A Tale of Turning-around
Crocs is a footwear brand that makes colorful clog-style shoes from a special rubber-like material. It was founded in the early 2000s and was mainly popular among children. Crocs also had a practical use for many healthcare workers, such as nurses, who wore them for comfort. However, for many years, Crocs struggled to gain acceptance and appeal to other customers, even when it tried to make shoes for different activities like golfing.
Crocs underwent a major transformation in 2014 under the leadership of the new CEO Andrew Rees. Since then, Crocs has been growing and thriving. The pandemic did not affect the company negatively, but rather boosted its sales and stock. The company's stock increased by more than 130 percent in the past year, and its annual sales went up by about 200 percent since 2019. One of the reasons for Crocs's success is Heidi Cooley, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Crocs. She helped Crocs collaborate with various brands and celebrities, such as Palace and MCM, Justin Bieber and Post Malone. These partnerships increased Crocs's popularity and appeal.
It is interesting to note that Cooley shifted the company's approach last year from its elevated cultural status to focus more on its own mainline releases, such as the hiking-focused 'All Terrain' range and its Crush sandals. "We are very confident being ugly," Cooley said in an interview with the National Retail Federation last year. CMOs worldwide can take a lesson or two from Cooley's approach, footed firmly in what the brand represents and collaboration. In this yearly special issue, we unfold some unique stories from the marketing ecosystem of Kazakhstan.