Converse Brand Strategy

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[pic]– Verb - to talk informally with another or others; exchange views, opinions, etc., by talking.


Brand share 2007

Past seven years have seen a decline in the footwear market as the popularity of cheaper “low performance” wear increases (sector includes Converse) although there is a lack of more recent data available. However, during the economic downturn even the “low performance” segment has struggled.

From 2003 to 2004, the market for athletic apparel and footwear grew by almost $7.5 billion, 12% Between 2004 and 2005, however, it grew by less than $4 billion; in percentage terms, the 6% growth was only half as high as growth a year earlier. Furthermore, in 2007, global footwear sales reached $44.4 billion, a mere 2% increase from 2006. Much of this slow down is because of weakened consumer spending But also the rise in popularity of low-performance footwear. This may have propped up Nike who managed better than most competitors, as the company's footwear sales increased 9% during Q1 2009

Break down of footwear market – low performance includes Converse [pic]
For many years this has been good news for Converse, but recently they have also seen marked slow down (although still in growth) [pic]

Women’s and youths footwear is especially affected by decline Women's footwear is struggling just like many other retail apparel sectors. While it might be tempting to assume that women and shoes are “recession proof,” this market experienced over a 3% decline in 2008 at inflation-adjusted prices and is expected to decrease even more in 2009.” The picture for shoes targeting a younger audience is even worse. Many youthful shoe brands have experienced sales declines well above 10% or even 20%. Apparel is one of the worst hit categories —wearing a pair of shoes for longer before replacing it and cutting out impulse purchases is a common response to economic fears – Mintel 05/09

Competition that's getting stiffer all the time. Although clothing sales are down overall, sneakers are one of the few products that are still selling. The global sneaker market is worth almost $30 billion. And that's attracting new players like Under Armor to a field already crowded with heavyweights like Nike, Adidas and PUMA.

New competition
Simple – “The important thing is we're committed to making our product 100% sustainable. Finding materials and processes that make our products sustainable is a method we call Green Toe. It isn't a magic formula, or a cure. It is a compass that, we hope, points to a bright green future” Radii – “Radii Footwear’s goal is to exceed the expectations of the current consumer climate by offering quality products, creative concepts, comfort and value. Radii Footwear’s creative team thrives off the principles of functionality and fashion forward ingenuity. From futuristic designs and materials, to classic styling and detailing, each shoe exudes confidence for the ambitious forward- thinkers of the world.” Supra – “Large and in charge, Supra sneakers command attention and can only be rocked by those who have the confidence to match their stylishly exaggerated design.”

Decades of history have linked Converse and Music, it has long been recognised as a shoe for individualists and creative’s. In recent years the growth of the sneaker market has democratised the brand a step to far and it now worn by yummy mummies, city bankers, skaters students alike.

"Converse and its Chuck Taylor (model shoe) are all about originality, creativity and self-expression. How can we get the wearers, the fans of those shoes, to express themselves in that way, showing their own creativity?'' – Greig Stern, Converse President

“I love Converse. They are worn by young adults who are into an indie/alternative music scene. I don’t think that image has ever really changed”

“Love Converse. Used to have underground punk music association, now more indie and mainstream....
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