Stance Socks

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Part
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Company Overview - Stance Socks

Stance Socks was founded in 2009 with the philosophy that socks can be functional, fashionable, and fun. It has a list of big brand ambassadors like pop musicians and professional athletes as their marketing strategy. Below is a comprehensive overview of the company.

History

  • In 2009 in California, Stance Socks' founders Jeff Kearl and John Wilson wanted to give sock, the forgotten accessory, a chance to shine and become popular. The philosophy of Stance is that socks can be functional, fashionable, and fun.
  • In 2015, Stance was the official sock of the NBA and the vice president stated that Stance is a little sock company that's the first brand to have its logo on every player on the NBA court. People always want to be the same as their popular NBA player, so they buy a Stance.

How The Company Grew To What They Are Now

  • Stance has a list of big brand ambassadors as their marketing strategy. Those people are pop musicians and professional athletes.
  • The current ambassadors are NBA player James Harden, music artist Rihanna, surfer John John Florence, PGA tour golfer Bubba Watson, artist Brian Bent, motocross athlete Kenny Roczen, stylist Imogene Barron, and skateboarder Ishod Wair.
  • Stance also makes the popular podcast The Craziest Day of My Life, and it is available on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.
  • This company also ships worldwide with the warehouse of Stance With Rocky Mountain roots, Stance Socks’ warehouse is based in West Valley City, Utah. They can sell to more than 40 countries because of their worldwide shipping.
  • Stance did research to make high-quality products. Stance co-founders tried over 2,000 pairs of socks to note the details on what they liked or didn’t like about the quality of those socks. They also have a quality control lab, named Socks Hosiery Research Engineering and Development (SHRED).
  • Every sock in Stance Run Collection is made of Feel360, a new proprietary material designed to maximize comfort and durability. The fabric incorporates silver ions to reduce odor-causing bacteria and has breathable mesh so feet stay dry.
  • Influence from celebrity popularity in sports and music such as when Rihanna boasts her Rihanna X Stance Collection, Dwayne Wade and Will Smith as the investors, and Jay Z made Stance Socks into his song lyrics: "This ain’t gray sweat suits and white tube socks / This is black leather pants and a pair of Stance".
  • The investments make this company grow rapidly. The total funding amount is $116 million in 5 funding rounds from some VC such as August Capital and Mercato Partners.

Other Information

  • Countries they are now in: According to its website, the store locations are in the US, UK, China, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan.
  • Products they offer: lifestyle and performance socks, underwears, and T-shirt
  • Headquarters: ‎San Clemente, California, Greater Los Angeles Area, West Coast, Western US
  • Revenue: Stance has $186 million in estimated annual revenue.
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Part
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Agency of Record and Creatives - Stance Socks

Stance only ever launched one marketing campaign called Uncover the Uncommon, which was fully developed in-house by Stance's creative and marketing teams.

Agency of record

  • Stance dropped its first-ever marketing campaign in December 2018 under the title Uncover the Uncommon. Before that, the brand was focused on word-of-mouth marketing, social media exposure and celebrity endorsements (including Jay Z), and did not launch any campaigns on its own.
  • The campaign was developed in-house. Stance has in-house creative and marketing teams that produced all content except for video, which was done in collaboration with Portland-based Kamp Grizzly.
  • The campaign featured a print portion that showcased the thread art of Mexican artist Victoria Villasana, and Chilean artist Jose Rosmissi. In the campaign, there are eleven portraits of Punks & Poets which include James Harden, Nora Vasconcellos, John Florence, Lauren Fleshman, Jimmy Chin, Ishod Wair, Bubba Watson, Gemita Samarra, Jossi Wells, Felipe Toledo, and Jose Altuve.
  • An additional campaign which might qualify as a marketing campaign is a 2016 collaboration with Zambezi called Shop with the Force. The reason why it's not considered to be Stance's first real marketing campaign is the fact it was
  • The Shop with the Force campaign won the mobile category’s gold award at the 2016 Cannes International Festival of Creativity. It was designed to promote Stance dropping its Star Wars sock line's innovative online shopping experience on Zambezi's e-commerce website.
  • Shop with the Force was also developed by Stance in-house creative and marketing team. However, the majority of work was done by Zambezi's e-commerce and marketing team due to the campaign being primarily developed as a shopping experience on Zambezi regarding Stance's Star Wars collection of socks.
  • Since December 2018, Stance has been focused on expanding its Uncover the Uncommon campaign on social media. The latest iteration of the campaign is shared under the hashtag #UnwaraptheUncommon which is focused on holiday socks.
Part
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Part
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Biography - Candy Harris: Chief Creative Officer (CCO)

