Company: Crocs, Niwot, CO
Entry Submitted By: FleishmanHillard
Company Description: Crocs, Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX) is a world leader in innovative casual footwear for women, men, and children, combining comfort and style with a value that consumers know and love. The vast majority of Crocs™ shoes feature Croslite™ material, a proprietary, molded footwear technology, delivering extraordinary comfort with each step.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year – Apparel, Beauty & Fashion – Large
Which will you submit for your nomination in this category, a video of up to five (5) minutes in length about the nominated organization’s achievements since the beginning of 2019, OR an essay of up to 650 words about the same? (Choose one): An essay/case study of up to 650 words
Once relegated to the ranks of boating enthusiasts and suburban dads, Crocs overcame such barbs as making Time’s “50 Worst Inventions” and a derisive perception as a fashion antithesis.
Crocs might not seem then like an obvious candidate for a fashion-based company of the year. But …
Worst invention? Kind of hard to say about a billion-dollar company that posted record-setting earnings in Q4 2019 and for the year overall. Fashion antithesis? Seems way off the mark considering they did team with both Barneys and Vera Bradley in 2019, as well as celebs like Post Malone, Ruby Rose and Luke Combs (and don’t get me started on 2018 collabs with Christopher Kane and Balenciaga).
The popular molded clog manufacturer continues growing the ingredients on its short-list for success. Top of the list – comfort. Mix in color, add collaboration and a dash of custom to get a continuously expanding collection of clogs, sandals, slides and even sneakers found on feet around the globe.
Capitalizing on casual and custom
“Comfort is not a trend, it’s a way of living.” – Stefano Ferniani, Crocs’ senior director of global innovation
As office dress codes relaxed, Crocs found an easy in to the world’s workplaces, providing a perfect platform to continue building the company mantra (and a 2017 branding campaign) “Come As You Are.” In 2019, Crocs declared: “Expressing yourself and being comfortable are not mutually exclusive.”
Self-expression helped build Crocs’ appeal with a younger population – teens. Crocs added a way to customize the classic clog. Jibbitz™ charms, in shapes of everything from food to monogram letters to Disney characters, adorn the eight holes in the shoes. Surging in popularity, the Jibbitz™ business should surpass Crocss’ men’s lines in 2020.
Casual comfort, especially with customization, further fueled the youth appeal. Piper Jaffray named Crocs the seventh most popular footwear brand for Gen Z in the fall of 2019. That was a 12-step rise for the brand from 19th in the spring.
Innovating comfort and collaboration
In February 2019, Crocs launched Reviva, its most comfort-focused sandal collection to date. The shoe line features built-in bubbles specifically designed to provide your feet a massage-like experience as you walk. Reviva quickly followed LiteRide, launched in 2018, the brand’s first major comfort technology innovation in 16+ years.
The company also took an exceptional approach to building brand awareness through a series of collaborations. One example – a unique extension of its collaboration with artist Post Malone, giving out pairs of a new collaborative design at a chicken restaurant where Malone worked as a teenager. The giveaway/launch generated 143 earned media placements and 443 million media impressions, and the special edition Crocs sold out globally in record time. Collaborations didn’t stop there. Whether it was celebrated streetwear brands like PizzaSlime and Pleasures, renowned global artists like Takashi Murakami, trendy retailers Vera Bradley and Barneys or celebrated musicians like Luke Combs, brand collaboration created more than 2 billion media impressions!
Late in 2019, Crocs joined forces with actress and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, supporting a new partnership with UNICEF and donating 50,000 shoes to underserved children in Belize.
The numbers back it up
Company of the year, indeed! What a year 2019 was on the financial front. Consider:
-Crocs reported record revenues for both the fourth quarter and the full year in 2019.
-Historically, Q4 revenues fall for the shoe line which has a warmer weather focus. But in 2019, Q4 revenues were $263.0 million, growing 21.8% over the fourth quarter of 2018.
-Full-year operating income increased 104.4%.
-The operating margin improved to 10.5%.
-Full Year EPS increased to $1.66.
That’s what the company can do when it continues to feed its strengths. With a focus on sandals (a $23 billion global business), slides, their Jibbitz™ business – and, of course, the Classic Clog – they’re just getting started.
Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization’s story of achievement since the beginning of 2019? Marketing Performance