Crocs has been well-known for its iconic footwear product, the clog, since the company's inception in 2002. The kids' business (especially among preschoolers) has always been a contributor to the brand with lots of potential to grow. Based on the shape of the shoe, the brand created a character named 'Crocs Little' to educate customers about the 'Croslite' closed-cell resin material found in every Crocs shoe.
Today's kids are very savvy at using mobile devices, which led Crocs to reach out to the young target audience (children aged from 2 to 6) with an interactive iPad app named 'The Adventures of Crocs Little', developed by digital agency Deep Focus/FlipScript.
The app shared the same mission as the brand: "to bring comfort, fun, colour and innovation to the world’s feet". The brand wanted to create something that featured the 'Crocs Little' character and would be interesting enough to keep the brand's youngest consumers coming back to it for many years to come. Meanwhile, Crocs hoped to win the support of parents by providing a kid-friendly product that would help to foster more trust in the brand. It believed its app distinguished itself from other kids' apps in the market by offering a mix of pre-school educational skills as well as a fun game experience.
Crocs tried to weave the brand into the overall creative design and content in a subtle way. The app had various levels built into a game for kids to help 'Crocs Little' with designated tasks. For every level they accomplished, the kids were rewarded with a 'Jibbitz' badge–named after a Crocs sub-brand of accessories that are worn with the clogs. Once the kids collected all 'Jibbitz' badges, they could claim discount coupons to be redeemed at either Crocs' web-store or retail outlets. This encouraged product trials.
To keep interest levels high, the brand created a total of 10 stories so that the app would be updated every few months with more 'adventures'. The brand also developed a secret game-in-game which required a 'Crocs Little' figurine to play. The figurine could only be obtained at a Crocs store, thus driving more people to the point of sale.
Digital sits at the core of the activation strategy for China with mobile advertising to push for more awareness. Crocs used its WeChat account as a platform to drive weekly teasers of bedtime stories. A Tmall store also supported the app's launch with a full campaign page, encouraging existing customers to download the app for their kids. On Weibo, the brand began conversations with fans about key parenting milestones. Crocs also shared the app with influential mommy-bloggers and mommy-celebrities with young kids who, in turn, posted photos of their little ones using the app.
Since its launch in November 2013, the app has been downloaded more than 200,000 times and given a 4+ star rating from reviews. The brand plans to expand it to other English-speaking countries in Asia this year.