1 January 2017

The Success of a Flip Flop Havaianas is one of the most commented successful cases in business. It became famous for its market repositioning, advertisement with celebrities, and increase of portfolio. Havaianas, a Brazilian rubber flip flop, is now the most popular flip flop in the world as a result of a hard-working change in the Marketing Mix, which exceeded the flip flop conventionality and became a fashion article. The flip flop Havaianas began to be manufactured in 1962 by Alpargatas. The target market for this flip flop was the middle class.

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However, after a period, everyone was using it and the flip flop became too popular, according with Rui Porto, Director of Media and Communication of Alpargatas. The popularity of the product became a problem. In 1980, the widespread use of the flip flop lowered the profitability levels so much that it fitted in the category of commodity. Havaianas flip flop was manufactured only in a single model, the business was running risky and changes in communication would not be enough to modify this scenario.

The Alpargatas’ strategy for Havaianas was causing a drastic change in the marketing mix. After the market repositioning strategy was established in 1994, the first step was to create other models of Havaianas. The idea was to create a new line of flip flop with different colors and shapes that would result in product segmentation. After that, the channels of distribution became focused on niche markets, where each point of sale received a different model, according to its target market.

Lather then, the product display in retail outlets was modified to enhance the product and facilitate the choice instead of big baskets of mixed pairs. The last change, but not less important, was the communication. The communication focus changed of how the product was, e. g. a flip flop made by a soft rubber, to highlight the consumers and their attitudes. Moreover, among the communication strategies was sponsoring fashion shows, TV Shows, giving pairs away for celebrities and critics leaders.

Also, the advertisements on TV, newspapers and magazines were focused in showing the spirit of good things by celebrities using the Havaianas flip flop. The result was that Havaianas became a fashion article and, now, the brand is placed on the side of big international companies, such as Channel, which sells its products among pairs of Havaianas in an action of co-brand. Nowadays, Havaianas is sold in 80 countries around the world reaching a sale number of 160 million pairs of flip flop per year. The Havaianas flip flop case shows is an example that there is no magic formula for success.

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