The program was also helped to success thanks to several of Crocs’ retail partners, including Zappos, Famous Footwear and Shoe Carnival, all of which aided either through shipping and logistics, sponsoring a day of donations, or providing a set amount of donations for every pair sold. Crocs celebrity brand ambassadors, including actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas and musician Luke Combs, also helped raise awareness and distribute shoes.
In driving awareness of the campaign, Crocs was able to rely solely upon organic social media and PR efforts. During the 45 days, the company’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts were shared over 50,000 times, generating over 20 million impressions, while the number of PR impressions totaled over 4.5 billion. At the conclusion of the campaign, Crocs had grown its social media fan base by a whopping 15%.
The success of Free Pair for Healthcare has not only boosted Crocs’ assurance in its speed and agility, but also served to demonstrate the value of leading with purpose, says Cooley.
“We assumed that giving away free shoes would drive positive goodwill for our brand, [and] we believed that it was the right thing to do,” she notes. “I think what's been remarkable is it's given us a renewed sense of confidence in the fact that doing the right thing for humans is the right thing for brands.”
And while the company was previously less involved in philanthropic giving — Cooley says they did it when a need arose but didn’t necessarily proactively seek it out — this perspective has changed.
‘We've realized that there is a need for safe and comfortable footwear for a lot of different reasons, and it’s something that we're actively pursuing to continue to help with,” she says. “It drove tremendous value for us and positive goodwill, and it’s something that we'll continue to look to do.”