Converse: Multi-Generational Relevance

You gotta take notice when facebook has more registered fans for Converse than it does for Starbucks, The Yankees, Disney, and God – combined! Brand relevancy remains big here.

There’s a story in today’s NY Post that highlights how Converse is leveraging its heritage to sell co-branded product with rock bands like The Who and Pink Floyd. Makes sense to me, as part of the aging hipster crowd, but let’s look at a much bigger snapshot of the Brand’s relevance to today’s core consumer. What better place to start than Facebook? Consider that on FB’s ‘favorite products’ board, Converse represents 4 of the top 40 groups, representing over 5 million members. Even if I assume that half these are dupes (consumers belonging to more than one group) it would rank Converse above the following brands and personalities…

1) Facebook and YouTube (2.2mm and 2.1mm fans, respectively)
2) Adidas and Nike (1.2mm fans each)
3) Twilight (1.9mm)
4) McDonald’s (1.3mm)
5) Starbucks (1.1mm)
6) Stewie Griffin (1.8mm)
7) Dr. House (2.5mm)
8) Christiano Ronaldo (2.4mm)
9) The NY Yankees (only 200k, and the 12th most popular sports team – but #1 in the US).
10) Rihanna (1.9mm – the most popular musician)
11) Disney (540k)
12) The Planet Earth (220k)
13) God (2.5k)

The only other Consumer brand to rank above Converse is Coke – which has just shy of 3mm registered fans.

Almost makes you wish that Converse was more than its current (estimated) 7-8% of Nike, Inc revenue. Current Brand strength at Converse can't offset the rollover in profit growth in the global core near-term. Nonetheless, it shows how Nike has done an exceptional job in keeping the Brand relevant under its ownership, and why it's likely to emerge from this environment a net share gainer across most businesses.

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