In 2012, Candy Harris joined Stance Socks as the EVP of lifestyle division till 2017; she is currently serving as the chief creative officer (CCO) at Stance Socks. Candy Harris is a bachelor's degree holder in Marketing and Communications, with a Fine Arts Minor from Pepperdine University. Mrs. Harris is married with children.

Education

Professional History

Family Life

Hobbies & Interests

  • Judging from Mrs. Harris LinkedIn profile, she is interested in marketing management, market planning, advertising, retail, and event management for the apparel and fashion industry.
  • Mrs. Harris has over 20 years of marketing and creative experience; she is skilled at events and campaign execution.

Social Media Profile

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Besides her LinkedIn profile and Facebook account, we were unable to find any other social media accounts for Candy Harris. There were no posts and no friends on her Facebook account because it was a private account; the only photo available was her profile picture — that represents her and suppose two daughters. We scoured the social media websites like Twitter and Instagram for information regarding the account of Candy Harris — the chief creative officer (CCO) at Stance Socks. This strategy was unsuccessful. We changed gear by combing through the social media account of Stance Socks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Our research team hoped to locate posts that reference Candy Harris — the chief creative officer (CCO) at Stance. Unfortunately, there was no mention of her on any of the Stance social media pages. Information found were pictures of the Stance products and brand marketing posts.

Next, we scoured through credible business reports, magazines, and press releases like Forbes, CNBC, QSR Magazine, Business Insider, PitchBook, Worldz.us, and others for information regarding Candy Harris's social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests. We were unable to locate any press coverage of Candy Harris that reference her social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests. Information found referenced a summary of her professional history and contributions at Stance Socks.

Lastly, our research team combed through surveys and media interviews conducted by credible media companies for information regarding Candy Harris's social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests. Again, this strategy was unfruitful. We went further to leverage interviews of Stance Socks on YouTube. We hope to locate any interview of Mrs. Candy on YouTube specifically interviews were she mentioned some of her charity work, social causes, family life, hobbies, and interest. Unfortunately, there were no interview videos of Candy Harris — the chief creative officer (CCO) at Stance Socks. Information found were the video of Stance headquarter, videos of Stance introducing new products, and others.

After an extensive search of reputed news and media sources, our research team was unable to locate information regarding Candy Harris's social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests. We, therefore, concluded that information regarding Candy Harris's social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests was not publicly available.
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Part
04

Biography - Nick Woolery: Vice President of Brand Marketing

In this research we found that in September 2013, Nick Woolery joined Stance Socks as the Director of Marketing; he is currently serving as the vice president (VP) of Brand Marketing at Stance Socks. Mr. Woolery is married with two children.

Education.

Professional History

Family Life

Social Media ProfileS

  • Nick Woolery has over 500 connections on LinkedIn.
  • The Facebook account of Nick Woolery is private.
  • He has a Twitter account that seems to be inactive; the last post was made on February 19, 2017.
  • His Instagram account is private.

Hobbies & Interests

  • Judging from Nick Woolery's LinkedIn profile, he is interested in marketing management, social media marketing, online advertising, retail, and event management for the apparel and fashion industry.
  • Mr. Woolery has over 10 years of marketing and creative experience; he is skilled in brand marketing.

