👞 The $220K Shoe

💰 The $220K Shoe

This pair of Birkenstocks sold for $220K:

Why did these over-worn shoes sell for $220K?

Well, for 1 reason…

They were worn by Steve Jobs when he founded Apple.

But even when not worn by Steve Jobs, Birkenstock has proven to be an impressive brand as one of the oldest companies in the world with over 245 years in business.

On top of that, Birkenstock also:

  • Makes 90% of its annual sales through word of mouth

  • Became the most searched shoe brand on Google

Today, we’ll talk about 3 timeless marketing hacks used by Birkenstock that have carried them through almost 3 centuries.

Here’s what we got for ya:

  • 🧠 Create Problems Only YOU Can Solve

  • 💎 Limit Supply Until They Cry

  • 👞 ‘The Jesus Sandal’

Read Time: 4 min 48 sec

🧠 Create Problems Only YOU Can Solve

When the Birkenstock CEO was asked to explain why his shoes were worth spending hundreds of dollars for, he gave one answer…

“They’re the Asprin for your feet.”

That’s it.

He did not mention its cork soles, leather straps, or even how long they’ve been around…

All he mentioned was the solution that Birkenstock sells - Comfortable feet.

In his book Copywriting Secrets, Jim Edward calls this the “Before and After Bridge.”

You present buyers with a problem they’re facing → Tell them what it would be like to solve this problem → Then make YOUR product the bridge that gets them there.

AKA creating a problem only you can solve.

Birkenstock’s problem: Modern-day infrastructure doesn’t support our feet and leads to life-long pain.

“We were meant to walk barefoot on uneven ground” - Birkenstock

Birkenstock’s solution: Shoes that mold to your feet for perfect support

Birkenstock chose one problem and solved it in every shoe they sold.

And not only is it a problem that everyone can relate to, but it’s a problem that will be around for as long as we can walk.

More on this:

Have a business or something you want to promote in front of 65,000+ readers?

Click the button below to apply now!

💎 Limit Supply Until They Cry

“If you control your factories, you control your quality. If you control your distribution, you control your image” - Bernard Arnault

Since day 1, every Birkenstock has been made in one of the 5 Birkenstock factories in Germany.

Worldwide, there are only 54 Birkenstock stores, 2 of which are in the US.

Other than those 54 stores, Birkenstocks can only be sold in specific partner stores approved by the CEO of Birkenstock.

Yet, they continue to sell out every Q4 even as prices rise.

This is the power of Vertical Integration.

Birkenstock has complete control over the supply and demand of their shoes. 

The strategy is simple…

If sales drop throughout the year, they simply cut back on supply.

And the more they cut back and left department stores, the more their sales increased.

(Like in 2016 when Birkenstock left Amazon. That same year, Birkenstock became the ‘most searched shoe brand’ on Google in 2016.)

When demand rises, they increase supply. Rise and repeat.

This also allows Birkenstock to maintain its quality and keep its reputation safe from shady manufacturers - unlike other shoe companies like Nike.

More on this:

👞 ‘The Jesus Sandal’

If you’ve heard of Birkenstocks, you’ve probably heard their nickname “The Jesus Sandal.”

They’ve earned the name for two reasons:

  1. They look like the shoes he wears in paintings

  2. They’ve been around forever

Again, Birkenstocks have been around for over 245 years, and in that time they’ve been worn by every group imaginable…

Hippies, teens, hikers, dads…

They’re the shoes anyone can wear for any event, yet they look almost identical today as they did 100 years ago:

Birkenstock rarely makes big changes to its shoe. What they do change is the way they sell the shoe.

In the 1960s it was the ‘antifashion’ shoe for hippies…

In the 2010s it was the comfort shoe for parents…

During the pandemic, it was the perfect ‘work-from-home shoe’…

Same shoe, different angle.

You have to be able to adapt to the changing market without changing your overall business.

Soon, we’ll see this with A.I…

Those willing to adapt will be successful.

Those who stick to ‘traditional ways’ won’t be able to keep up and will spend resources on tasks that A.I can do in seconds

More on this:

PS - We won’t be in your inbox on Monday. Happy holidays and we’ll see ya Wednesday!

What'd you think of today's edition?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Join the conversation

or to participate.