SECTION 1: Problem Statement
• In the past 30+ years, Vans has seen high levels of growth and brand recognition in in alternative sports and now faces the issue of how to achieve a higher brand value in their next stage of growth. • More specifically, Vans must decide which segments of their products to grow or continue to participate in, such as those that cater to the entertainment industry, and which distribution channels to utilize in its growth.
SECTION 2: Synopsis of Case
Vans started in 1966 as a skateboard shoe company in California. The firm quickly grew and the Vans name became synonymous with North America’s increasingly popular sport: skateboarding.
In the late 1980’s, however, Vans’ product had to adjust to the decrease in popularity of skateboarding. Even after the explosion of popularity from customization and the Z-boys, the skateboarding fad was dying. Vans ventured into other sports such as wrestling and football. This attempt failed and the firm went bankrupt. After managing to get out of debt, the company was sold to the private equity firm McCown, DeKeeuw Co. (remain present owners, 2002).
Vans expanded their focus drastically and successfully established themselves in the growing alternative sports. Their new channel mix consisted of 10% catering to “hardcore” fans, 35-45% to specialty stores and sporting goods stores, and about 45-55% from family shoe stores.
Another new strategy focused on a change in promoting their products. They sponsored the Triple Crown Series that proved quite successful because the series was televised. Vans sponsored the Warped Tour which showcased punk-rock, hip-hop, and hard rock bands. They also sponsored skate parks around the States. Another important promotion strategy was their focus on athletes who matched the Vans brand.
What Vans faces now is the task of further growth of its brand. The external environment provides Vans with the opportunity for...