Hoka Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

Hoka, the world’s fastest-growing running shoe brand, has garnered attention for its unique marketing strategy that defies traditional industry norms. With a 10% market share, Hoka has positioned itself as a formidable player in the market, challenging heavyweights like Nike and Adidas, who hold 40% and 30% market shares, respectively.

One of Hoka’s standout achievements is its remarkable revenue growth of 50%, outperforming Nike’s 20% growth and Adidas’s 15% growth. This robust growth is a testament to Hoka’s innovative and market-disruptive approach.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hoka has experienced a rapid revenue growth of 50%.
  • Hoka holds a 10% market share, surpassing industry giants like Nike and Adidas.
  • Hoka’s innovation and product quality have earned it a high rating compared to Nike and Adidas.
  • Customer satisfaction rates are notably high for Hoka, differentiating it from competitors.
  • Hoka has successfully created a new category in the running space.

These achievements are attributed to Hoka’s unwavering focus on innovation, connecting with its target audience, and disrupting the market with its maximalist design aesthetic and distinctive product offerings. Hoka’s unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has propelled it to become one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential companies.

In addition, Hoka’s strategic use of a pull model for distribution has set it apart from its competitors. By protecting margins and full-price selling, Hoka has ensured the exclusivity and desirability of its products. Their success is further highlighted by strong sales growth on their website and in prominent retail stores like Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Foot Locker.

Creating a New Category

In 2009, Hoka set out to revolutionize the running shoe industry by introducing innovative designs that disrupted the market. Their unique approach focused on providing the best comfort and support for downhill runs, catering to specific needs of athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This commitment to solving runners’ problems not only led to remarkable growth but also created a new category in the running shoe industry.

Hoka’s success in carving out a new niche goes beyond attracting runners. Their brand has resonated with a diverse range of athletes, appealing to a wider market and solidifying their position as an industry leader.

One of the key factors contributing to Hoka’s success is their ability to connect with consumers’ core values. By building a sense of community around their brand, Hoka has fostered widespread devotion among their customers.

The strategic use of the pull model has also played a significant role in Hoka’s financial success. This approach helped protect profit margins and enabled full-price selling, ensuring the brand’s sustained growth in a highly competitive market.

Hoka’s products have maintained strong sales both on their website and in retail stores, including renowned outlets like Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Foot Locker. This widespread availability has further contributed to the brand’s success in creating a new category.

Hoka’s decision to differentiate itself by avoiding direct competition with industry heavyweights like Nike and Adidas has proven to be a smart move. By focusing on innovation and creating a new category in running shoes, Hoka has experienced a meteoric rise in sales, generating over $1 billion in revenue for parent company Deckers.

Deckers’ CEO, Dave Powers, recognized the distinctiveness of Hoka’s design, describing it as “ugly” in 2022. This unconventional aesthetic has actually worked in Hoka’s favor, helping them stand out and gain recognition in the market.

Innovation at the Core

Hoka’s relentless pursuit of innovation lies at the heart of their remarkable success in the running shoe industry. By constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and design, they have created a lineup of products that deliver advanced technology, superior performance, and an unmatched running experience.

One key factor that sets Hoka apart is their commitment to continuous improvement. They understand that athletes are always striving for better results, and Hoka aims to provide them with the tools they need to achieve their goals. Through ongoing research and development, Hoka consistently raises the bar, introducing groundbreaking features and enhancements to their shoes.

Notably, Hoka’s innovative approach has led to the creation of a whole new category within the running shoe space. Their unique design philosophy, which combines maximum cushioning with a lightweight construction, has revolutionized the industry. Runners around the world have embraced Hoka’s innovative shoes, recognizing their ability to enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Furthermore, Hoka’s authenticity and genuine connection with consumers have played a vital role in their success. The brand resonates with a broad range of athletes, reaching beyond just runners. Hoka’s commitment to understanding and catering to the needs of their customers has helped them build a loyal customer base.

Hoka’s Impressive Growth

Hoka’s innovative spirit has propelled the brand to incredible heights. In just a few years, they have experienced exponential growth, solidifying their position as the fastest-growing running shoe brand in the world.

Since being founded in 2009 by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, former employees of Salomon, Hoka has quickly gained recognition and acclaim. Their commitment to advanced technology and superior performance has paid off, driving sales from $3 million in 2013 to a staggering $1.4 billion in the past fiscal year.

Hoka’s growth has been nothing short of exceptional. They have achieved a tremendous 58% increase in sales from the previous year, demonstrating their ability to capture market share and outpace competitors.

