For a brand founded more than 100 years ago, Converse certainly knows how to stay modern. The footwear purveyor, which was acquired by Nike two decades ago, sells one of the most recognizable sneakers in the category. Its Chuck Taylors and high-tops have become mainstays for Gen Z along with celebrities such as Blake Lively, Madonna and Michelle Obama.
Gen Z love powers Converse sales gains
In the last year alone, Converse has twice topped an Ad Age-Harris Poll Gen Z brand tracker, which ranks brands based on their quarterly progress with the younger generation, thanks to compelling brand collaborations, customizable options for college students, and a brand mention in “Air,” the Nike movie starring Matt Damon.
The success extends to the Boston-based brand’s financials. Converse’s revenue rose 3% in the latest fiscal year to $2.43 billion, led by double-digit growth in North America; the brand is repeatedly lauded by company executives for its continuing popularity with consumers across age, gender and ethnicity. Parent Nike is helping to boost the appeal with added marketing dollars. Nike increased spending on U.S. measured media for the Converse brand by 61% to $34 million in 2022, according to spending data from Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics, as reported in Ad Age Leading National Advertisers 2023.
It helps that Converse’s appeal comes from its wearability—for older generations as well as younger trendsetters. That universality is illustrated on the brand’s social media channels, including an Instagram grid showcasing skating sneakers alongside pastel platforms. On TikTok, the brand tells a similar story of options for all with an added dose of sass.