Timberland's Response to Their Unexpected Non-Target Consumers

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In the early 1990’s, outdoor apparel brand, Timberland received an unexpected growth in its consumer base and its sales. The brand’s popular waterproof leather boots, generally used for outdoor activities and moving through rugged terrain, were being worn by inner-city youth as a fashion statement. These new consumers wanted to keep their boots as clean as possible and some even wore the boots in the heat of summer, an incongruous contrast to how the target market used the boots in rough, messy weather conditions. While Timberland enjoyed the unexpected sales, they were faced with a decision. Should they try to further exploit this unintentional market; if so how would Timberland’s outdoorsmen target market respond? In this case, it…show more content…
In the early 1990’s, outdoor apparel brand, Timberland received an unexpected growth in its consumer base and its sales. The brand’s popular waterproof leather boots, generally used for outdoor activities and moving through rugged terrain, were being worn by inner-city youth as a fashion statement. These new consumers wanted to keep their boots as clean as possible and some even wore the boots in the heat of summer, an incongruous contrast to how the target market used the boots in rough, messy weather conditions. While Timberland enjoyed the unexpected sales, they were faced with a decision. Should they try to further exploit this unintentional market; if so how would Timberland’s outdoorsmen target market respond? In this case, it seemed that these non-target consumers had no affect on the brand’s intended target market. So in response Timberland kept its advertising focused on the brand’s traditional target, while urban consumers continued to buy Timberland products. The brand continued to grow, achieving global sales of over $1 billion by 2007 (Fitch 2009). The adoption of a brand by a non-target market does not always have such positive results. Since the 1990s, luxury brand Burberry has been dealing with its association with “chavs,” in Great Britain. The chavs are a lower class group associated with rowdiness, hooliganism, and crime. They adopted the famous Burberry checkered pattern as part of their uniform. This resulted in a decrease in brand loyalty of

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