Ugg Australia – Not an Australian company

Ugg.boots.meme
Well, that’s a little unkind!

In an earlier post on my blog, I talked about busting the myth on Australian marketing in the USA. Today I’m taking a deeper dive with a look into the American brand, ‘UGG Australia. ‘

I’ve always been frustrated by my American friends mistreating their Uggs, wearing them outside in the snow and rain. Back in Australia, Ugg boots were always treated as an indoor shoe, which is why they’re not waterproofed.  Don’t believe me? Check out this Daily Mail article, which backs me up! The article also points to Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things giveaway, back in 2000, for the shoe’s popularity in the United States, which included Ugg Boots.

via GIPHY

But what has always irritated me is that most people I have spoken to in the USA, don’t realize that UGG Australia is not even an Australian company! While the company was founded by an Australian in 1978 (the company website simply notes he was “a young Australian surfer  …on the shores of Southern California”). But in 1995 UGG Australia was acquired by the American company, Deckers Outdoor Corporation.

As of last year, the fashion world has once again embraced the Ugg and declared it to be back in fashion, according to British Vogue.

But for many local manufacturers back home, UGG Australia, has led to confusion in the marketplace.

“There are several ugg boot brands operating in Australia with similar names. These range from mum and dads making 50 or 60 pairs a week to sell at markets, through to market leader UGG Australia, which is owned by US company Deckers Outdoor Corporation.

Friedrichs [CEO of Ugg Australian Made Since 1974, yes that is the name of the company!] blames UGG Australia for much of the confusion in the market, saying the company has registered its name in countries around the world. This prevents him from marketing his product as an ugg boot in various overseas countries including his core new market, China.”Financial Review 

Meanwhile, the brand has expanded its offerings, manufacturing sneakers, heels, children’s and men’s shoes and they have American spokespeople such as Tom Brady and Rose Huntington-Whitely.

Image Courtesy Ugg Australia

Which leads me to ask the question, why does Ugg Australia continue to use the word ‘Australia,’ in its branding? In the past, it has chased many companies for using its trademarked name. But when the company  has moved so far away from its original Australian brand, why continue using the name?

In some of its recent advertising, the word Australia has completely disappeared. Check out this recent video for their spring collection.

 

So do you agree? Do you think the inclusion of ‘Australia’ in UGG Australia’s branding is crucial to its brand recognition? Or is it right to transition towards simply being know as UGG?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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