How Vans is pivoting in the pandemic, from face masks to shoebox designs
As a global brand, Vans had an early look at how the COVID-19 was wreaking havoc on the retail world. The company, which is owned by the VF Corp., therefore pivoted early by implementing new remote working strategies for several employees overseas. The brand has also been balancing out its supply chain as different regions have been harder hit by the pandemic.
“We’ve been in this longer than just people working from the U.S.,” says Nick Street, VP of global integrated marketing at Vans on this week’s episode of the Marketer’s Brief Podcast.
Adjusting its operation is just one of the strategies Vans is pursuing during the coronavirus crisis. The company is also working with retail partners such as workwear brand Hedley & Bennett and others to supply the canvas and shoelaces normally reserved for Vans footwear for new face masks and shields for health care workers.
“Part of our strategy to see how we can collaborate and help those closest to us,” says Street, noting Vans’ Foot the Bill initiative will aid 160 small businesses, including 80 of Vans’ wholesale partners. For the initiative, retailers submit their own designs and patterns for shoes and then collect the net proceeds of the sale. Vans also called on its brand ambassadors like Tony Hawk and musician Anderson .Paak to nominate businesses near and dear to their hearts to participate in the program. In addition, as part of its new digital marketing efforts, the brand has challenged its customers to design a shoebox in order to further engagement.
While Vans typically hosts a lot of in-person events, such as skate clinics in Chicago that had been planned for this year, it’s transitioning those events into virtual offerings. The company recently hosted an online premier of a new women’s skate film, complete with a question-and-answer session from the audience.