Recognition has also come from influential sources, such as Time magazine, which named Hoka as one of the top 100 most influential companies in 2023. This prestigious accolade further solidifies Hoka’s position as a true force within the running shoe industry.

Hoka’s commitment to innovation and their ability to connect with athletes of all kinds have driven their success. With a focus on advanced technology, superior performance, and an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement, Hoka is poised to continue making great strides in the world of running footwear.

Year Annual Sales Growth
2013 $3 million
2020 $500 million Continuous double-digit growth
2021 Exceeded $500 million Continuous double-digit growth
2023 $1.4 billion 58% increase from previous year

Challenging the Status Quo

Hoka One One didn’t just enter the running shoe market; they set out to disrupt it. With a unique focus and an unwavering commitment to breaking barriers, Hoka has made a significant impact on the industry. Led by industry influencer Wendy Yang, Hoka has challenged the status quo with their innovative approach and industry influence.

When Wendy Yang joined Hoka, the brand’s annual sales were around $75 million. However, their relentless pursuit of excellence and their willingness to think outside the box propelled them to surpass the $1 billion mark in sales within the last 12 months, ending in June.

An integral part of Hoka’s success story is their ability to adapt and connect with their target demographic. Initially, 65% of their products were sold to men, with only 35% sold to women. However, with their unique focus on understanding and meeting the needs of all athletes, particularly women, Hoka now boasts a female consumer base of over 50%.

Hoka’s commitment to challenging the status quo extends beyond their marketing and sales strategies. They have shifted their approach to selling nearly all products at full price, establishing a significant share in the run specialty channel. This bold move has paid off, contributing to Hoka’s exponential growth and cementing their position as a leader in the industry.

Recognizing the potential for disruption in the sports and related lifestyle space, Wendy Yang has identified several brands as industry disruptors. Cotopaxi, Kizik, Janji, Thousand, and Johnnie-O have all made their mark in the market by breaking boundaries and offering unique products and experiences.

With their focus on innovation and their ability to challenge the status quo, Hoka One One has created a loyal community of athletes who resonate with their core values of achievement, authenticity, empowerment, and inclusivity. Hoka’s rise to industry influence is a testament to their unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and revolutionizing the running shoe market.

Connecting with a Tribe’s Core Values

Hoka One One understands the power of tribal marketing and has successfully connected with their customers’ core values. By building a strong brand community, Hoka has fostered an emotional bond with their audience, leading to increased brand loyalty and growth.

Studies show that 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values, highlighting the importance of connecting on a deeper level. Hoka has created a welcoming space for runners and outdoor enthusiasts to connect and share their stories, forming a brand community that resonates with their target audience.

Consistency is key in presenting a brand across all platforms. Forbes reports that brands that present themselves consistently can increase revenue by up to 23%. Hoka has effectively communicated its core values and messaging across various channels, reinforcing its brand identity and strengthening the emotional connection with its community.

To further enhance their brand community, Hoka has organized events and collaborations with similar groups, providing opportunities for members to engage with the brand and each other. These initiatives not only solidify Hoka’s position as a market leader but also reinforce the tribe mentality among its customers.

By staying true to their values and fostering a sense of belonging, Hoka has successfully tapped into the power of tribal marketing. This emotional bond with their community has not only instilled brand loyalty but has also turned customers into advocates, driving the brand’s reputation and growth.

Hoka One One On Running
Founded: 2009 in France Founded: 2010 in Switzerland
First shoe: Trail shoe emphasizing downhill speed First shoe: Road shoe with CloudTec® technology
Weight range: 192g (racing styles) to 252g (standard road shoe) Weight range: 190g (racing shoes) to 300g
Price range: £110 to £160 Price range: £120 to £170
Sustainability rating: 3/5, improving practices Sustainability rating: 3/5, using more recycled materials

Utilizing the Pull Model

Hoka One One has implemented a pull model in their sales strategy, which involves aligning production with actual customer demand. This approach has proven to be highly beneficial for the brand, offering several advantages such as demand-based production, cost savings, and brand integrity. By closely monitoring market trends and customer preferences, Hoka is able to produce the right quantity of products to meet the demand, thus avoiding overproduction.

The pull model not only helps Hoka reduce costs associated with excess inventory, but it also ensures that their products maintain their value in the market. By avoiding discounted prices resulting from excessive stock, the brand can protect its brand integrity and preserve the perceived quality and exclusivity of its offerings.

Hoka’s adoption of demand-based production enables them to respond quickly to market changes and consumer demands. By producing products based on actual customer orders, Hoka minimizes the risk of having unsold inventory, reducing waste and maximizing efficiency. This approach also allows the brand to invest its resources in areas that will have the greatest impact on business growth and customer satisfaction.