Research Strategy

To provide the personal and professional biography on Nick Woolery - vice president of brand marketing at Stance, our first approach was to search through the website of Stance and its official social media pages. We also searched for the social media pages of Nick Woolery. While we found useful insights into his biography such as his hobbies and interest, family life, and social media accounts, detailed information on his educational background and social causes he supports were not available.

Next, we searched through credible business reports, magazines, and press releases like Forbes, CNBC, QSR Magazine, Business Insider, PitchBook, Worldz.us, and others for information regarding Nick Woolery's social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests. While we found useful information from these sources, we could not find any press coverage of Nick Woolery that reference his social causes or charities. Information found referenced a summary of his professional history and contributions at Stance Socks.

Furthermore, we searched through surveys and media interviews conducted by credible media companies and different educational websites for information regarding Nick Woolery's education. We also searched for interviews of Stance Socks on YouTube. We hoped to locate any interview of Nick Woolery on YouTube, specifically, interviews were he mentioned anything about his social causes. However, no interview videos of Nick Woolery was found.

After an extensive search of reputed news and media sources, our research team was unable to locate information regarding Nick Woolery's educational background apart from the mention of Monte Vista High Schoo. We, therefore, concluded that information regarding Nick Woolery's academic background was not publicly available.
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Part
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Biography - Kurumi Yoshimoto: International Marketing Manager

In this research we found that Kurumi Yoshimoto joined Stance Socks as a Marketing Intern; she is currently serving as the International Marketing Manager at Stance Socks having scaled through numerous promotion at this organization.

Education.

Professional History

  • In January 2013, Kurumi Yoshimoto joined Stance Socks as a Marketing Intern for eight months.
  • She was the Brand Ambassador at Hydros Bottle LLC for eight months (May to December 2012).

Family Life

  • Kurumi Yoshimoto's Facebook profile is private and the majority of the publicized pictures on her Facebook are of her alone. We can't tell is she is married or has any children. 

Social Media Profiles

  • The Facebook account of Kurumi Yoshimoto is private.
  • Kurumi Yoshimoto has a Spotify account which shares her music and playslists.

News Articles

  • This article highlights Stance partnership to produce a special sock collection for Spring 2017. The collection features some of Sanrio's most celebrated characters for Stance's casual, run, and kid's styles.

Hobbies & Interests

  • Judging from Kurumi Yoshimoto's LinkedIn profile, she is interested in fashion, social media marketing, online advertising, retail, and brand development for the apparel and fashion industry.

Research Strategy

To provide the personal and professional biography on Kurumi Yoshimoto, the International Marketing Manager at Stance, our first approach was to search through the website of Stance and its official social media pages. We also searched for the social media pages of Kurumi Yoshimoto. While we found useful insights into his biography such as her professional background, hobbies and interest, and social media accounts, detailed information on her family life, educational background and social causes she supports were not available.
Next, we searched through credible business reports, magazines, and press releases like Forbes, CNBC, QSR Magazine, Business Insider, PitchBook, Worldz.us, and others for information regarding Kurumi Yoshimoto's social causes or charities, hobbies, and interests. While we found useful information from these sources, we could not find any press coverage of Kurumi Yoshimoto that reference her social causes or charities. Information found referenced a summary of her professional history and contributions at Hydros Bottle LLC and Stance Socks.
Furthermore, we searched through surveys and media interviews conducted by credible media companies and different educational websites for information regarding Kurumi Yoshimoto's education. We also searched for interviews of Stance Socks on YouTube. We hoped to locate any interview of Kurumi Yoshimoto on YouTube, specifically, interviews were she mentioned anything about her social causes. However, no interview video of Kurumi Yoshimoto was found.

