How Small Shoe Companies Can Compete Against Giants like Nike and Adidas
This is just a simple article that explains the methods a small shoe business such as K-Swiss can take in order to compete with the likes of Nike. K-Swiss would need to manufacture different lines of sneakers for ALL demographics.
Nike dominates the shoe industry and will do so for many years to come. This article will cover some of the issues K-Swiss may need to solve in order to be taken serious among shoe giants and more importantly the consumers. Their first dilemma would obviously be their variety of products. Sure, K-Swiss does offer some very nice products that represent specific demographics, but why not push it further by introducing a line of shoes for those who have a slightly lower income? Affordable high quality sneakers will sell like hotcakes to the simple folk (there are many). One shoe that comes to mind would be the Starbury sneakers from Steve amp; Barry's who were based among many colleges across the nation. These exclusive shoes were named after Stephon Marbury who was once a successful professional basketball player who played for teams such as the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks. The Starburys were and are a fantastic example of decent quality sneakers that sold for absurdly low prices. These shoes are very difficult to find in small towns and even large cities partially due to rapid sales since the shoes originated from New York. It is difficult to fault K-Swiss at the moment since they are vigorously trying to expand their brand across the globe.
Since K-Swiss releases athletic footwear mainly for tennis, the one solution they may need to consider would be manufacturing sneakers for basketball and soccer. When I think of the brand K-Swiss, I think of top-notch sneakers for fast paced sports such has soccer and basketball. It just seems fitting since there have been independent shoe companies that were endorsed by professional basketball such as Hakeem Olajuwon and Karl Malone. Shoes other than Nike, Adidas, and Reebok are rarely worn on the court by players and one way to change that would be using lesser known athletes. A Chinese shoe based brand called Li-Ning has already endorsed a player by the name of Damon Jones. K-Swiss should easily garner a few NBA athletes at best. This is the golden opportunity to not only expand the K-Swiss brand in the United States, but the entire globe. In the National Basketball Association you have your Superstars and you're all-stars. The all-stars are mainly players who are talented, but their abilities aren't as influential like the superstars. I believe K-Swiss should persuade athletes who are not endorsed by any brand and then market their shoes to China.
Since K-Swiss's overall financial health shows no sign of any weaknesses. They may have to expand their products throughout Asia rather than Europe because of the rapid growing population. China would be an excellent place to start due to their flourishing economy. India and Japan have proven their economic strength which pretty much sums it up for K-Swiss. The lesson of this paragraph is basically the larger the economy, the better.
I used to own a pair of K-Swiss Classics several years ago and all I can say is that they were comfortable to the max. I never used them for sports, but they did last me two and half years. They were fun to customize for fashion purposes and I never owned a pair of Nikes that were more durable than any of my K-Swiss sneakers. The company has a very bright future, but if I were in their management, I would try to design basketball shoes because the shoes themselves look very fancy and sleek. Many professional athletes are endorsed by shoe manufactures that do not don the Nike or Reebok brand. If brands such as Li-Ning and Starburys can make a name for themselves in the NBA, K-Swiss should not have a problem to do the same. In fact, K-Swiss has much more appealing footwear compared to those brands. K-Swiss is all about quality not quantity and many small shoe businesses should take note on that. Their designs are also unique and not repetitive unlike the big brands.