Crocs, Inc.: Colorado's Fashion Merchandising Phenomenon
by Elizabeth Armentor
They're bright, rubbery, and not just a little bit ugly. Crocs, the comfort shoe distributed by Boulder, Colorado-based Crocs, Inc. has taken the nation by storm. Originally conceived as a boat shoe, due to its non-skid, no mark sole, the founders of Crocs, Inc. have marketed their product so well, it was dubbed the "new flip-flop."
The Croc was introduced in 2002 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show for $30 a pair, and sold 1,000 pairs. This year, the company projects sales in the neighborhood of 10 million pairs. The founders, committed to their Colorado roots, hired a Boulder firm, TDA Advertising and Design, to design a marketing campaign. The slogan: "Ugly Can Be Beautiful."
Crocs, Inc.'s marketing creativity isn't limited to a catchy slogan. The company has chosen unusual places to sell Crocs, such as Barnes and Noble booksellers, Hallmark card shops, and Wild Oats, a chain of natural foods stores. Knowing how to reach its target market in inventive ways helps it stay a step ahead of the competition.
The company has also acquired Foam Creations, the company that developed the unique material that Crocs are made from. By doing this, it ensured that knock-offs of its products are merely that: substandard, cheap copies that can't touch the real thing.
Fashion Merchandising Classes Could Help You Develop the Next Croc
A good fashion design school can't concentrate solely on producing the next Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik. It must educate designers and those who aspire to work in the fashion industry about the best ways to thrive in a highly competitive business. Most apparel companies face what is now Crocs, Inc.'s biggest challenge--developing its product line to keep from being labeled a one hit wonder, a company that can only produce a fad. To meet this challenge, Crocs has expanded its offerings. This summer marks the introduction of a Crocs flip-flop line and a "Mary Jane" style kids line. Fashion design school classes in product development and manufacturing principles can help you create new products to excite your customers. Classes in retail strategies and advertising can teach you how to create interest in your products.
The right education can help you keep your inspired fashion creation at the top of every season's must-have list.