Allbirds, the sneaker brand that gained a cult following in Silicon Valley for its eco-friendly, slipperlike shoes, is at a make-or-break moment.
The company is trying to reel its original fans back in after a lackluster push into more-competitive categories like shoes for serious runners and apparel such as leggings over the past two years. But now the marketing landscape looks very different from when Allbirds first rocketed to popularity half a dozen years ago. Last week, during its fourth-quarter earnings report, Allbirds reported its first-ever quarterly sales decline and warned revenue could drop up to 28% this quarter.
To revive sales, the company is taking cues from Airbnb, which has reined in overall marketing costs and focused its spending on building its brand. “I’m so inspired by the work that Airbnb has been doing,” Kate Ridley, Allbirds’ chief brand and product officer, told The Information in an interview before last week’s Silicon Valley Bank meltdown.