How New Balance made it through the struggling years and kept its value to loyal fans has an interesting story behind it.
New balance goes back upstream becoming a hot hit streetwear brand
The decade of 2020 saw an explosion of sports fashion brands. Because of COVID-19, high heels and eveningwear were shelved to make way for sports shoes and athleisure apparel. Besides the big names Nike, Adidas and Skechers, another sports shoe brand that streetwear players must keep an eye on this time is New Balance.
Up to now, New Balance is a rare large sports fashion group that is produced entirely in the US and UK. Besides, the company has gradually peeled off the old, old shell. New stylish sneakers, effective celebrity campaigns, and passionate advertising from Hollywood stars help the New Balance brand regain its glory.
New Balance was founded as New Balance Arch Support Company in 1906. At first, New Balance only sold insoles to workers, whose jobs required standing for long periods of time. In 1956, New Balance’s first sports shoe was born – the Trackster. The Trackster is the world’s first running shoe with a non-slip ribbed sole.
New Balance only made a big splash until it was handed over to Jim Davis in 1972. The entrepreneur turned the company into one of the biggest shoe brands in the world. From a company with only 6 employees, New Balance has become a corporation with more than 5000 employees.
New Balance shoes are always promoted as possessing outstanding foot protection technology. Therefore, even if they are not beautiful or elegant, they still have a certain number of fans. These include former US President Bill Clinton and the late Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The brand struggles with its own path, but has changed just enough to keep up with the times without losing its identity
Despite its century-long history, New Balance still can’t compete with Nike and Adidas. The main reason is because of the “different” business style of the brand. However, the business strategies still bring their own attraction to New Balance. It is no exaggeration to say that the brand is becoming more and more famous when it comes to exploiting its advantages. Along with the necessary changes, the brand has had an impressive transformation.
Since its birth, New Balance has always followed the slogan “Endorse by No One”, which translates to not be endorsed by anyone. This statement is intended to emphasize that New Balance focuses on investing in the quality of footwear, instead of spending money on promoting with stars or sponsoring sports events.
However, in 2000, New Balance had to change this strategy of “natural musk flavor”. After a period of not being able to overcome the huge shadow from Nike and Adidas, New Balance began to open collaborative projects with attractive names in sports and streetwear. The association with Aimé Leon Dore, Jaden Smith, Levi’s, Comme des Garçons, Kith, Casablanca and WTAPS has brought the brand closer to street fashion.
New Balance maintains the style of shoe design but opens up projects with young vitality
New Balance brand is relatively “stubborn” in maintaining the style of its sports shoes. While Nike and Adidas flexibly launched a series of diverse and fashionable designs, New Balance remained loyal to the somewhat rustic shape.
Fortunately for the brand, since the mid-2010s, the trend of ugly “dad sneaker” sports shoes has become trendy, thereby helping to increase sales for the company. However, the company can not ask for help forever in a trend . The cooperation with young names in recent times has brought new vitality to the brand.
The 2020 collaboration with Moroccan brand Casablanca for the New Balance 327 shoes sparked an unstoppable wave of hypebeast. And the projects associated with Aimé Leon Dore have helped New Balance regain the love of sports shoe enthusiasts.
New Balance can boast of being one of the best quality and most comfortable shoe brands, especially for people with wide feet, on the market. This is the reason why after many years New Balance still maintains a large loyal fan base.
Proving for its quality, New Balance always refers to the origin of its products as factories located in the US and UK. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the company continued to invest in factories in the US. In the context of many brands having supply chain disruptions due to China’s social distancing causing factories to be suspended, New Balance is especially proud of its business model. “This sets us apart from the competition,” said general manager Joe Preston
Jim Davis, the billionaire builder of the New Balance empire, once said: “You don’t have to be too smart. It just takes luck.” It seems that this saying has brought good luck to the New Balance brand itself, when it was able to meet the wave of big-sized dad sneaker sports shoes. As a brand that enlightened this ugly style, New Balance has become trendy again.
Over the years, New Balance shoes began to appear on the feet of the biggest stars on the planet. These include It girl models Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber and Bella Hadid, or actors Timothée Chalamet, Tom Holland and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Timothée Chalamet owns a wide range of New Balance shoes ranging from the 997 model in collaboration with Staud, the gray 990 model, the multicolored ML574 and even designs from Jaden Smith.
Leonardo DiCaprio, “living proof” for the charm of dad bod, also cannot ignore the shoes that represent the style of American fathers: New Balance 574.
Kaia Gerber also loves the famous 990 shoe line, like Nick Jonas and Zoë Kravitz. Meanwhile, Kendall Jenner did not ignore the company’s hypebeast collaborations. Thanks to that, New Balance was able to change the slogan to “worn by everyone from supermodels in London to dads in Ohio”, meaning the shoes are chosen by everyone, from supermodels in London to dads in Ohio.
Although they did not sign a promotion contract with them, the appearance with the street style image of the stars helped expand the market for New Balance, which was noticed by the fashion world who was not too interested in specialized sports shoes.
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