Keds Shoes BiographySource (google.com.pk )
The Keds brand of tennis shoe was made by U.S. Rubber (now know as Uniroyal) in 1917, then Uniroyal Goodrich, and have been around for almost 100 years. They were originally going to be called "Peds," meaning "foot" in Latin but that name was taken so the company settled on the name "Keds," which is the Indian word for moccasins.
In the 60's and 70's, Keds added a line of athletic shoes called Pro-Keds which were a huge hit in sports. As a matter of fact, it seemed like everyone at that time was wearing some kind of Keds, particularly the youth, teens, and active adults.
Camps required the campers have them, cheerleaders lived in them, basketball players and athletes swore by them, musicians favored them when they weren't wearing boots, and they were worn by a series of television stars. Yes, Keds were the casual shoe of choice.
They lost popularity in the mid to late 1990s when other athletic shoes came into vogue. Brands like New Balance, Nike, Puma, Air Jordan, Lacoste, Converse and Reebok launched huge promotions, showing champion athletes in the Olympics, in Wimbledon and in the U.S. Open, all wearing "brand" tennis shoes. Big money was paid to top athletes to wear various brands of tennis shoes. The top shoe manufacturers were totally absorbed in competing with one another and in wiping out rival companies.
After the turn of 21st century, the ball was once again in Keds' court, thanks to a number of celebrities who endorsed Keds and also due to vintage styles being back in vogue. In 2005, Mischa Barton, star of the Fox TV series "The O.C.," had signed on to become the first celebrity spokesperson in the history of Keds. Suddenly Keds had the attention of the 19 to 25 year olds.
Although sales had slipped in the Keds traditional marketplace over the years, the net income in 2005 and 2006 showed a considerable increase. By 2007, although Keds was making headway, profits were not as dramatic as in the two years before. And by 2008, it was apparent that although Keds was doing well in the marketplace for kids and for teens, if it wanted to continue its growth in the highly competitive footwear industry, it would have to do better and take some of the sales from the other players. The company became committed to coming out with trendy, more colorful shoes for aging baby boomers, in addition to shoes for children, teens and young adults.
While All This Was Going On......
The San Francisco company Confego had pioneered a new software that allowed the customization process to take 48 hours, meaning a person could place an order and have it in hand in just one week. Similar vendors needed three to five weeks to achieve the same thing. More and more manufacturers began to offer customization and Confego's revenue doubled, tripled and quadrupled when customers such as Reebok, Timberland, Nike, and others began to partner with Confego to offer personalized versions of their products.
In 2007, Zazzle, the award winning company for on-demand quality custom products, acquired Confego, which allowed them to tap into its expertise in customizing products, including construction, color, fabric choice and custom embroidery. Confego's co-founders, Dave Gross and Brennan Mulligan, joined Zazzle.
At about the same time or shortly before, Keds' management team was searching for for a way they could get into the growing mass customization market and make a profit. Keds' e-commerce director Gregg Poulin contacted Confego. It was a good fit. All he needed now was a community to plug into. Dave Gross and Brennan Mulligan directed him to Zazzle.
In Gregg Poulin's words: "I had the brand, they (Confego) had the process/systems. Now I needed the community, which is where zazzle.com fit in." *
In the summer of 2008, Keds began a partnership with Zazzle and started offering its own custom footwear, which went far beyond their predescesors in the customization options offered.
Through Keds' partnership with Zazzle and also with the launch of their "Keds Studio" line at roughly the same time, customers can design their own Keds by adding graphics, photos and even text.
In addition, consumers can select their own stitching, binding, lining, gore, and laces(when ordering Champion lace up sneakers). Also, if the consumer chooses to do so, they can sell their custom creations through the Zazzle marketplace and even make a profit. Alternatively, a consumer can choose from a huge assortment of artist designed Keds and customize these further or buy them as they are.
Zazzle has invited artists from around the world to add to its collection. When I last looked at the Zazzle website, there were about 93,000 designs to choose from. Currently Zazzle sells Keds in an assortment of styles for men, women and kids