Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, Heelys’ ‘Wheely’ Success, Marketing a Trend

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Case Title:

Heelys’ ‘Wheely’ Success: Marketing a Trend

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Swapna Gopalan

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: MKS0050B

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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In 2005, nearly five years after the launch of its first product “Heelys" shoes, Heeling Sports Limited (HSL Inc.), posted sales of more than $36 million in the U.S and about $2.4 million in Europe. The sales of Heelys had doubled in 2005 and its order backlog had reached a record high level. By 2006, it had sold more than 4.5 million pairs of Heelys, distributed over more than 60 countries across the globe, and garnered more than $100 million in sales. The company expected to sell 4 million pairs of sneakers in 2006 alone.

The popularity and success of Heelys surprised many, as from day one the company spent less on marketing and followed a universal marketing strategy of controlled distribution and growth, by selling at premium-price at high-end retailers. After tasting success as a trend-setter brand, the company proposed to elevate the brand as a lifestyle product. Will the brand’s success continue and will HSL really be able to elevate Heelys to a lifestyle brand remained to be seen.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To help appreciate the role of creativity, both and in terms of product innovation and marketing.

Keywords : Heelys, HSL, Innovation, Grassroot, marketing, trend, lifestyle, brand, shoes, footwear, Marketing Strategies Case Study, Roger Adams, Wheel, Skate riders, sport, teens, marketing


  • Heelys: The Innovation
  • Company Background
  • Marketing the Wheeled Innovation
  • Wheeling Ahead

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