Case Study – VANS – Skating on Air
1a) What were some of the key characteristics of Van’s earliest customers in the 1960’s and 1970’s? Some of the key characteristics of Van’s customers are teenagers who needed strong and durable footwear for their rough sports like skateboarding, people who needed customized shoes sizes due to various width and lengths of their feet, people who just simply want a shoe customized to their style and liking, and schools that needed shoes that could match the school colours. For the people, it simply meant young, fun, Southern California, beaches, skateboarding and surfing. 1b) What was the public perception of skateboarding at this time? Skateboarding caught on as a trend due to Z-boy skating techniques and was on the verge of becoming a million dollar business but due to change in trends and other fascination with other extreme sports, as well as skyrocketing cost of liability insurance due to injury from this extreme sport. It was basically seen as pushing the limits of conventional skateboarding with complex surfing moves. 1c) What was Vans’ competitive advantage at this time?
Its competitive edge was the suitability of its shoes for the skaters due its perfect durability to handle heavy wear and tear. Pricing of its shoes were also right, making it affordable for most people and it could also customize matching shoes and t-shirts for the skaters. 1d) What was its value proposition to customers?
Its value proposition to customers was to make the most durable and affordable casual deck shoe in the market and the result was a rubber-soled shoe that was reinforced with clay, and the upper canvas was double-stitched and the entire shoe was washable. It was in a way “built like a battleship”. 2) How has the company’s competitive position changed over time? How has the company’s value proposition changed? The company’s main competitive advantage was its U.S. manufacturing with a cycle time of 19 days from receipt of order to...
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