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March 27, 2008

Comments

joared

What is wrong with those people, don't they read the numbers that the population is aging? I recall how I learned about NB from a friend slightly beyond the Boomer age bracket years ago. Maybe they'll wise up. Is it too much to hope sales will drop off and they'll get the message?

Baby-son

you neglected to explain how exactly New Balance has strayed from its traditional, core-customer base. You explain in great detail why doing so would be prove to be ill-fated but you didn't cite anything factual that the company has done creatively or strategically except for one commercial (the link's down btw).

I'm not familiar with how significant these changes in the NB brand strategy are, however, I think that NB could successfully position itself in the Youth Market. Particularly the skate market. I think even young people are going to be increasingly receptive to subtle branding and will respond to a brand that is very well-regarded and performs at the highest level. They (NB) could make it happen. Maybe they haven't done it right so far, but being aggressive and considering new ways to reach this market shouldn't be viewed with such trepidation and distrust.

David Wolfe

Thanks for your observation, Joared.

And now for you, Baby-son. I apologize for not being clearer in showing how New Balance strayed from its core market. Since around 1990, NB's marketing has been ageless, but has reflected a strong bias towards values commonly associated with midlife in the annals of adult development. This was intentional according to majority NB owner Jim Davis whom I interviewed for my book Ageless Marketing.

Actually, there were four of five commercials, not one, and they weren't taken down but seven days after posting are available only to subscribers of the Creativity site.

As I said in my posting, NB already has a sizable chunk of the youth market. However by overtly targeting youth -- especially those in high school according to a brief released by NB -- the company abandoned its traditional ageless approach and marked the brand as for "kids." That will alienate many in the 40-plus population who have been NB stalwarts, I believe.

Thanks for your views.

Mike Buckley

Say it ain't so, Jim. Being a boomer and a diabetic with wide feet, I buy two brands of shoes: NB athletic shoes and Rockport dress shoes. I've reached the age where comfort is much more important than style or price. Both brands offer a good selection of products in the size I need and the price tag is the last thing I look at.

I sincerely hope that New Balance isn't going to abandon the thing it does best, but it won't surprise me if they do.

Brandon Matthew

I am wearing New Balance shoes from a very long time and now I can't walk without them.

alanwain

I do know much about JD and NB;and havereason to believe that he knows what he is doing!I live in an indep endent living village and observe that avery large percentage of persons[including young visitors]wear NB shoes!In other words,by going after the "youth market they are not necessarily abandoning their loyal fans,especiaslly if the new ad campaigns are notoverflowwing with erzatz "youth culture",best of luck to them,XNB,peabody,Mass

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