Despite critics and naysayers, Crocs is having a major moment. Riding a growing wave of enthusiastic and genuine fan engagement, the brand has been breaking sales and revenue records for two years and counting. That’s thanks in part to Michelle Poole, who always encourages her team to look forward to find the next big thing. An executive who has held roles at Sperry Top- Sider, Timberland and Converse, Poole had the experience and savvy to help Crocs uncover its next big release: sandals.
Michelle and her team recognized that this shoe segment was not only ripe for disruption, but a perfect way to extend the brand equity that fueled Crocs resurgence. With a fragmented market and no clear category leader, Michelle developed a strategy focused on four key areas:
- Leveraging the brand’s core molded DNA to develop sandal silhouettes that have global appeal;
- New silhouettes and innovation that help drive brand awareness and consideration;
- A brand and marketing strategy that targets customers year-round; and
- Distinct product differentiation via LiteRide material and the emphasis on Crocs beloved Jibbitz charms.
Sales of sandals, now one of Crocs long-term growth pillars, grew by 57% in Q2 2021 and 38% for the first half of the year. A Crocs global brand study also showed that sandal consideration is now similar to that of its clogs in many key global markets. Over the next five years, Crocs anticipates that sandals sales will grow by 4X, supporting the company’s mission to achieve $5 billion in total sales by 2026.