How might we innovate to make the world’s best-selling sneaker better?

In September 2015, Geoff Cottril CMO of Converse and a few others decided it was time to update the world’s most iconic sneaker. Geoff recently stated in a LinkedIn post:

It was one of the most fun projects of my career. Not because of the project itself. It was because of the world-class team I worked with who made it happen. You all know who you are… and who doubted it could ever be done.


Almost 100 years old, the Chuck Taylor All Star is in many ways the Coca-Cola of sneakers. But how do you redesign the Coca-Cola of shoes without becoming the New Coke of shoes?

An ex-Coca-Cola executive, Geoff Cottrill knew there was an inherent risk in ‘improving’ an iconic product. No one wanted a consumer riot to deal with that New Coke did in the 1980s.

The danger of alienating Converse’s core consumer with thoughtless corporate tinkering was even greater, because Converse’s core consumer are creatives and artists, rockers and skateboarders, rebels and iconoclasts. That’s where a collaboration with The Sense Network came in; synonymous with Converse’s core consumers, they live at the edges of culture.

Sense Worldwide worked collaboratively and iteratively with The Sense Network and Converse Brand and Product Design teams. The brief was to change everything without changing anything; working through iterative loops the Chuck ll product was developed and messaging refined. The rest is now history.

Read the full Fast Company article about the Chuck II by John Brownlee here.


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