The cooler weather is upon us. I’m already starting to think about pulling out cashmere sweaters and down comforters, and what I’ll need to equip my family for outdoor fun and, let’s face it, simple survival in our cold native land of New England.
Last winter, I actually got frostbite. When I tell people that, they look at me like I might not know what frostbite is. I know. And I had it. The pain combined with the ugly black tips of my toes prompted me to buy new boots – warmer, waterproof boots. Where to start? UGGs seem to be a sure thing for warmth, so I tried a waterproof model, but they were heavy and uncomfortable. (I ultimately resorted to my old faithful, Patagonia.)
Why did my mind go immediately to UGGs? Their reputation is welded to warmth and, thanks to its mass following, style, too. I remember when UGGs came on the scene about 10 years ago. I thought they were just ugly. But, then everyone began wearing them and after a little while, they didn’t look so strange anymore. There are UGGs in every color for every age – my daughter even received a pair as a baby gift.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published a Behind the Brand piece on UGG Australia, dubbed “The Golden Fleece.” According to the article, last year UGG’s boot sales beat sales of Sam Adam’s beer, Smith & Wesson guns, even New York Yankees tickets and proceeds. According to BB&T Capital Markets analyst Scott Krasik, who follows the space,” It’s one of the great success stories within the consumer category. You can put it on a level with Apple in terms of the attention the brand has brought.”
The brand evolved and changed hands until it was bought by Deckers in 1995. The company rebranded the boot around the vision of “the affluent alpha consumer.” When they could afford one ad, they bought one in Vogue. And then another, when they could afford two. In 2000, Oprah showcased UGG boots on her “Favorite Things” show, and the company’s sales rose from $12 million to $15 million that year.
Through years of trademark infringement and other lawsuits, the company remained focused, and is now working on customer diversification as they market tennis shoes, coats, handbags and even pillows to customers.
In building your brand and a supreme reputation, there are no shortcuts but there are rewards. UGG Australia is on track for another record year, and its success is due to Deckers’ focus, and unwavering commitment to the goal.