Cheap chic – a recession mega trend?
In a world mired by economic problems supermodel Gisele Bündchen in cheap flip flops made a maker of low-priced sandals really take off. Devote 1 minute to watch Bloomberg TV discuss the success story:
Have actually wondered when something “cheap chic” would become a huge hit and make headlines. The timing is perfect and the concept spot on for today’s world. Let’s face it, consumer spending isn’t what it used to be. A lot of people who used to buy haute couture can no longer afford it. But they still want to look chic and wear the right things.
Price lowered and endorsed by celebrities
So what’s better than a celebrity endorsement of an affordable product to appeal to people who can no longer have the means for say, Chanel? Add to that lowering the price even more and you have a winner.
And it worked, no other shoemaker in the world has had such a rally. Can’t help thinking of those flip flops as “equality shoes”. They make poor girls feel like supermodels and the ones that lost a lot of money feel they are still buying what’s trendy and chic. “Gisele wears them, darling”. They love being able to afford the same things their friends who are still mega wealthy buy.
The shoemaker actually made 195 million pairs of sandals last year and the average price was $7. That really shows how concentrating on huge volumes, as opposed to high prices, can be a winner in times like these.
Grendene´shares have doubled the last year. Compare that to the average shoe company that has risen by approximately 23%.
The power of celebrities
Personally had never heard of Grendene before despite the fact that the Brazilian company was founded 1971 and today is a conglomerate with 20,000 employees.
Grendene has been using celebrities such as Claudia Schiffer and Sharon Stone to promote their products for a long time. But despite that, I have never come across the name or any of their adverts before. It’s probably not a coincidence though, since it’s in times like these that their strategy really pays off handsomely. A world mired in deep recession absolutely loves cheap chic. And having Gisele introduce her own line of Grendene plastic sandals in such times is absolutely perfect. A lot of Westerners frown on celebrity endorsements. But it has always worked and always will, especially during hard times.
Have you come across other cheap chic concepts that have become successful recently? Do you agree that looking good for less is a concept bound to become even more popular at the moment, above all in the West, where economic recovery hasn’t yet taken place? Do you think the flip flops, and Grendene, would have been such a hit if it had produced expensive shoes? Or would they have succeeded without Gisele and Shakira? Are we bound to see more cheap chic success stories coming up?
Video: Bloomberg – You Tube