As a result of utilizing the pull model, Hoka has experienced significant success in the market. They reported a remarkable 62% increase in revenue to $571 million for the fiscal year ending in March 2021. This growth trend is not surprising, considering that Hoka has consistently achieved double-digit revenue growth each year since being acquired by Deckers Brand in 2013.

Hoka’s pull model sales strategy is complemented by their multi-channel approach, which includes selling direct-to-consumer online and through curated specialty retailers. This allows the brand to cater to a diverse range of customers and reach them through various touchpoints. Moreover, Hoka’s chunky, maximalist, and colorful aesthetic has resonated not only with athletes but also with non-athletes, sneakerheads, and fashion-focused consumers, further expanding their customer base.

Aligning production with customer demand, Hoka’s pull model has proven to be highly effective in driving growth and ensuring operational efficiency. With their focus on demand-based production, cost savings, and maintaining brand integrity, Hoka One One continues to establish itself as a leading player in the athletic footwear market.

Disrupting the Market

Hoka One One has solidified its position as a market disruptor through its innovative marketing strategy and unique designs. While other brands in the athletic footwear industry have faced challenges, Hoka has witnessed remarkable growth and captured the attention of runners worldwide.

Unlike its competitors, Hoka chose a different path, carving out its own niche instead of directly competing with industry giants like Nike and Adidas. By doing so, Hoka has challenged the status quo and revolutionized the running shoe market.

Hoka’s commitment to innovation and the creation of unique designs has propelled the brand to the forefront of the industry. The brand narrative emphasizes the core values of innovation, authenticity, and the willingness to challenge old ideas. This narrative has not only set Hoka apart from its competitors but has also resonated with consumers, fostering a loyal following.

Hoka’s success story is even more impressive when considering the backdrop of the pandemic. While the U.S. athletic footwear market declined during these challenging times, Hoka experienced a surge in revenue. In fact, Hoka reported a full-year revenue increase of 62% to $571 million, solidifying its position as a market disruptor.

Hoka’s multi-channel sales strategy plays a vital role in its market disruption. The brand focuses on selling products direct-to-consumer online and through curated specialty retailers, enabling a wide reach and engagement with their target audience.

In addition to its success in the U.S., Hoka has expanded its global footprint across markets such as Canada, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Notably, the brand plans to further expand its market presence in China, recognizing the immense growth opportunities that the region offers.

Hoka’s disruption extends beyond athletes, as the brand appeals to a diverse range of consumers. Sneakerheads and fashion-focused individuals have also been drawn to Hoka’s unique designs and brand narrative.

Collaborations with notable fashion and outdoor-focused brands, such as Cotopaxi and Outdoor Voices, have further contributed to Hoka’s brand awareness and appeal. By partnering with like-minded brands that share similar values, Hoka has solidified its reputation as an authentic and principled company.

Hoka’s ability to disrupt the market is not solely based on unique products but also on its commitment to building brand awareness. The brand tells its story, educates consumers, and establishes a connection before measuring conversion and shopping metrics. This approach prioritizes brand building and awareness, allowing Hoka to create a strong bond with its target audience.

Ultimately, Hoka’s success showcases the power of disruptive innovation in the market. By finding a unique selling point, embracing market trends, and staying true to their brand narrative, Hoka has thrived and revolutionized the running shoe landscape.

Scaling the Brand

After experiencing tremendous success in the market, Hoka recognized the need for brand expansion and product range enlargement to further solidify its position as a dominant player in the athletic footwear industry. By strategically scaling the brand, Hoka aimed to reach a wider audience and capitalize on new opportunities for growth.

One of the key strategies employed by Hoka was the establishment of retail partnerships. By partnering with retail spots that catered to the brand’s target demographic, Hoka was able to increase brand visibility and attract new customers. Collaborating with famous athletes and celebrities also played a crucial role in expanding Hoka’s reach and creating a buzz around the brand.

Additionally, Hoka focused on continuous innovation and product development to enlarge its product range. This approach allowed the brand to cater to the diverse needs of different types of runners, including casual runners, trail runners, and marathon runners. By offering a wide selection of high-quality products, Hoka was able to capture a larger share of the market and attract a more diverse customer base.

The success of Hoka’s scaling efforts can be seen in the significant increase in sales over the years. Hoka’s sales accounted for less than 10% of Deckers’ revenues five years ago, and now they make up nearly 40% of the company’s total sales. Furthermore, Hoka’s sales over the past fiscal year reached $1.4 billion, a remarkable growth trajectory compared to its humble beginnings.

