Biggest Questions Facing Brands in 2014

A new year, another crazy 12 month odyssey of exciting new kicks that lies ahead of us. In this current age of the hypebeast, and with the explosion of the sneaker culture, 2013 turned out to be the craziest year in releases EVER, and, with the ever-growing interest in sneakers, all eyes are now on 2014 to see if it can live up to the the standard 2013 set. With that said however, there are many questions that have to be answered about each brand in order for 2014 to be as legendary as 2013 was. Down below are the biggest questions that brands must deal with in order to achieve even greater success in 2014, or possibly face huge repercussions if they do not.

Jordan Brand: Can the Jordan 6 Generate the Same Hype and Excitement of the Jordan 5?

The first question also happens to be the biggest one. With the 23rd anniversary of the Jordan 6 upon us, Jordan Brand will be re-retroing the famous Porsche inspired sneaker in all of the OG colorways, and one would also expect that they will also be dropping them in some new colorways as well. Coming off the heels of the enormous success that was the Jordan 5 Retro last year, JB hopes to have the same success with 6. While this may seem quite easy, there are many reasons as to why generating this hype and excitement will be very difficult, the biggest difficulty being that the 6 just isn’t as beloved as the 5. While Michael may have won his first championship in the 6, in terms of popularity and just aesthetic appeal, most people would choose the 5 over the 6. So can the 6 sell out the same way the 5 did? Or will re-retroing the 6 be a flop that will stop this retro madness? We will have to wait and see but if you asked me, if Jordan brings back only the OG colorways and doesn’t go crazy like they did with the 5, the 6 will have that same success. However, if the do go crazy and make some new Jordan 6 based off of some weird concept, JB better be prepared for a long year.


Nike Basketball: What’s the Next Big innovation and Who’s Next?

With the basketball in full swing, Nike Basketball is already working hard on their next models for the next season, as well as coming up with brand new colorways of their current models of sneakers. With Lebron and KD dominating the NBA, and Kobe still signed to the brand, the biggest question Nike has to try and answer is how does one improve on some of the most innovative sneakers ever made, and what to do with Kobe’s retirement in the near future. In terms of the tech question, now that we have seen that Flyknit technology can be used on a basketball shoe, it makes sense that perhaps Lebron or KD might be using this ultra-lightweight yet supportive tech on their next sneaker, but what’s next? With Nike always trying to improve their design and improve upon their previous models, this is a huge question as it feels like there isn’t any tech that Nike hasn’t used yet. And as a brief thought on the “Who’s next,” question, while it may not seem important, Nike NEEDS someone to fill the role the Kobe has when he ultimately decides to retire. While it may be hard to fill, Nike has to find some player to step into the role of the guard style basketball sneaker to cater to that crowd of people. That being said, I have no doubt Nike is currently working on answering both these questions and that we as a community will ave the answers to these questions sooner than later.


Nike Sportwear: What Do You Bring Back Next and Is the Foamposite Done?

This seems like the easiest and quickest to answer so I won’t wast you time with some huge writeup. Simply put, Nike has a huge catalog of sneakers they can retro at any time, so it is just a matter of picking and choosing which retros they want to bring back. In terms of the Foams, with the poor sales performance of the Foams with graphic uppers, Nike Sportswear must take a real long look and decide if perhaps shelving the Foam for most of 2014, if not the whole year, might be the best thing to do. And yes, I understand the Yeezy Foamposite is coming out soon, but still, after this pair sells out in seconds to every hypebeast in the world, Nike needs to decide if they can really keep making Foams, which are very expensive to make, or just save their money and bring them back next year.


Nike SB: Can the Janoski and Collabs Carry the Brand?

Another easy question that doesn’t need a huge writeup, Nike SB is at a huge crossroads right now. Gone is the age of the Dunk, and instead we have the Stefan Janoski taking its place as the most bought sneaker for the premier skateboarding brand. With the transition of making the Janoski the premier Nike SB sneaker near complete, we will now see in 2014 if the Janoski can carry the brand, along with numerous collabs the Nike SB has lined up in 2014 as well. As a SB-head, this transition in 2013 to the Janoski and collabs instead of in-house, meaning created by the design team at Nike SB, Premium Dunks has been a tough one,and I, along with every other Dunk-head, will be watching very closely to see how Nike SB answers this question, in hopes that they will go back to the old way of doing things, with Premium Dunks being the focus instead of the Janoski.


Adidas: What Do You Do With Derrick Rose and Who Will Take His Place?

The most discuss/talked/debated question when talking about Adidas has to be what is the brand going to do with Derrick Rose. With Rose out for the season again, Adidas is taking a huge loss by continually giving a Rose a signature sneaker, only to have him never wear it on court due to injury. With the D Howard 4 selling horribly as usual, Adidas has to try and find an athlete other than Derrick Rose to carry the three stripes mantle in 2014. With the success on-court of Damien Lillard, one would surmise he would be the one that Adidas will pin their hopes on and bestow with a signature sneaker, but one doesn’t know for certain. Either way, Adidas needs to do something, and fast, or they might find themselves in a heap of trouble when the next basketball season rolls around.


Reebok: Where Do You Go From Here?

With the release of the Kamikaze 1 this week, Reebok has seemingly brought back almost every popular retro they have, leaving the big question of, “What now?”. With the sudden reemergence of Reebok as a big brand in these last few years, the Swizz Beats led brand has brought back nearly their whole catalog from the past, to much acclaim and success. However, now that Reebok has exhausted that back catalog of OG colorways and sneakers, the brand has turned to making up new colorways of these retros to try and sell their sneakers, which hasn’t had nearly the same success as when they released the OG colorways, with many of those sneakers sitting on shelves and eventually going on sale. So what will Reebok do now? They have said before they won’t try and get involved in the performance basketball sneaker realm and that they are just in the running/retro business, but will they try and perhaps try and break back into that market? If the recent release of the Q96 or Pumpspective Omni are any indication, Reebok could possibly be trying to get back into the basketball game so to speak and bring new and improved versions of their classic line that are made with new-age materials and tech. Or, will they try and reach even farther back into their catalog and bring back the last great sneaker they haven’t retroed as of yet: the S. Carter? Those questions remain to answered and in my opinion, Reebok could be in for a rough 2014.


Asics/New Balance: Will Collabs Be Enough?

This question has to deal with both Asics and New Balance, as both are collab-heavy brands that rely upon their collabs to get them press and coverage. While this formula has worked so far, this is a risky strategy to say the least, as it has the potential to backfire if Asics or New Balance comes out with a bad collab, or if their collabs become so overplayed, they stop getting the coverage they used to. This question could be especially problematic for both brands, but more so I believe for Asics, as they seem to do more collabs as of late and don’t have a shoe like the New Balance 574 that sells out in every colorway they make of it. Both brands right now though are on a huge hot streak and will look to use that momentum to hopefully get their respective brands more exposure and, possibly, fight with the Big 3 (Nike, Adidas, Reebok) as a top-tier brand.


So those are the big question I see facing every big brand in 2014. Feel free to share your opinions down below and stay with Collective Kicks for all your sneaker news, stories, and opinions!

Sources and pics via: Kicksonfire, Nike, Joseph Cartman, Hypebeast, Counter Kicks, Sneaker News, Highs Nobility, and Ronnie Fieg