UGG Turning Into a Luxury Brand

What would you do, if you were the owner of a brand that produced super-comfortable footwear, but thought it’s time to change something? Now, it’s up to you whether the change is going to be an introduction of a new model/style or a complete shift of what your brand has stood for since, I’ll dare to say, unthinkable times. OK, so if you ignored the great popularity that your brand already enjoys and started a “Reconstruction” to take your brand from Informal-Comfortable to Luxury, how would you do it? From a marketing perspective, you’d take every aspect of the luxury industry, including exclusivity, celebrity endorsement, clever geo-targeting, high price, and a nice media campaign to present that new cocktail of yours to the world. But that would be way too obvious.

Have you guessed which brand I am talking about? It’s UGG … reinvented. For some reason, the creative minds at UGG decided that a brand that was already a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe needs some rebranding. And voila! They’ve announced the new collection of UGG boots that are nothing more and nothing less than a luxury line. The UGG fall 2015 campaign, which started on August 6, features the mysterious and elegant model, Carolyn Murphy, posing like a pro (as always) with those still-comfy-looking UGGs. The price for a pair from this new collection will cost you somewhere between $250 and $295 (perfect for those who think that a high price guarantees quality or magical powers of some kind?).

Carolyn Murphy for UGG Boots Fall 2015

The new collection of UGG boots, which has been designed in Italy, includes two styles – “Abree” and “Karissa”. They feature different colors and designs, and some even have leather heels. By the way, the luxury pairs are limited-edition, so go grab yours if you like this new idea.

Wait, don’t go just yet, I still have a few questions in mind. Why would you ever change a super-successful brand at its core? UGG culture was already a worldview and a lifestyle for many women. You either wear UGGs or you don’t. If marketers at UGG think that this move will expand the market and attract the shoppers that usually judge the product by the labels “Luxury” and “Non-Luxury,” I think they might be deadly wrong.

I know a lot of people, who wear UGGs because they also happen to support the idea of having comfort in life, as opposed to painful beauty. This is just a generalization, there are many comfortable Louboutins, but I don’t see the segment previously targeted by UGG wear them. And that’s because Louboutin is a luxury brand.
Let’s suppose that the market does expand without any loss of previous followers, this change seems to be way too drastic and dull. It’s more than clear that the choice of Italy (which often creates association effect with richness, culture, elegance, and fashion, even for a brand founded in California) as the only country where these new “LuxUggs” (here’s a short name for the new invention) were manufactured to show the excellent Italian craftsmanship is the main change.

Although I might try the new luxury UGGs just to be sure that I haven’t missed an important plot-changing factor, I am all for brands that after being successful move forward to become legends, rather than starting all over again and ruining a perfect fashion sub-culture. Let’s see what happens next!

Photo courtesy of UGG

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