To support its expansion efforts, Hoka also focused on establishing a strong direct-to-consumer (DTC) business before venturing into wholesale partnerships. This approach allowed the brand to build a loyal customer base and ensure a reliable revenue stream. By delivering engaging marketing campaigns, timely product releases, and excellent customer service, Hoka was able to create a strong brand community and foster customer loyalty.

Looking ahead, Hoka has ambitious plans for future growth. The brand intends to open new retail locations and expand its partnerships with specific retailers, starting in the spring of 2024. This strategic move will provide Hoka with greater access to new markets and help drive further brand expansion.

With its exceptional growth trajectory and strong market position, Hoka has proven itself as a force to be reckoned with in the athletic footwear industry. As the global sneaker market continues to grow, Hoka is well-positioned to capitalize on the increasing demand for high-performance footwear.

Benefits of Building a Brand Community

Building a strong brand community offers numerous benefits for Hoka, impacting both its customers and the overall success of the brand. By fostering a sense of belonging and kinship among its audience, Hoka can enhance brand loyalty, increase customer engagement, and harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Enhanced Brand Loyalty

Through the creation of a brand community, Hoka cultivates a loyal following that extends beyond mere customer satisfaction. Brand community members feel a deep connection to the brand and its values, resulting in enhanced brand loyalty. This loyalty translates into repeat purchases, positive brand advocacy, and a higher likelihood of maintaining long-term relationships with customers.

Increased Customer Engagement

A vibrant brand community encourages active participation and engagement from its members. Hoka leverages its community to organize various online events, bringing together like-minded individuals to share their experiences, insights, and achievements. This increased customer engagement fosters a sense of ownership and co-creation, allowing community members to contribute to the brand’s growth and overall success.

Amplified Word-of-Mouth Marketing

A thriving brand community serves as a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing. Community members are passionate advocates for the brand, sharing positive feedback, recommendations, and personal stories with their networks. This organic and genuine form of marketing significantly amplifies the reach and impact of Hoka’s messaging, leading to increased brand visibility and exposure.

In addition to these benefits, brand communities provide Hoka with a valuable feedback loop. Through ongoing interactions with community members, Hoka gains insights and suggestions for improvement, allowing them to refine their products and services to better meet customer needs. This continuous feedback loop strengthens the brand’s relationship with its customers and drives ongoing innovation.

Overall, building a brand community allows Hoka to foster enhanced brand loyalty, increase customer engagement, and harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing. By cultivating a sense of belonging and connectivity, Hoka positions itself as more than just a footwear brand but as a trusted community and lifestyle partner for its customers.

Hoka’s Benefits of Building a Brand Community: Statistics:
Enhanced Brand Loyalty Hoka’s sales of over $1.4 billion
Increased Customer Engagement 96,000 people attending online events
Amplified Word-of-Mouth Marketing The “Fly Human Fly” video garnering over 2 million views organically

The Power of Brand Narrative

When it comes to building a successful brand, storytelling plays a pivotal role in shaping brand identity and product differentiation. One company that understands the power of brand narrative is Hoka. Through their compelling story, Hoka has not only captured the attention of customers but has also disrupted the market with their innovative approach.

Hoka’s brand narrative revolves around the idea of challenging the status quo and creating a new category in the running shoe industry. By positioning themselves as innovators and challengers, Hoka has attracted a tribe of customers who are looking for something different. Their narrative emphasizes top performance, comfort, and sleek design, resonating with individuals who prioritize quality and style.

What sets Hoka apart from other brands is their unique product offerings. From their iconic Clifton running franchise to their road running shoes, Hoka offers a range of options that appeal to their target audience. This product differentiation gives customers a compelling reason to choose Hoka over other brands in the market.

Furthermore, Hoka’s brand narrative has had a significant impact on the industry as a whole. Through their storytelling, Hoka has inspired other brands to innovate and evolve, ultimately raising the bar for the entire market. This demonstrates the power of a strong brand narrative in influencing and shaping the industry landscape.

Hoka’s success story showcases the importance of storytelling in developing a brand identity and product differentiation. By crafting a compelling narrative, Hoka has not only connected with their target audience but has also disrupted the market, inspiring others to follow suit. As brands continue to compete for customers’ attention, the power of brand narrative will remain a crucial factor in building a successful and impactful brand.

Key Takeaways
Hoka’s brand narrative revolves around challenging the status quo and creating a new category in the running shoe industry.
Their unique product offerings give customers a compelling reason to choose Hoka over other brands in the market.
Hoka’s brand narrative has had a significant impact on the industry, inspiring other brands to innovate and evolve.
Crafting a compelling brand narrative is crucial for building a successful and impactful brand.

