money on the side? If they are, then what I really want to know is how much does Crocs (the company) pay for these shoes (which retail for $50)? Do they really pay low enough to warrant a third shift making shoes selling for $3? Those knock-offs were pretty darn good. Of course, might not be the same factory at all, but someone who managed to get hold of their designs. Anything’s possible, as I have been reading in China, Inc., a fascinating account of the rise of China as an economic, business and social superpower. Again, a great read.

But really, I would think the smart thing for Crocs to do would be to make sure that everyone can afford these shoes and owns a pair, rather than making them planned purchases. Make sure they’re on every feet and they might retain long-term, loyal customers who genuinely like the shoes (not just for the hip-appeal). Fads come and go. Will people still be wearing something so distinctive (read: ugly) long after everyone else has stopped wearing them, just because they weigh six ounces? The strategy should be to embed these shoes as socially acceptable in minds of people world-wide. They really need to be planning ahead, rather than trying to milk this for every penny they can here and now, especially now that Crocs is a listed company.

Just my 2 cents.

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Entry filed under: Business, marketing, video.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. RisingSunofNihon  |  September 11, 2006 at 5:33 am

    You’re absolutely right about these Crocs shoes things! I see them everywhere as well, and I can’t believe how expensive they are at some places (the knockoffs are much cheaper, of course). And I think you’re right about what the company should be doing now. They could revisit their pricing policies and see if they’re making the smartest decisions for long-term growth. It’s almost like the company itself knows that the shoes are just a fad and could stop selling at any moment.

    Reply

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