Everyone knows that creating a demand for your product is the fastest way to sales. It’s just common business sense. But is there such a thing as creating TOO much demand for your product? And does a moral or social responsibility coincide with that?
The Air Jordan XI – one of the most famous basketball shoes of all time, was a perfect storm of marketing. It’s the shoe Michael wore during the 1995-96 Bulls’ record-setting, 72-win season. It was one of the first basketball shoes ever to use patent leather and prompted celebrities (like Boyz II Men, most noteworthy) to wear them with tuxedos to awards shows. And of course, they’re Air Jordans, so they were insanely popular to begin with. The end result was just a cultural phenomenon.
Well, my friends, that cultural phenomenon still has not died down. Despite releasing hundreds of shoes a year, the Jordan brand still has shoe collectors fawning for a yearly retro version of this now-infamous shoe every Christmas season. Each year brings a new color way, and this past December 23 just happened to be the original “Concord” color’s turn. It had been 11 years since they last saw a release, and folks simply went bananas.
People lined up outside every shoe store that carried the Air Jordan Concords for a midnight release, just hoping to get their hands on these $180 kicks. Many were unsuccessful, and that’s where this all goes to hell in a hand basket. The resulting mayhem made national news because of multiple reports of beatings, tramplings, and even stabbings. Now, activists have taken up the cause and are demanding lower prices, greater availability, and online-only releases.
So, my question to you is this – what (if anything) should the Jordan brand do? I honestly do not know what the “right” answer is. Personally, I feel that if a company creates an incredible demand for their product, then they should get to play the market however they’d like. They do not necessarily bear the responsibility of what will happen when a bunch of knuckleheads congregate outside shoe stores – that are free to open when they wish, by the way – at midnight. If anything, the Jordan brand should RAISE prices, as these sought-after shoes were selling for up to $1,000 on eBay!
With this demand only increasing each year, we seem to be coming to a breaking point. I don’t know what will happen in the future. But I do know that despite my love of shoes, you won’t find me outside a shoe store next Christmas!
Yep, these are mine! Aren’t they beautiful? Still not taking a stabbing for them, though!
Do you agree with me? Do Air Jordans need a change when it comes to product demand? Should Nike take responsibility for the actions of obsessed collectors, or no?