Understanding the draw
of the ‘sneaker-drop’ phenomenon

Drop Kick were looking for help to take their concept to a new market. Our research needed to capture the current Asian market, what makes people tick, how do people want to shop fashion and more importantly; how do we build hype in this continent?

An immensely lucrative yet notoriously elusive world, the landscape of sneaker culture continues to shift considerably as consumer priorities, attitudes and preferences develop. For this project, we used secondary research to provide actionable insights into the evolving sneakerhead community, spanning core demographics, brands to know, key influences, and effective commerce strategies.

We uncovered key customer types which informed the client ensuring DropKick’s concept could be developed and refined to reflect customer attitude and opinion.

Sector immersion:

With a specific focus on Singapore, and Malaysia we drew out consumer traits and consumption behaviours across the region, covering interest and intent for brand experiences, purchasing drivers, lifestyle behaviours and product categories.We uncovered key customer types which then informed the client and team, ensuring DropKick’s concept could be developed and refined to reflect customer attitude and opinion in Singapore and Malaysia, extending DropKick’s reach and brand awareness.

Competitor audit:

The overall store experience for different brands was analysed to reveal how successfully brands are communicating their sneaker services and drop culture to the consumer. As well as sneaker brands, it was useful to ascertain the answers to these questions for the brands out of sector. Other fashion, or sports that have a similar ‘drop’ culture – not specific to sneakers, demonstrated different ways of enticing consumers through their product launches.

Brand positioning:

The brand positioning revealed two directions that brands pursue in this sector. Firstly, there are those brands that curate a sneaker experience that feels more exclusive, and analogue – with VIP members rooms, and store experiences targeted to appeal to the hardcore sneaker enthusiasts. Secondly, there are those brands that opt for a sneaker journey that is more inclusive, and tech-led – offering multiple in-store digital features, designed to engage and appeal to a broader demographic of sneaker fans.

The overall conclusion from this exercise showed that there is an opportunity for Dropkick to pursue a sneaker experience in Asia that was tech-led but felt more exclusive. The key takeaways from the positioning process were referred to beyond the research phase to ensure DropKick pursued a brand direction that felt unique to its competitors.