Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Why these chunky, ugly running shoes are selling like crazy


Sneakers designed to feel like running barefoot used to be the hottest phenomenon in exercise. Now, the opposite is true. The ugliest, chunkiest sneaker brand is flying off the shelves.

Click here to read the story at

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is product development?
  2. What factors did Hoka consider in the development of their running shoe products, according to this news story?
  3. What is product positioning?
  4. What is a differentiation strategy?
  5. How would you describe Hoka’s positioning strategy?
  6. What might be the brand’s point of differentiation?
  7. What does it mean for a brand or product to carve out a “niche” in a particular market?
  8. According to this news story, how did Hoka carve out a niche in the running market?
  9. How did that eventually help to fuel the brand’s sales?
  10. According to this story, how does the brand plan to continue its growth?
  11. What is a brand?
  12. How would you describe the Hoka brand?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.