Similarly, we scoured through the Stance social media pages, news and press outlets that cover corporate executives and Kurumi Yoshimoto's Facebook for any of her family information, such as if she is married or has any kids but our research did not bear anything. Her Facebook account being private couldn't provide any conclusive or concrete information of her family life. A search through Twitter, Google and Instagram for any posts or any accounts linked to her was unfruitful too, she is only mentioned on Stance's official Instagram page in a post and seems not to have an Instagram account.
After an extensive search of reputed news and media sources, our research team was unable to locate information regarding Kurumi Yoshimoto's educational background apart from the mention of Los Alamitos High School from 2006 to 2009. We, therefore, concluded that information regarding Nick Woolery's academic background was not publicly available.

Having done thorough search about Kurumi Yoshimoto and going through multiple news and media outlets, our research didn't trace any board she serves on and was only successful to find one news article which announced a partnership with Sanrio where Kurumi Yoshimoto was listed and her e-mail issued for media requests for Stance.
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Part
06

C-Suite - Stance

The C-suite team at Stance consists of John Wilson (chief executive officer), Taylor Shupe (chief product officer), Aaron Hennings (chief brand officer), Candy Harris (chief creative officer), and Paul Zaengle (chief revenue officer).

John Wilson

Taylor Shupe

Aaron Hennings

  • Aaron Hennings has served as the chief brand officer of Stance since January 2016.
  • It is assumed that he oversees the design function at the company based on his expertise in designing.
  • Hennings is one of the co-founders of Stance and served as the company’s vice president of creative from January 2010 until his appointment as chief brand officer.
  • Prior to co-founding Stance, he served as the art director at Billabong from April 2001 to December 2009.

Candy Harris

  • Candy Harris has served as the chief creative officer of Stance since February 2019.
  • It is assumed that she oversees the marketing strategy of the company.
  • Before being appointed chief creative officer, she served as the executive vice president of the lifestyle division from July 2012 to September 2017 and chief marketing officer from October 2017 to February 2019.
  • Prior to joining Stance, she served as the brand director of the women's division at Billabong from January 2001 to July 2012.

Paul Zaengle

  • Paul Zaengle has served as the chief revenue officer of Stance since September 2019.
  • It is assumed that his main responsibility is to drive the sales of Stance’s products based on his expertise in this area.
  • He served as the executive vice president of the direct to consumers division from February 2015 until his appointment as chief revenue officer.
  • Prior to joining Stance, he served as the senior vice president of the US retail division at Lululemon Athletica from September 2013 to February 2015.
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Part
07

Media Scan- Stance

Recent news and media articles about Stance include its collaborations with Metallica, Donavan Mitchell, Billie Eilish, Kid Cudi, Toy Story 4, SLAM and New Era as well as agreements with sports leagues, store openings, and awards received. Below is a list of ten articles found over the past twelve months.

Articles on Stance

  • Metallica (an American heavy metal band based in San Francisco) teamed up with Stance to release a new line of socks with designs based on Metallica's albums "Kill 'Em All", "Ride The Lightning," and "Master Of Puppets".
  • Stance recently opened a store on Carnaby Street in London. This brand is known for its durable, stylish, and innovative sports socks.
  • Donovan Mitchell, a Utah Jazz guard, and Stance opened a retail store at the City Creek Center mall in Salt Lake City. The store is called "Stance X Donovan Mitchell". The grand opening was held on October 19.
  • In May, Billie Eilish and Stance released a debut collection, which quickly sold out and was not restocked. In fall 2019 a collection will be released which includes items from the previous collection and new items like a neon yellow sock pair that has the same shade as a textbook highlighter. The article also mentions where customers can buy the collection.
  • Kid Cudi and Stance will release three different pairs of high-socks. The designs are inspired by Cudi's album cover and classic Cudi graphics. The socks are only available through Stance's European online store and cost £15.99.
  • Stance received a FLOW Award from Signifyd for providing "exceptional customer experience." In ten years' time Stance has built a brand that is loved by consumers, has contributed to transforming a sector and "add[ed] unexpected sizzle to an apparel category that had traditionally been an afterthought".
  • Stance has become a new sponsor of the NBA 2K League. Stance has signed a multi-year agreement with the league to provide branded socks for each team in the league and "the in-game basketball avatars will also wear digital versions".
  • Toy Story 4 and Stance have released three new sock styles and a special box set that pays tribute to "spaceport." The socks and box set were made available on June 4 on Stance's website and each pair of socks cost $18, while the box set cost $80.
  • SLAM, Stance and New Era are collaborating to “RESPECT THE GAME,” a pop-up shop that pays tribute to basketball and its culture. The pop-up shop was at Stance's store in New York and was held in October. The pop-up shop displayed the "custom installations and experiences, exclusive NBA socks, shirts, caps and merchandise from all three brands, appearances from NBA and WNBA players" and more.
  • This article highlights some dependable socks at an affordable price that offer convenience, functionality, and protection. Stance's Strikepro Hoops Icon Crew Socks are mentioned and highlighted in the article.
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Part
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Stance - Competitors

