Crocs-Embracing Its `Ugly` Image

Crocs-Embracing Its `Ugly` Image
Case Code: MKTG451
Case Length: 12 Pages
Period: 2022
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization : Crocs,inc.
Industry : Retailing
Countries : Global
Themes: Branding Strategy, Advertising & Promotion

Crocs-Embracing Its `Ugly` Image
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Crocs, a footwear brand launched in the US in 2002, celebrated its 20th anniversary in the year 2022. The footwear was different from the ones available in the market and was initially designed for people who spent much of their time on their feet. From the very time that Crocs was launched in the market in 2002, it was viewed as an ugly footwear. Over the 20 years of its existence, the brand went through many financial ups and downs and had multiple CEOs who repeatedly changed the direction of the company. Sometimes the company focussed on expanding its product line, sometimes on sticking to the classic clogs, and sometimes on trying to shed its image of being ugly. Over the years, the company saw losses as well as profitability. But in all this, it was never able to shed its image of being an ugly footwear.

By 2017, the company finally decided to embrace its ugliness and be a brand that people found ugly but fashionable. The marketing team of Crocs collaborated with numerous celebrities, designers, artists, and social media influencers and came up with limited edition products. Additionally, Crocs' marketing team realized the power of social media. It therefore took steps to capture users' attention on social media platforms – TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. Crocs also entered the metaverse and created virtual Crocs products for social media users.

These marketing initiatives clicked with the masses. But it would be interesting to see whether Crocs would be able to turn this social media fandom into sales and also into profits.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • To understand the various facets of brand management.
  • To understand celebrity endorsements as a strategy.
  • To know the importance of social listening.
  • To explore brand resonance using the brand resonance pyramid.
  • To evaluate marketing in a metaverse world.


Crocs – Early Years
A Roller Coaster Ride
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Holding on To The Ugly Image
The Impact of Marketing Initiatives
Looking Forward


Crocs; Footwear; Celebrity Endorsement; Brand Resonance; Social Listening

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