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Skechers is going against the grain with a quirkier approach that has sales booming and stock rising. This approach has even pushed the brand into the top five largest athletic brands in the U.S.

Wait. Are we talking about the same brand that used to sell platform sneakers in the 90s?

Yep. Having only entered the performance market in 2011, Sketchers’ athletic line of products has gained serious traction with some peculiar marketing. While most brands are shelling out millions in order to book the biggest celebrities and athletes, Skechers’ off-the-beaten path approach is not only cost effective, but is proving to have a major return on investment. 

Skechers looks for unusual deals that many big brands might toss aside. The company seeks out up-and-coming competitors as well as unsigned retired athletes. That includes athletes with four legs, like California Chrome. No, they aren’t making horseshoes quite yet. Skechers signed on to sponsor the thoroughbred, using the speedy stallion as a galloping billboard worth oodles in exposure at a significantly lower cost. Even though California Chrome failed to nail the Triple Crown, all eyes were on the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner – and many of those eyes saw his blanket emblazoned with the Skechers logo.

To me, it kind of seems like “the hipster approach”.  

Step one: Find the thing before it becomes cool or go retro. The costs are down, and you’ve got something you like.

Step two: Do what’s weird and outside of the box. Act like what you’ve got is the coolest thing out there.  

Step three: Watch as the world takes note and envies what you have.

The latest Skechers technique proves that it’s worth checking out what your competitors aren’t looking at. Quirky moves can have even top brands peering over with jealous eyes. I definitely have Skechers on my radar, as it will be interesting to see where they take things next. In the mean time, I’ve got to see a man about a horse.

~ Kristin Drabik, Summer Associate, The S3 Agency


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