Discussion on counter culture to the runway

FROM THE COUNTERCULTURE TO THE RUNWAY: HOW DID
BIRKENSTOCKS BECOME FASHIONABLE? Hippies wear them. Rebels,
dropouts from conventional consumerism, flower children-all images
traditionally associated with Birkenstocks, the clunky, cork soled sandals
that have been issuing forth from German factories for 240 years.
Although the company has introduced a few variations, such as a clog or
rubberized straps, the look of a Birkenstock is immediately recognizable
and little changed from its humble beginnings. 45
All these features suggest it is a poor candidate as a fashion product.
Rather than changing every season, the footwear has stayed largely the
same. Rather than focusing on the appearance of the offering, the
product design stems solely from considerations of comfort and
orthopedic safety. Furthermore, they continue to be made in relatively
expensive German factories rather than having production shipped
.overseas to lower the costs
Considering these factors, it seems strange that Vogue has called Birks
“sexy” and Glamour named it the shoe of the summer recently.
Explanations for this newfound popularity with fashion’s elite are varied
and unproven. One fashion blogger explained that after years of wearing
only uncomfortable, tight, high-heeled shoes, slipping on a pair of
Birkenstocks was a life changing experiment in comfort, so she could not
imagine going back. Other fashion leaders, including Manolo Blahnikknown for his sky-high heels and creative shoe designs-has offered his
endorsement, asserting that as long as the wearers have nice toes and a
.good pedicure, the sandals can look nice
The approval from these fashion leaders has led more and more famous
people to name drop the brand. In popular magazines that feature
interviews with trendy celebrities like Keke Palmer and Lorraine Pascale,
the Birkenstock name pops up as the shoe of preference on set. 46 The
shift certainly did not result from a conscious effort by Birkenstock
though. Rather, it caught the company somewhat by surprise, because it
had been doing business the same way it had for more than two
centuries. It has a virtually nonexistent marketing budget, does not
advertise widely, and did not pursue the endorsements it has received
from fashion trendsetters. Its CEO asserts that the popularity is a
reaffirmation of a basic, and seemingly outdated, marketing lesson:
Build a great product, and people will seek it out on their own
Still, the company is not immune to the appeal of being known as
fashionable. Accordingly, it is happy to tout its mentions in popular
media on the Birkenstock website. It also has developed a nice collection
of Instagram shots that emphasize its diverse assortment of options.
Along with fashion shots of models wearing its silver sandals with highfashion dresses, it also features hikers in remote locations, sporting its
comfortable looking, well-worn footwear
The combination of great product and strong branding has been highly
effective. Birkenstock’s sales have grown by anywhere from 40 percent
to 50 percent over the past year in different regions of the world, and it
estimates that it will sell 20 million pairs annually by 2020. That’s a lot of
.toes to show

 

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Leaning Outcomes:

  1. Ability to carry out objective and scientific analysis of consumers’ needs and wants (Lo 2.3)
  2. Ability to collect, evaluate and synthesize consumer’s data to make objective and informed marketing decisions (Lo 2.7)
  3. Ability to deliver and communicate marketing messages in coherent and professional manner (Lo 4.4)

 

Case Study

Read the Chapter Case Study entitled “From the Counterculture to the Runway: How Did Birkenstocks Become Fashionable?” from Chapter- 11 “Product, Branding and Packaging decisions” Page: – 358 given in your textbook – “Marketing” (7th Edition) by Dhruv. Grewal and Michael. Levy (2020) and answer the following Questions:

Assignment Question(s):

  1. Visit the company website (https://www.birkenstockusa.com/) and identify and describe the different product lines that it markets. (1.5 Marks, Minimum 150 Words)
  2. Review the different product categories in each of the company’s product lines. Which has the greatest depth? Which has the least? (1.5 Marks, Minimum 150 Words)
  3. How has the company positioned its brand? How does it go about communicating its position? Explain. (2 Marks, Minimum 250 Words)

Note:  Support your Answers with course material concepts, principles, and theories from the textbook and at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles.

 

 

 

 

Answer:

1.

2.

3.

 

 

 

 

 

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