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UGG: How To Grow From Selling Only 28 Pairs A Year To An International Luxury Brand

What did the brand go through when it was called a brand?

brown boots

Everyone says that this year is a cold winter. Many people are happy because they like winter, and they are unhappy because some people think they want to wear long trousers. People always become older and older. Entering October, UGG salespeople began to leave customs quickly in batches, and the winter was about to come. Speaking of UGG, I have a lot to say to you. Some people like shoes, some people like to watch catwalks, some people pay attention to models, and so on, so everyone has their own understanding of UGG. Today, let’s talk about the story about UGG and some thoughts on it.

Don’t overthink; work hard

There is a beneficial old principle in the business world. It is divided into two steps: (1) Find a simple, fundamental truth. (2) Act very strictly under this principle.

In the final analysis, things like snow boots are a specialty of Australia. As we all know, Australia is rich in sheep and is known as the country that rides on the sheep’s back, so there are naturally many things like sheepskin. People have long used sheepskin in all aspects of life, including those worn on their feet. Australia has a long coastline and is also an excellent place for surfing. In 1978, the sun was shining, and the east coast had good weather. Surfers met, and the American Brian Smith also came here. He played with Australians very happily. When he landed ashore, he saw Australians wear a pair of sheepskin boots, “Hey buddy, would you like a pair~” They called it UGG boots. The story about UGG has begun.

(Error correction: Brian Smith is a native Australian and later moved to the United States. In this way, this guy has promoted his national treasure to the world, but it is also a pitfall to the Australians…)

grey boots

Brian Smith was aware of something. Soon, he and his friend Doug Jensen applied to become an Australian UGG boots manufacturer and Country Leather’s distributor in the United States, UGG Import and started this business with a $20,000 provided by relatives and friends. Only 28 pairs were sold in the first year. In 1979, Jensen cannot feel any hope, so he handed over his equity to Smith. But just after that, sales began to flourish. Smith did an important thing in 1985. He registered the UGG trademark in the United States. The UGG® brand was officially born. In 1995, the brand was acquired by Deckers Outdoor and now has annual global sales of more than US$1 billion.

A man holds beige boots

When people start a new business, they always want to know everything well. But it turns out that sometimes ignorance can also be beneficial. Smith thought it was his initial ignorance that kept him so motivated. “If I knew that there would be these obstacles and barriers at the beginning, I might give up, but ignorance made it all a reality. If I didn’t have this ignorance, you might not know UGG now.” Yes, who would think UGG shoes will sell very well~ The ignorant are fearless, and those who have aspirations do what they want.

Trademark is an essential thing

Smith is an intelligent guy and a “plagiarist.” As early as the 1970s and earlier, UGG has been used as a collective name for snow boots in Australia. There is evidence that UGG boots were included in the Australian National Dictionary in 1981. However, Australians did not register and promote this product as a brand, giving Americans a chance. After Deckers took UGG as his own in 1995, he carried out a wide range of UGG trademark registrations worldwide. The Australians were dumbfounded, and the Australians angry, and they rose to resist this hooliganism. As a result, the UGG logo is equivalent to being shared by Australia and the United States, but it is also limited to Australia.

ugg logo

What makes Australians even more contemptuous is that the UGG brand will add the word Australia in its use, which is the country name of Australia. Smith knows that Australian sheepskin must be used to make the best snow boots because there are the best Merino lambskins in the world, and they do the same. And people’s initial understanding of this kind of shoes also came from Australia. But many people have noticed that after 2015, UGG erased Australia in all its products and brand image. We don’t know the reason for this. Perhaps it is related to the mood of the Australian people, or that many countries do not allow country names in trademarks, or UGG does not want to use them.

9 old ugg logos

So we see this excellent UGG, only the American brand, other brands can’t use this trademark, in China, Europe, and Africa… So sometimes, the trademark is ranked first. It surpasses the brand and beyond the product. Compared to New balance, mentioned here is a profound experience; Jordan is also sad.

Beauty and ugliness are boundless

It is tough to imagine that such a pair of ugly shoes will become what people call the “must-have fashion item in winter.” Some people say it is ugly, but some say it is beautiful. Beauty and ugliness have no natural boundaries and definitions, just as the world has never been black and white. UGG snow boots are all made of sheepskin with Australian fur; that is, the fur and the skin are in one piece. The simple understanding is that there is no shaved skin, like your hair and skin. Since there is a certain thickness, the classic villus inside length is generally 12-16 mm, and the shoes made will look fat and bloated. UGG itself was not born for good looks initially, and it is used to keep warm and dry. Quite a few places in Australian cities are forbidden to wear UGG shoes because they are even synonymous with sloppy and old-fashioned.

However, the power and magic of the brand are that it can turn ugly things into beautiful ones. UGG knew that his shoes were not so good for people to accept, so they took a different approach and let the beautiful people wear these ugly shoes. The year 2000 can be seen as a turning point for UGG. Deckers gave the American talk show queen Oprah Winfrey some UGG boots. This legendary woman bought 350 pairs of UGG to her employees and recommended UGG to the audience in Oprah’s Favorite Things on her talk show. Seeing that things have turned around, UGG has become a gift with “ulterior motives” and is given to celebrities who paparazzi frequently photograph. This has to arouse people’s curiosity: What kind of “charm” does this pair of ugly shoes make her wear on her feet? Gradually, the celebrity circle spread through the “trend” of UGG, Leonardo, Cameron, and many celebrities joined in, and even Spielberg’s family wore UGG to appear in public.

