After settling on a competition brief, I had many questions that needed answering so I took a trip into Manchester for (what I kept telling myself) research purposes and visited some shoe stops and the UGG store in particular
Thankfully I came home with a few answers, and luckily did not end up buying any new shoes but did come away and some new clothes
Trying to stay focused on the task, I made a mental list of what I wanted to know:
- Which retailers stock men’s Ugg boots?
- How the boots displayed?
- Which are the most popular styles?
- How many pairs are sold?
- Who buys them?
- Who are the competition?
With this in mind, I headed to Office, Schuh and the Uggs store with my detective hat on.
Office didn’t stock a single pair in store – though they had a large selection of women’s styles and stocked 4 & 16 styles respectively online. Is this simply because they aren’t as popular as other brands?
I had a little chuckle to myself when I asking in Office if they stocked Men’s Ugg boots, the sales assistant referred to them as “Muggs,” and when asking her colleagues for assistance, they didn’t understand what she was on about and had to say “Men’s Uggs” anyway.
I moved onto Schuh, where I could see a MASSIVE selection of Uggs through the window – obviously geared up for the Christmas shoppers, and was sure they’d stock some. They did, but they weren’t displayed with the women’s collection, instead they were displayed amongst other brands such as Dr Martins, and Timberlands – Manly. I had a lovely chat with one of the sales assistants who told me that they sell 2-3 pairs on average a week and that they stocked more styles online (12 to be precise.)
My last stop, the Ugg store s really helpful, I chatted to the manager and showed her the brief, which she seemed quite interested in. She explained to me that the average male customer was between 30 and 50 years old, and that they sold around 10 pairs on men’s boots per week. She also pointed out the most popular styles, slippers (so popular that they had sold out, an interesting notion – Men are happy to wear fluffy, cuddly shoes in their own home but not in public…) and the a style named “Butte” which can act as a hard-wearing work boot.
The Bestseller – “Butte”
Interesting. Very Interesting.
My little trip helped me to identify the existing consumer base, the current way the boots are being displayed and the competitors that Men’s Ugg boots are up against. With this in mind I had little look at how their competitors have marketed their products.
They all focus on different aspects, Dr Martens – heritage and nostalgia, Timberland – a little sarcasm, comedy and focus on the quality of the product, and Cat – slight humour in an artistic direction, again showing how sturdy their boots can be. These could be possible routes for me to look at when it comes to marketing the Uggs.