Stance Socks is a socks manufacturing company, turning "socks into one of the world's most exciting accessories." The company is privately-held, has between 101 and 250 employees, and an estimated annual revenue of $186 million. Seven competitors of Stance Socks include HUF, Happy Socks AB, SmartWool, Darn Tough, Bridgedale Socks, Sock It To Me, and PRO Compression.

HUF

  • Website link
  • Why they are a competitor: Professional skateboarder, Kete Hufnagel, founded HUF in 2002. The company manufactures premium socks for men, women, and children, as well as other types of apparel for skateboarders. They have about 200 employees and an estimated yearly revenue of $200 million.
  • Value proposition: HUF's value proposition revolves around its design and manufacture of products that enable consumers to "go out and create" their future by themselves and in their style.

Happy Socks AB

  • Website link.
  • Why they are a competitor: Happy Socks is a lifestyle brand, producing designer socks for children, women, and men. The company has about 109 employees and is a leader in the sock manufacturing segment, according to ZoomInfo. Happy Socks has an estimated annual revenue of $54.2 million.
  • Value proposition: Happy Socks' value proposition is the production of "high-quality sock that combines unique designs and craftsmanship."

SmartWool

Darn Tough

  • Website link.
  • Why they are a competitor: Darn Tough is a Vermont-based manufacturer of premium, all-weather lifestyle and outdoor Merino socks for kids, women, and men. The company has about 113 employees and generates up to $23.2 million in estimated yearly revenue.
  • Value proposition: The company's value proposition revolves around its guarantee of quality by offering an "unconditional lifetime guarantee" that is simple and without conditions or strings. Darn Tough propagates that if customers don't find their socks to be the most comfortable, best-fitting, and durable, they can return them.

Bridgedale Socks

  • Website link.
  • Why they are a competitor: Bridgedale has several years of experience in the socks manufacturing segment and now stands by its product's quality by giving customers a lifetime guarantee. The company has about 103 employees and around $20.6 million in yearly revenues.
  • Value proposition: The company's value proposition revolves around there principles, "Fit, FusionTech and Guarantee." They design and manufacture technical socks for hiking, walking, trekking, skiing, and other related activities.

Sock It To Me

PRO Compression

  • Website link.
  • Why they are a competitor: PRO Compression designs socks that deliver maximum comfort and benefits, including stability, improved blood flow, and comfort. The company has about 62 employees and $4.3 million in estimated yearly revenue.
  • Value proposition: PRO Compression's value proposition revolves around its offering of "premium quality compression socks for all favorite activities," including running long distances, traveling, or training hard.

