Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Comfort and Style: The Success of New Designs by Crocs

An ad for Crocs new designs, showing their comfort and style.

One of my biggest goals when shopping is to find comfortable and stylish shoes. I want to be fashionable but don’t want foot pain by the end of the day. Also, living in New York where rain is fairly common, I strive to have waterproof shoes. While rain boots do the trick, they look silly when it’s sunny and can be warm and inappropriate for some occasions.

Crocs has moved in and tried to fill this niche with expanding its line to include more style conscious but still comfy and usually waterproof shoes. The expansion has been profitable.

The brand was created in 2002 by three boating enthusiasts who wanted a lightweight material that was waterproof and slip-resistant. After a few years of profitability, in 2008, profits began to fall, partially because people disliked the look. For example, there is a Facebook group “I don’t care how comfortable Crocs are, you look like a dumb***”, and a website dedicated to their elimination.

However, starting in 2010, profits began to rise again, according to Andrew Adam Newman of the NY Times. It is projected the company will make over $1 billion in 2011. Only 45% of that profit comes from the traditional model, showing the success of Crocs expansions.

 According to Croc’s own website, most of the top sellers are not what one usually associates with Crocs. They include the Adrina Flat, which is reminiscent of jellies. The Carliana Peep Toe Ombre, which capitalizes on the ombre trend is a stylish new arrival. Other options include boots, such as the Crocs Cobbler High Boot, a basic brown boot with buckle details, and high heels, such as the Thrilita, in a bright blue color which doesn’t in the slightest bit resemble a Croc.

Now, Crocs’ new ad campaign wants to capitalize on their new success by juxtaposing fashionable flats with the comfort of a traditional Croc shoe. The text reads, ““New style on the outside, Crocs comfort on the inside.” The campaign is designed for women especially mothers, according to the Times.

Do you own any pairs of Crocs? I have two pairs of less traditional Crocs and find them quite comfortable but not instantly recognizable as Crocs. They are great on rainy days.

My two pairs of Crocs.

What do you think of Crocs expansion and success? Should other brands follow suit?

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Cute, Comfy, and Classic Ballet Flats from Lands’ End

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