Disrupting the Market (Comparison)

When comparing Hoka to industry heavyweights like Nike and Adidas, it is evident that Hoka is making significant strides in the market. Despite spending significantly less on marketing and product innovation compared to Nike, Hoka has achieved remarkable revenue growth and market share.

Hoka experienced a remarkable 34% sales growth in its latest quarter, reaching an impressive annual revenue of US$1.8 billion. This growth surpasses the competition and solidifies Hoka’s position as a disruptive force in the industry.

While Nike has experienced a commendable 10% growth in the running footwear market, Hoka’s progress is unrivaled. With a 50% revenue growth and a goal-oriented strategy, Hoka is successfully challenging the status quo.

Product innovation lies at the core of Hoka’s success. By focusing on creating cutting-edge, high-quality running shoes that appeal to the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, Hoka has not only doubled its brand awareness within this group internationally but also achieved an 80% conversion rate from customers trying on their shoes to making a purchase.

In terms of market share, Hoka has proven to be a formidable contender. The brand has achieved a remarkable 25x growth in Australia within less than a decade, with a goal of hitting 2 million shoe sales per year locally. This growth showcases Hoka’s ability to disrupt the market and capture a sizeable share.

Hoka’s retail distribution is also noteworthy. With wholesale relationships with retailers like Hype DC, Rebel, and Stylerunner, alongside a growing direct-to-consumer channel, Hoka has established a robust distribution network that complements its revenue growth and market expansion.

Investing in brand building activities and experiential marketing strategies, Hoka aims to increase brand awareness and engagement further. The brand’s FlyLabs concept, with thousands of participants and over 2.4 million national content reach, is just one example of the impactful campaigns Hoka has undertaken.

With their commitment to product innovation, revenue growth, and market share, Hoka has proven to be a disruptor in the running footwear industry. By challenging the status quo and capturing the attention of consumers, Hoka continues to set a high standard for competitors like Nike, urging them to revamp their strategies and stay ahead of emerging brands.


Hoka’s marketing strategy has propelled the brand to market domination and unprecedented brand growth. With net sales growing 34% year-over-year, Hoka’s revenue reached $1.8 billion, surpassing industry expectations. The brand’s success can be attributed to its unique approach to the market.

By strategically expanding its retail presence while maintaining design innovation, Hoka has carefully managed its growth to avoid becoming too ubiquitous. The brand’s unconventional sneaker design has cultivated a cult-like appeal, setting it apart from competitors and resonating with consumers.

Hoka’s commitment to excellence is evident in its flagship stores, including the impressive 9000-square-foot space on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The recent opening of their second permanent location in New York and their first store in Paris showcases Hoka’s dedication to global expansion.

As Hoka continues to leverage its wholesale success to inform its own retail product mix and introduce winning products to the market, analysts predict further growth for the brand. With plans for European and global expansions, Hoka is positioning itself to capture new markets and enhance its brand presence internationally, solidifying its position as a key player in the athletic footwear sector.


What is Hoka’s marketing strategy?

Hoka’s marketing strategy involves solving specific problems for runners, building a strong brand community, and utilizing the pull model for distribution.

How has Hoka disrupted the running shoe market?

Hoka has disrupted the running shoe market by creating a new category, focusing on unique designs, and challenging the status quo.

What sets Hoka apart from other brands in the market?

Hoka differentiates itself through its commitment to innovation, advanced technology, and superior performance in their products.

How does Hoka connect with its customers’ core values?

Hoka connects with its customers’ core values through tribal marketing, building a brand community, and creating an emotional bond with its audience.

What is the pull model in Hoka’s sales strategy?

The pull model in Hoka’s sales strategy aligns production with customer demand, ensuring brand integrity and avoiding excessive stock.

How has Hoka grown its brand and product range?

Hoka has grown its brand by expanding its product range, opening more stores, and partnering with retail spots and famous athletes.

What are the benefits of building a brand community?

Building a brand community enhances brand loyalty, increases customer engagement, and amplifies word-of-mouth marketing.

How does Hoka utilize its brand narrative?

Hoka’s brand narrative positions them as innovators and challengers, creating a compelling story that resonates with their target audience.

How has Hoka performed compared to industry giants like Nike and Adidas?

Hoka has gained a 10% market share and experienced a 50% revenue growth, surpassing its competitors through product innovation and customer satisfaction.

What is the key to Hoka’s success?

The key to Hoka’s success lies in their innovative marketing strategy, product differentiation, and commitment to excellence.

What has been the impact of Hoka’s marketing strategy?

Hoka’s marketing strategy has led to market domination and significant brand growth, establishing them as an industry leader in the running shoe market.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at Latterly.org, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.