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Converse

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INTRODUCTION TO MARKETING (MKT333)
Converse Case Study

Converse dominated the basketball court for more than 40 years. The first U.S. Olympic basketball team wore them, Dr. J made them famous in the NBA. Punk rocker Joey Ramone made them standard issue for cult musicians. Today, a broad range of consumers, from the nerdiest of high school students to A-list celebrities, claim them as their own. What are they? Converse All Starts – more specifically, the famous Chuck Taylor All Stars known throughout the world as Cons, Connies, Convics, Verses, Chuckers, Chuckies, Chucks, to name a few.
The “cool quotient” of the iconic Converse brand is unquestionable. How has the brand maintained its status decade after decade? The answer is: by doing nothing. This may seem an oversimplification but the folks who run Converse brand understand that in order to provide a meaningful customer experience, you have to just stand back and leave customers alone!
Converse was founded in 1908 and introduced the canvas high-top sneaker in 1917. From the 1930s through the 1960s the Converse All Stars were the shoes to wear, even though they only came in the basic black and white until 1969. At that time, about 80% of all basketball players wore Converse.
The sneaker market began to explode in the 1970s and 1980s. Athletic shoes became more specialized, more high-tech, and more expensive. As Nike, Adidas, and Reebok took over the market Converse experienced a financial roller coaster ride and declared bankruptcy in 2001 as it market share dropped to a dismal 2% of all athletic shoes.
However, something interesting happened in the marketplace. Emerging artists, designers, and musicians began wearing Chucks because of their affordability, simplicity, and classic look. Young people caught on an adopted them as an expression of individuality. In fact, Converse’s shrinking...

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