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The Good and the UGG-ly: This Polarizing Brand’s Performance is not a Fad

UGG Australia’s emergence as a leader in the women’s boots category has created contingents of both fans and detractors. A recent Guardian article highlights the continuing divisiveness of the brand while alluding to its growing popularity during winter months. We decided to take a closer look and analyze a few key performance indicators to determine the true health of the brand in today’s marketplace.

Brand Performance Score

We rank brands across multiple categories based on a proprietary brand performance score. The score is a weighted average of various demand signal indices such as review count, inventory refresh, customer satisfaction, and so on.

The following chart depicts three index values for the top 10 women’s boots brands at Nordstrom (one of UGG’s main online retailers). We calculated indices for the top 40 brands (based on shelf ranking) over a period of six weeks (November 30th, 2015 through January 4th, 2016). The resulting insight—UGG was the best-performing brand at Nordstrom in the women’s boots category.

Brand Equity

 

Measuring promotional activity around key brands presents a unique opportunity to gauge the popularity of specific brands. Our rich history of promotional data across email, homepages, and social media reflects the positioning of the UGG brand going back several months.

Homepage

Email

Trending homepage mentions reflect the seasonality of the UGG brand in the women’s boots category. The promotional cadence across key retailers slows dramatically after the winter months.

This is also corroborated by the following Google trends chart showing how the search terms “UGG Australia,” “Boots,” and “Slippers” trend over time. Clearly, this is very seasonal, rising around the winter months and peaking in December every year. UGG was heavily promoted by its major retailers (Nordstrom and Zappos) during the colder months when its popularity typically spikes.

Brand Diversification

 

In recent years, the UGG brand made a concerted push to broaden its product assortment by expanding into the categories of men’s and kid’s boots, winter slippers, and accessories in hopes of capitalizing on growing demand for their goods. To monitor the performance of these categories, we analyzed shelf space coverage (a proxy for market share) in each category.

From this assessment, UGG’s shelf ranking is fairly consistent across categories with a recent breakout performance in their men’s gloves category.

Conclusions Drawn from the Data

UGG’s successful performance in women’s boots served as a foundation for the company to capitalize on adjacent product categories. Recent successes in their men’s accessories categories bodes well for the future of the brand as it continues to broaden its product assortment. Our company exists to help monitor the performance of any brand, delivering weekly insights across the spectrum of pricing, assortment, and promotions.

Photo by SPERA, https://flic.kr/p/qABSYe

Contributing Writer: Ashwin Kailasam 

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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