Case Study

Brands that Shouldn’t Do Well, but Do – How Crocs Made Clogs Happen

Blog Author
Claire Cohen
September 14, 2023
1:40 pm

It’s not at all surprising to hear of people having a love-hate relationship with Crocs. While ultra-comfortable, the slightly odd-looking footwear brand boasts clogs with an irregular shape and spongey holes all over, not to mention some *interesting* designs, colorways, and accessories.

More unexpected, however, is the brand itself leveraging its controversial reputation to boost its popularity on social media and effectively bring back Crocs to the newest generation. Using Trendpop, we took an in-depth look at how they accomplished this and made Crocs the hottest shoe on your ‘for you page.’

Crocs on TikTok

Crocs (@crocs) has amassed over 800,000 followers on TikTok, with 5.5 million likes and counting across its videos.

While the brand took to the app in 2020, it wasn’t until fall 2022 that it began to see rapid follower growth. What’s the secret to its success? We took a look at a few of their main strategies.

The strategy

1. Collabs, collabs, collabs

Crocs is known for partnering with some of the most influential celebrities, and they’ve made sure to milk these partnerships for TikTok. They’ll create content for TikTok from content shoots with stars like Jonathan Van Ness, SZA, and even the Denver Broncos.

2. Gen Z humor mixed with self-awareness

Let’s be real, Crocs are not a traditionally cute shoe. Yet instead of trying to distract from their appearance by focusing on comfort, they double down, emphasizing that only hot people wear Crocs. Their TikTok content focuses on ways to customize Crocs, shares the comradie or #CrocNation, and announces new drops as if they’re movie trailers. This comedic, bordering on delusional approach leans into TikTok’s relatable, not-too-serious culture, making it a brand that fits perfectly on the platform.

3. Creator partnerships

Crocs also leans on Creators to make TikTok-first content for their feed. They work with Creators across categories — from food to dance to fashion to dadfluencers — to showcase their love for Crocs. While the brand seems to give Creators the creative freedom to make content they know will resonate with their audience, nearly all content stays consistent with their happy, wildly confident, community-driven brand. 

4. Croctok

Crocs has also created an epic community around #CrocTok. While it started as their custom hashtag for brand and influencer posts, it’s turned into the go to hashtag for Crocs fans to share their love for those ugly-hot clogs. Creators will often post content with #CrocTok in the hope the brand will notice them and sponsor them (or at least send them a pair of Lightning McQueen Crocs). At 331M+ views on the hashtag, this community is huge, and rapidly growing. Similar to their follower growth, we see #CrocTok really take off in fall 2022, aligning with their doubling down efforts on the platform.

5. Crocs, but make it fashion

Five years ago it seemed impossible to make Crocs fashionable, but on TikTok, anything can happen. Last year, Crocs teamed up with some of the most notable TikTok fashion Creators (e.g. Wisdom Kaye, Bretman Rock, Bella Poarch) to share how to style Crocs to go with any outfit. This approach gave the brand legitimacy as a genuine fashionable option that can go with well, anything. This timing also aligned perfectly with the #dadsneaker trend taking off in the fashion world. 

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