HOKA is one of the fastest growing brands in footwear, beloved for their signature large-soled sneakers aimed to make movement more fun, purposeful and empowering. Positioned at both their headquarters in Goleta, CA as well as around the globe, HOKA has an array of teams that work together to identify consumer needs, create products and bring them to market.
1 | KICK-OFF — 2 | SKETCH REVIEW — 3 | CONCEPT DEBUT — 4 | LINE REVIEW — 5 | INVESTMENT — 6 | SELL-IN
When global travel and on-site visits halted in March 2020, HOKA considered how to digitize their usual processes. But with aspirations to become a billion dollar brand, they chose to leverage the disruption as an opportunity to evolve the traditional ways their teams crafted assortments.
To craft the assortment, HOKA relies on two major milestone meetings, Global Concept Debut (GCD) and Global Line Review (GLR). Together these meetings address necessary product iterations, adjustments to the assortment architecture and intended forecasts. Including cross-functional stakeholders across design, product, merchandising, sales and executive teams, competing priorities and perspectives are plentiful. With margin and lead times at stake, these meetings need to go smoothly, but a few key problems made things challenging.
After months of work, assortments debuted at milestones as “big reveals” and were met with substantial pushback that distracted from major discussion points and delayed decisions.
Hours were spent debating over differing perspectives, with priority given to gut instinct and the loudest opinion in the room. Available data rarely provided relevant consumer or assortment context.
Assortment reveals were over-reliant on in-person meetings, and when not, dialogue was dispersed across several mediums (word, pdf, ppt, email, hallway chats), hindering stakeholders from synthesizing and digesting feedback.
MakerSights helped HOKA reimagine how they approached milestones within their go to market process with a more efficient, data-driven way of communicating, collaborating and executing assortments. Having executed over 2,000 SKUs across nearly 50 assortments, here’s how HOKA streamlines assortment building and makes milestone meetings more efficient with MakerSights.
Ahead of GCD or GLR, product stakeholders build and contextualize the assortment using MakerSights’ Digital Line Review to convey key elements of the assortment strategy like target consumer, forecasts, marketing tiers, assortment intro date and lifecycle. Cross-functional counterparts with a stake in the milestone are invited to get familiar with the new ideas of the season.
Invited users leverage comment and rating features to provide asynchronous feedback on specific products within the line, assortment architecture and broader strategy. Product stakeholders review feedback in real time to digest areas of concerns and potential refinements ahead of the milestone.
Product teams arrive at milestone meetings having already considered and incorporated feedback from relevant cross-functional stakeholders. Leveraging MakerSights’ Voice of Consumer teams can assess specific consumer and product concerns using real-time consumer feedback.
With meetings no longer distracted by multiple voices weighing in on the assortment for the first time, conversations stay focused on major objectives like delivery of newness or eliminating “nice to have” SKUs from the assortment.
With MakerSights, HOKA’s product and merchant teams have embraced a more efficient, data-driven approach to assortment building.
GCD and GLR are critical to HOKA’s success and with MakerSights they are now able to streamline adoption and elevate forecasts to build healthier margins each season, while getting to market faster.
While the pandemic may have been a catalyst for HOKA’s evolution, their teams’ ambition to embrace new ways of building and delivering products to market is applicable for any brand looking to evolve.
Digital Line Review has drastically improved the dialogue between regions and made it more dynamic and transparent. This type of collaboration is now central to our team and makes it easier than ever to deliver premier products that resonate with our consumers.