5 ladies walking down the street in boots
6 ladies walking down the street in boots
6 users in boots

UGG became famous almost overnight! That pair of ugly snow boots appeared in major American media magazines and media such as VOUGE, Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. The famous Nordstrom department store in the United States has also become an agent of UGG Australia. In 2003, UGG began to appear in fashion shows in Milan and New York, and many people began to pay attention to where to buy UGG.

shoe store display

In 2006, UGG opened its first brand flagship store in New York. Since then, UGG fans have had a place to experience the brand culture directly and experience the full range of products for the first time. UGG has begun to emerge in the global fashion center. In 2006, UGG opened its specialty stores in Japan to enter the international market. In 2008, UGG China Beijing Blue Harbor Store opened. UGG has captured the fashion circle so far, and the top fashion crowd has officially recognized its status. The ugly shoes, the playthings of beach surfers, have become the ranks of major international brands.

When others start imitating you, you win

UGG develops rapidly in the Chinese market. The world’s largest consumer market contributed a considerable share of its sales. The ability of Chinese stars to bring goods is also very strong. The implantation of various film and television dramas, various star street shootings, and various fashion reports made the Chinese start a love-hate entanglement with snow boots after taking off their big cotton shoes. But the Chinese market still brought them extra surprises, and even their boss was very surprised.

Ugly shoes have become people’s favorite

The warm winter of 2011 and the shortage of raw materials for Australian sheepskin made UGG usher in a big challenge. In 2012, UGG sales fell sharply by 10.5% to 1.184 billion US dollars. The highly seasonal brand was still challenged in its favorite winter. Climatic reasons are a big problem for brands with strong seasonality. UGG has always been in a state of loss in spring and summer and profit in autumn and winter. This problem has caused UGG and its parent company, Deckers, to bear a lot of pressure, and it was rumored that they would sell themselves. The popular Crocs and Canada’s brand Canada Goose also face such a dilemma. Someone wants to say that many European and American star street shots wear UGG in the summer. Of course, the national conditions are different. The Japanese girl is still bare-legged on a snowy day.

UGG understands what they will do, so they expanded their product line. Shallow beanie shoes, short boots with shorter villus inside, sandals with a bit of villus inside, and even sporty casual shoes and sneakers without inside villus (you need to know UGG and this HOKA ONE ONE®, which has become popular in the past few years, belongs to the brother brand of Deckers), and has found the world-renowned star, Tom Brady, to cooperate with men’s shoes. UGG has also released a home series…

ugg showroom

Many people once thought that the UGG brand was quite dull. Just a brand that is famous by its stars. But after so many years, UGG is still pretty awesome. If you think about it, it’s just a sheepskin. But it explores a lot of new ideas. The trick is to add a bow, a Swarovski diamond, a ribbon, a metal buckle, a new color scheme based on the eternal classic model, and another joint model. The key is that every small change is not abandoned the taste of traditional classic snow boots, while also giving people a new style transformation, coupled with ingenious marketing actions, really makes people a little admired.

ugg shoes gift box

UGG has always wanted to make himself more luxurious. In addition, he hopes to make it a lifestyle brand by continuously promoting California culture, enriching product series and endorsements, and other marketing actions. And this lifestyle is based on maintaining the Californian casual style and yearning for more fashionable and street trends. This is related to the rise of young consumer groups. After all, the “ugly shoes” have been built by UGG into alternative fashion leisure with a unique style. A single product, but also in winter. If you wear snow boots, it’s challenging to wear, not showing your figure. Many people will still repel these unique, strange problems, but it keeps warm, comfortable, and maybe it is just what you see. It’s not so common and convenient, making it somewhat reckless and unique. What is fashion? Now it may be to make yourself comfortable, no matter what others say is ugly or not worth the price at all?

motorcycle girl wearing ugg shoes

In 2010, UGG launched a series of cooperation with Jimmy Choo, Chow Yangjie added fashion elements such as rivets, tassels, animal prints, etc.

Let the stupid snow boots also deduce a fashionable and even wild feeling.

6 black leather shoes

In 2015, UGG also squeezed in on the long list of “Star Wars” joint names. Both parties launched a new series inspired by Darth Vader. Although the sales are not very good.

2 boots

In 2018, UGG and Japanese designer brand sacai launched a limited joint series, Striped knitting is integrated into UGG classic snow boots.

Personality men

2019 UGG teamed up with BAPE, a Japanese street brand from Tokyo, to launch a limited co-branded series.

Winter is already by our side. Every morning, we will see the white snow. Many people like winter, there is a lot of snow falling in the sky, and many people will find it dreamy. As early as a few years ago, people with good deeds would release “UGG must die” and “snow boots will eventually get out of the fashion world” every year. Everyone’s fashion aesthetic is different, but fans will naturally come out refute. Wool is a good thing, and snow boots are ultimately a warming artifact. UGG has made snow boots look more beautiful. Every year, UGG sales are very impressive. There is a reason for useful things, but not all categories can become admired brands. No one knows how long UGG can go in the future, just as we did not know at the beginning that it will become popular.

Brand building has always been a thing that needs perseverance. It is very normal to succeed and fail. However, we should learn experience and lessons from them, so that the brand will take longer. If you also want to know more about the brand cases, please click on: The lesson of Adidas spending 3 billion: how to build a brand?

(The pictures in the text are all from the Internet)

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