Research Strategy:

We began by researching the website of Stance to understand its product offering and company size, from where we found that the company is privately-held. Then, we investigated socks market studies, hoping to find insights into the competitors of Stance Socks. This investigation produced a report by Statista, revealing the market size of the US socks industry but did not highlight competitors. Also, we located market studies by research portals such as Globe Newswire, Grand View Research, Market Watch, and others, which focused on the global market size of the socks' industry. Unfortunately, these reports did not yield insights into the competitors of Stance, but listed global and publicly-traded brands such as Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, and others, which could not be taken as the actual competitors of Stance.

Next, we examined relevant reports by media websites such as Business Insider, Forbes, Inc., and others, looking for information about the competitors of Stance. This time, we located reports that discussed the growth of Stance but did not highlight the company's competitors. However, we discovered an article by Chivaz Wear, an upcoming socks brand, that listed Stance and three other companies as those disrupting the socks' industry in the US. We examined each company on this list and found them to be offering the same kind of products, as well as being privately-held, respectively.

Finally, we used company intelligence tools such as ZoomInfo, PitchBook, Craft.co, CrunchBase, and others to investigate Stance and other companies identified in the report by Chivaz Wear, searching for those with the same product offering and having about the same company size. Here, we found up to 11 privately-held socks companies, but all of them did not have the same size as Stance, regarding company size and estimated annual revenue. Therefore, to select seven competitors, we took the first seven, based on their revenue and company size, as available in the public domain.
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Part
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Stance - Competitors: The Findings Part One

Stance operates in the US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and China. HUF operates in the main cities of the United States and Japan, such as Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Tokyo, Osaka, Harajuku, and Sendai.

Stance

Competitive Advantage

  • This company uses the best materials and develops its own proprietary fibers. Stance also claims to design products that perform at the highest level.
  • It makes a strong partnership with popular communities, artists, and athletes and has a list of big brand ambassadors. Stance succeeded in making NFL collaborations and became the official sock of the NBA.
  • They sell socks to more than 40 countries and 7,500 retail stores.

Strengths

  • The socks are unique, high quality, and made from the research of Socks Hosiery Research Engineering and Development (SHRED).
  • Celebrity became its investors, such as Dwayne Wade and Will Smith.

Weaknesses

  • The price is too high. According to some customers, the color can fade after washing them.
  • It doesn't have stores under its brand name. It only sells its products through third-party retailers.

Revenue

Location

  • Stance operates in the US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and China

HUF

Competitive Advantage

  • HUF claims to have rapid growth and popularity in premium footwear, apparel, and skateboarding goods.
  • This company believes that it makes timeless vintage design, classic crafts, and quality goods with sharp detail.
  • It offers one of the best skateboarding apparel from socks, bags, sunglasses, jackets, to belts.

Strengths

  • The brand represents a combination of streetwear, skateboarding, and sneaker fashion.
  • HUF has influence over sneakers, streetwear, and skateboarding communities in the US and Japan.
  • They use specific garments that stand the test of time, resulting in a high-quality product that suits skateboarding.

Weaknesses

  • According to shoe apparel's review, there are minor stability issues of the shoes' models. A lot of the shoes need better cushioning because this company makes average cushioning's quality.
  • Its socks are made for a particular market. It only serves a small market, such as streetwear, and skateboarding communities. The socks and other apparel are not easily transposed on another market with different needs, such as business people.

Revenue

Location

  • They operate in the main cities of the United States and Japan, such as Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Tokyo, Osaka, Harajuku, and Sendai.
Part
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Part
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Stance - Competitors: The Findings Part Two

Happy Socks presented itself to the market and gained an instant following. They have used their unique and distinct style to differentiate their product from their competitors and in doing so, have become a market leader in their niche. SmartWool has less of an impact. However, they have defined a clear niche within the market. Over the last 25 years have targeted their products toward that specific group of consumers.

