[15:12] Sam Eyre
Converse, known for its 100-year-old iconic Chuck Taylor All Star sneaker, aimed to innovate and enhance its best-selling product. The challenge was to improve the sneaker without alienating its core consumers and risking a backlash similar to the ‘New Coke’ incident.
Converse recognized the importance of making changes that felt organic and necessary to their core consumers, who were creatives, artists, rockers, skateboarders, rebels, and iconoclasts.
To ensure a successful transformation, Converse collaborated with The Sense Network, a community synonymous with their core consumers who live at the edges of culture (including a particularly passionate chef). Working closely with The Sense Network, along with Converse’s Brand and Product Design teams, we embarked on an iterative process to develop the Chuck II sneaker.
The outcome was a reimagined design that prioritized improved comfort and increased build quality. Upon its release, the Chuck II received positive reviews, with praise for the upgrades to comfort and durability. The successful launch of the Chuck II reinforced Converse’s position as a leader in the sneaker industry, and the changes made in the Chuck II influenced the development of the later “Converse Modern” line.
You can read the Fast Company article about the Chuck II by John Brownlee here.
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.
Chief Marketing Officer, Converse