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Why Brands in the Running Industry Matter: “The Ugly Shoe Now Worth Billions”

Posted by George Parker on
WSJ Hoka Running Peregrune Runner Vitamin Supplement

WSJ published an article chronically the rise of the running shoe brand Hoka Hoka One. Do you remember the first time you saw a pair of Hokas? I do. They looked weird, right? Big and clunky, especially after the Born to Run phenomenon and the minimalist shoe craze. Hokas were proudly maximalists. The article traces Hoka’s roots from a small French-founded company in 2009 to its rise to a $1.4 billion brand last year. The contrarian uniqueness of the shoe was a factor in HOKA’s growth as well as the business strategy of its executives that tempered growth below demand to preserve the brand's long-term health. Succinctly, Hoka grew fast by moving slowly.

My takeaway from the article was an obscure line from Hoka executives:

“There will always be a market for any product that solves problems and provides value.”

After graduating with my MBA, my first job was in brand marketing at Procter & Gamble. I was not too fond of the word marketing. I dislike buying things and selling even more. However, P&G taught me that when done correctly, marketing is not about selling at all – it’s about deeply understanding consumer needs and problems and delivering products that solve these issues and make life easier. Maybe that was P&G marketing to me, but that was a message and lesson I could get behind.

PEREGRUNE was built with a similar ethos to Hoka, focusing on solving problems and providing value. Life is hard. Eating healthy and building a nutritional plan is another obstacle on top of everything else we are handling. PEREGRUNE was founded to provide engineered and curated solutions to make nutrition easier for runners. That’s why our signature runner multivitamin is 6 in 1 with one tablet replacing at least six individual bottles to save you time, money, and space. We have grown from there, but we keep the same focus on solving problems and providing value.

Hoka says they are “running the business as if they are running a marathon.” Sounds like our type of people.

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