Ustomer and buyer Behaviour (Case Studies)

Case Study VANS Skating On Air
Vans is best known for selling footwear and apparel to skateboarders, surfers, and other alternative sports athletes. In April 2002, Gary Schoenfeld, the CEO, is facing a number of challenges. With respect to footwear, he must decide what to do about two product lines that are struggling the outdoor line of hiking shoes and the womens collection. More broadly, Vans is currently embarking on a number of new ventures, some of with which the company has little experience. For example, Vans is in the process of promoting a full-length movie, creating its own record label, and working with video-game developers to develop games based on its sporting events. Traces the up-and-down history of a niche fashion brand in a market in which consumers are notoriously fickle. In recent years, the CEO appears to have revived the brand: however, it is unclear whether the company is in danger of losing its hardcore customer base as it ventures into the consumer mainstream.

Questions
1) What were some of the key characteristics of Vans earliest customer in the 1960s and 1970s? What was the public perception of skateboarding at this time? What was Vans competitive advantage at this time? What was its value proposition to customers?
2) How has the companys competitive position changed over time? How has the companys value proposition changed?
3) In recent years, Vans has expanded in a number of directions. The company has (a) increased the number of sports it is affiliated with; (b) diversified its product portfolio; (c) expanded its distribution; and (d) broadened its promotional mix. Analyze each of these decisions in terms of their impact on Vans customer base, its brand image, and the overall alternative sports category.
4) The biggest question facing Schoenfeld now is How to drive the next stage of growth”. The first option is to focus on the shoe category. The challenge here is to fix the Womens collection, and decide what to do with the Outdoor Collection. The second option is to focus on growing within the Entertainmentcategory despite the fact that the company admits it has little experience in this area. The challenge here is to figure out which project to focus on, including movies, music and videogames. Do you believe the company should be focus on shoes, or on entertainment or both?

Please answer about 250 words for each question.
Please use evidence from the case study to back up answers and suggestion.