2. Hush Puppies products: Abby
Aim:
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Hush Puppies products range from a brand of shoe to stuffed animal dogs to a southern corn fritter. They are all connected, however the shoes are the most popular of the three. Hush Puppies brand started “in 1958, and it is still around fifty years later. It has the distinction of being the world’s first casual shoe” (Silverstein 1). Before this time there was not an easily identified casual shoe. However, these shoes went through a period of time where they were not popular. In his book, Malcolm Gladwell states that "For example, Hush Puppies- a classic American brush-suede shoe – had their tipping point somewhere between late 1994 and early 1995. Until this point, the brand had been all but dead as sales were down and limited to outlets and small-town family stores” (The Tipping Point 3). The Aim of the shoe and its meaning has changed over the years, seeing a downfall then an uprising. Over all, the shows represent a change that companies can go through, and this company was a lucky one because they made a comeback. Others are not so lucky, but Hush Puppies had a tipping point due to this book, and it has been a semi-popular brand ever since.



Audience:
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Throughout the decades, the Hush Puppies shoe brand has had a wide range of audiences. It is a casual shoe for men, women, and children. However, when they were unpopular the audience who brought them back were hipsters. As Malcolm Gladwell states, “At a fashion shoot, two Hush Puppies executives — Owen Baxter and Geoffrey Lewis — ran into a stylist from New York who told them that the classic Hush Puppies had suddenly become hip in the clubs and bars of downtown Manhattan” (The Tipping Point 3). The audience of these shoes grew and shrunk, then grew again. It became cool for men to wear the shoes again, and so the audience got bigger. As it is said “Still, the brand may have disappeared were it not for an interesting revival that occurred in the ’90s” (Silverstein 1). The audience of Hush Puppies has been for the American people, and the audience of the stuffed animal produced by them was people who were already fans of the shoe brand. Throughout the decades the idea and audience of the Hush Puppy brand have changed to fit their times, but they have managed to stick around even during their unpopular times.


Cultural:
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Hush Puppies have played a major part in the culture of America, and even some of world culture as well. Made in the ‘50s this brand of shoe has been through a lot. It is even claimed that “it was the venerable shoe that saved the life of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones” (Silverstein 1). Hush Puppies were not always that popular though. They lost their appeal for many people. The brand Hush Puppies had problems “between late 1994 and early 1995. The brand had been all but dead until that point. Sales were down to 30,000 pairs a year” (Gladwell 3). They were being phased out of the culture at that time. It was when they made their comeback that they became a large part of culture again. They were hip, popular, and casual. That made them a staple to many young men, and even young women, which revived their cultural value.



Historical:
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Historically speaking, Hush Puppies have been around for over 50 years. They have seen “ Canada in 1959, the United Kingdom in 1962 and Japan in 1965” (Silverstein 1). A history with the brand has been created, specifically the association with rock and roll and being comfortable. The brand is so old it can almost sell itself, it even has an icon. The Basset Hound has become the brands icon, pushing it forward in times of peril. As mentioned in The Tipping Point, the brand reached a low then young people in New York started wearing it and it gained popularity (Gladwell 3). A brand that has been around for that long has a history, low points and high points included. It shows the success and mishaps of the company. Without this long history the shoe brand may have been forgettable to many.


Works Cited:
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2000. Print.
Silverstein, Barry. “Hush Puppies” BrandChannel.com. 9 February 2009. Web. 30 March 2015.