Happy Socks AB

Competitive Advantage

  • The concept that the company was built on was spreading happiness. Happy Socks have taken an everyday necessity and turned into a colorful and unique fashion item. When they entered the market in 2008, socks were non-descript fashion necessities. Happy Socks differentiated their socks with colors and playful designs, and in doing so, established a competitive advantage.
  • At various times Happy Socks has collaborated with inspirational people and brands to create one-off collections that are available from no other company in the world. Previous collections have included collaborations with The Beatles, Snoop Dogg, Billionaire Boys Club, Meagan Massacre, Ellen, Pharell Williams, and Keith Haring. These collections distinguish Happy Socks from all other competitors.
  • Through strategic leveraging on social media and user-generated content, they have been able to establish high levels of brand recognition and strong brand identity and awareness.

Strengths

  • Happy Socks collections cover all segments of the population, including men, women, children, dress, athletic, and swimwear.
  • Products are constantly changing and evolving, with new designs replacing old. This encourages the consumer to return to the store regularly. They also use a newsletter effectively to maintain consumer interest.
  • They are recognized as the market leader in fashionable, designer socks. They clearly identified the market they were going to target before introducing the product, and have put all their efforts into maximizing their presence in that niche. They don't try to compete in other market areas.
  • Collaborations are a key area of their business. The collaborations generate excitement for their products among consumers.
  • They were acquired by Palamon Capital in 2017 for $80.9 million. Palamon Capital's previous investments in the retail sector, along with the capital investment, provided the company with the opportunity to upgrade its transactional platform and maximize its global presence. This meant they were able to consolidate their position in the market.

Weaknesses

  • The market they are targeting is very clear and defined. The type of product they produce is orientated directly at that market. The unique and loud designs mean that it would be difficult for them to move into different market areas and gain traction. The professional business market is a good example to illustrate this point.
  • Their business relies on unique and fresh designs and interesting collaborations. It is the cornerstone of their success. They have to remain "current," which becomes increasingly difficult over time. If they lose their cutting edge, they run the risk of falling back into the pack and becoming just another sock company.
  • The designs are not timeless. Part of the initial appeal was the product was different from anything else on the market. Fashion trends and consumer trends change. It is unclear if Happy Socks would be successful if fashion dictated they operate in a different market segment.

Revenue

Locations

  • The company headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Happy Socks is located in 90 countries around the world. It now has a presence on every continent. Their flagship stores are in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo.
  • Over 10,000 fashion apparel stores stock Happy Socks.

SmartWool

Competitive Advantage

  • SmartWool has developed a niche market within the larger sock market. The outdoor, active consumer is their target market, and they have focused their efforts on that niche for the last 25 years. They have in-depth market knowledge in the creation of high performance, comfortable socks for that niche. While they cater to the everyday user, that is not their focus.
  • Part of SmartWool's competitive advantage comes from their in-depth knowledge of the market they are serving. With this knowledge, they can meet the needs of that niche in a way no one else can. Knowledge creates a competitive advantage for them.
  • The high-quality nature of their product creates a competitive edge. All their socks are made with premium fabric.

Strengths

  • They have developed a unique tool on their website to assist people in finding the socks that will best fit their purpose. This improves the likelihood of customer satisfaction because they are getting the product they need. The interactive tool also encourages brand engagement and loyalty through interaction.
  • They use merino wool for their socks, considering it a performance fabric. The qualities of merino are ideally suited to the outdoor lifestyles of their target market.
  • The brand is built on the concept of comfort and practicality over trendy design features, which is in line with their defined market. The features of their product that are emphasized are the features that are of fundamental importance to their market.
  • The company adopts sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices.
  • Quality is the selling point for SmartWool. They can charge a higher price for their product because it is of high quality. If the quality is providing value, the consumer is more likely to live with a higher cost.

Weaknesses

  • Their socks are designed for a particular market. The socks that they design are not easily transposed on another market with entirely different needs, The success of the company relies on a small segment. They don't have the luxury of relying on the larger market if things get tough.
  • The socks they make are made primarily using merino wool. Merino is not cheap, and this means their product range is more expensive than other sock manufacturers. The benefit is increased quality and performance. However, for many people, the price will be the key factor when deciding whether to purchase a product.

