How crocs went from being a silly fad to a $1 billion company

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Crocs became a $1 billion company this week, which seemed unlikely just a few years ago.

The company grew like crazy in its first few years, but then started losing money when the recession hit. It posted a $185 million loss in 2008, and a $42 million loss in 2009. Its most loyal demographic, people who were looking for comfortable eco-friendly products, saw Crocs as more of a luxury purchase during tough times.

Which is where the company’s new strategy came in.

In 2010 it launched its first global marketing campaign with ad agency Cramer-Krasselt —which has handled accounts like Porsche and Corona — and targeted a wider demographic of women and children. The ads were also sexier than anything they had done before. By the end of 2010, the company was up $67.7 million.

Although there were other factors that played into the company’s success, it’s clear that two things helped launch it into something much bigger: 1) targeting a very specific demographic initially, which helped the company acquire a loyal following, and 2) using the most tried-and-true advertising method (selling sex) to go big, while staying true to its message.

It just launched a new campaign yesterday with a billboard in Times Square, and it’s also planning to advertise in Us Weekly — proof that it’s reaching a much broader new audience than it did a decade ago (via NYT). In the fashion world, for something as unique as Crocs to endure, you need a quality product, loyalists and high-profile names who validate the product, all of which it has.

Now read about all the New York socialites launching beauty companies >


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