Revenue

Locations

  • SmartWool has its headquarters in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, US.
  • Their products are available at retailers throughout the world. They also have a strong presence online for sales.

Research Strategy

We initially searched the precompiled information on the companies' websites to determine their respective competitive advantage, strengths, and weaknesses. A significant amount of information was available. The company websites also provided information on how the products are distributed and the countries they are sold in. No financial information was available on company websites. To supplement the information we had found, we reviewed a range of industry publications, media articles, financial reports, and databases. By adopting this approach, we were able to find the required information.
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Part
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Stance - Competitors: The Findings Part Three

Darn Tough and Bridgedale are companies that specialize in the manufacture of comfortable and all-weather socks.

Darn Tough

Competitive Advantage

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Darn Tough's offerings are fairly limited, focusing mainly on plain colored socks.

Revenue

Location

Bridgedale Socks

Competitive Advantage

  • The Fusion Technology employed by Bridgedale is the company's primary competitive advantage.
  • Fusion Tech involves a "unique blend of yarn and knitting technology."

Strengths

  • Bridgedale offers the world's first pairing sock, "Merino Mag +," which provides solution to the problem of losing socks in the wash.
  • The StormSock is 100% waterproof and breathable and can perform in wet conditions, offering maximum protection from wind, water, and cold.
  • Bridgedale socks have a perfect fit, thus feeling like news socks after new socks after every wash.
  • Through the Fusion Tech, Bridgedale combines natural yarns and microfibers to create comfortable socks.
  • The company offers a wide variety of socks for their customers to choose from.
  • They also provide a guarantee in the quality of socks they sell to their customers.

Weaknesses

Revenue

Location


Part
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Part
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Stance - Competitors: The Findings Part Four

Sock It to Me create vibrant socks with unique and distinct styles. Pro Compression socks are technically developed to increase blood circulation and enhance recovery.

Sock It to Me

Competitive Advantage

Strengths

  • The company has more than 4000 wholesale partners.
  • Sock It to Me regularly conducts marketing campaigns that involve consumer feedback, like Design-a-Sock contest, Cool Girl Contest. In 2018, the designing contest grabbed more than 11,000 entries from around the world.
  • The company achieved a three-year growth of 60%.
  • It is featured in the 2018 list of Inc 5000 as one of the ten fastest-growing women-led companies in Portland, Oregon.

Weaknesses

Revenue

  • Annual revenue of $11.9 million.

Locations


Pro Compression Socks

Competitive Advantage

Strengths

  • The company manufactures and designs the product in the USA.
  • The products feature high positive ratings (4.5/5) on Trust Pilot with 5,077 excellent feedback reviews.
  • The company features a team of pro-brand ambassadors. The company selects brand influencers only if they are a fan of their socks and follow an active lifestyle.

Weaknesses

  • High-priced socks and sleeves, starting from $18 up to $50.
  • No presence in retail stores.

Revenue

  • Annual revenue of $4.3 million.

Locations

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Stance’s list of brand ambassadors includes pop musicians and professional athletes. Deemed the company’s “Punks & Poets,” current ambassadors are NBA player James Harden, surfer John John Florence, music artist Rihanna"
Quotes
  • "Before adopting socks as the product of choice, CEO Jeff Kearl went to Target stores and checked out the merchandise. He was searching for a product that needed some spice, examining everything from home decor to jewelry, looking for a market that could use a bit of disruption. When he saw how boring the sock displays were, featuring blacks, whites, browns and the occasional obligatory argyle, he knew he had found a niche."
From Part 08
Quotes
  • "Designer and manufacturer of socks for men, women, and kids. The company manufactures anklets, thigh highs, knee highs, snow, sports, and adventure socks, and a variety of underwear, helping athletes, performers, and iconic cultural influencers to express themselves."