New Balance History Case Study – The Story Behind the Brand


New Balance (N.B.) is one of the top manufacturing companies in the fashion sector. It has existed for a long time, reaching 100 years. The brand’s growth is related to the exceptional fashion wear that the company produces for people. The history is not only about the reputable brands being successful. New Balance history is incomplete without the top athletes and celebrities that represented the brand, using them as a sales strategy for its audience.

The brand has an exciting story that describes its struggling years and how it retained its values despite the challenges. New Balance has formed a community for itself over the years, contributing to its long-lasting relationship with loyal consumers. How did the company attain such an excellent level of success? This article answers your question as you read further about New Balance history.

  • The Philosophy of the Fashion Icon Company
  • A New Dawn is Here
  • The Major Products Representing New Balance Values
  • The Brand’s Achievements Today

The Philosophy of the Fashion Icon Company

Undoubtedly, New Balance is an inspiration from William J.Riley. This inspiration came in 1906 after watching chickens at his home background and retaining the visual moment. He always backed up the chicken reference by explaining how the chicken’s three-ponged foot achieved perfect balance. There were many ways for the original creator to give up, but he proved otherwise, especially after hiring a sales representative called Arthur Hall. Hence, the New Balance philosophy’s standpoint contributed to its lasting impact.

In 1934, Riley launched his business by selling arch support for workers who stood for long hours at their workplaces during the initial sales period. Little could he have thought the company could belong to the footwear production sector. Although the reason behind selling his company to his daughter and husband was not announced, Eleanor and Paul Kidd took the company and upgraded it. The sneaker designed by Eleanor and Paul was named “Trackster” since celebrities had requested customized designs that then promoted the brands’ popularity.

The Trackster production was an intellectual move from Eleanor and Paul because the sole had several widths to meet the needs of many consumers. Hence, different athletes could fit into the design. It was also used as a cross-country shoe around Massachusetts. Despite Trackster being loved by athletes, the company only had a few people working. This reduced production pace means they were not making enough sales in the fashion industry. It was not a good sign for start-ups, or any growing company.

New Balance History: A New Dawn is Here

Fortunately, the company received more extensive sales testimonies after Jim Davis became the chairman. Jim couldn’t have bought New Balance at a more appropriate time because the Boston arena became the focus of the U.S. market in the 1970s. The change in leadership did not invalidate the company’s value but only strengthened the New Balance history record.

Jim worked towards depicting each product’s value with numbers and figures. Each has the maximum speed and stability to balance various shoe weights. The “N” logo came in 1976 and was depicted on the 320 design. This was the first shoe representing the brand’s logo and increased its presence among celebrities. The successful launch of this shoe gave the brand global recognition and relevance in the industry.

In the ’80s, New Balance diversified its production by creating other fashion items. The company’s goal was to ensure comfort for its users, which they remarkably accomplished in the ’80s. Their clothes became a favorite among sports teams, including football players. Since Steve Jobs wore the famous 991 sneakers in 2001, the shoe industry took a major favorable turn.

The Major Products Representing New Balance History and Values

When you check through the brand history, you will realize that many models represent the industry. However, three of these products stood out among others. Meanwhile, these designs may be primarily responsible for New Balance’s popularity. This section will start from the origin to the most current design.

The Trackster: Origin

Like many other businesses, New Balance history is fascinating to many fashion enthusiasts. As said before, the brand story is unique and intriguing. Riley developing something factual and great from animal displays inspires upcoming business persons. Product managers and designers are in awe of the beauty from such imagination, so it is almost impossible not to talk about the original products.

The creativity behind the Trackster footwear is alarming, making it travel wild in the mind of people across the globe. With New Balance delivering across several countries, you cannot underestimate the power of determination and creativity. This design won the heart of many people in Boston because it aligned with their culture. This is why business owners need to consider the preferences of target customers.

Trackster shoes featured the ripple sole design, the most suitable option for retro runners. This piece also made impressive customization for its users by providing various width options. However, it is untrue to assume the company never had its complications. While producing the shoe designs, it was almost challenging to determine if they would be acceptable to the public. Nevertheless, consistency and innovation won the race.

New Balance: All American

New Balance may have had its ups and downs, but its ability to produce an enticing product made it scale through the challenges. Many people would have thought the brand could not create anything better than Trackster, but this belief ended up untrue. The following product that ranked the market space after Trackster is All American. Interestingly, New Balance built a collection with this design, which was a big deal for sneaker lovers. Sneaker lovers could display their footwear on a rack and interchange them for every event.

This running shoe was built with more advanced features and materials than the initial. Hence, it became the heart of skateboard culture in California. This is another reason why New Balance is loved by many youth today. It incorporated the younger generation’s interest and exhibited it in the designs. Meanwhile, the structure served a purpose during the production era and transcended beyond it. Millennials and GenZ of this age would probably not fancy the old model but rather rock it in another modern way. This is because sport is never outdated, as it is forever in the hearts of young men and women.

This design targets aesthetics to help it remain relevant in the future, and it was a cutting edge for the competitive brand because New Balance owners would rather wear the brand longer than expected. Fancy materials, excellent midsoles, and air compression units all make up the aesthetic value of New Balance shoes. Also, Riley started the culture of New Balance producers looking beyond the current market trend. It could be trendy but uncomfortable; this was one significant downside by manufacturers that the brand’s chairpersons realized. Hence, the name suits the brand’s balanced vision in ensuring the foot has reduced missteps while working, as seen in the chickens’ display in Railey’s backyard.

The 990 Series – Challenging and Rethinking

The New Balance history reached a point where it appeared as though innovation failed the company. There was an increased need to improve the general production standard, especially because of the tight market competition. It was time to rebrand and think over some of the actions relating to the company. This included sales representatives, manufacturing tools, marketing strategies, advertising platforms, and many others.

The 990 series was a more risky experiment that the manufacturers were unsure would last in the fashion industry. However, there is a high possibility the brand was not convinced about the success of the previous designs. This brought some motivation to push on the idea and fashion plan. This running shoe came into the picture with innovative materials to take over sportswear. There were already competitors targeting the modern runners, making it challenging for New Balance to engage the audience. Brands like Nike and Adidas pulled customers with their excellent marketing skills. For New Balance to survive the market tension, it needed to re-examine and propose its value more definitely.

New Balance decided to add more innovative features to its sneakers and increase the market prices. This approach worked because it depicted quality before customers or buyers. Also, New Balance recently formed a contract with Norse Projects, one of the many collaborations that keep the brand above water.

The New Balance Achievements Today

Many people have analyzed New Balance history without discussing its current status. However, this does not give a complete picture of the brand’s representation—the struggle to establish a prominent brand relevant, as evident in their business growth today.

Today, New Balance has its headquarters in Boston, MA, making products for different sports, including basketball, cycling, cricket, and football. It also attracts several young customers due to its extensive distribution and influencer promotion. The New Balance growth journey increased its visibility by forming relations with top fashion brands like Beams Plus, United Arrows, and Junya Watanabe eYe. This fashion brand is prominent in female and male footwear but more prevalent among male users.

Like similar brands e.g. Puma, Adidas, and Reebok, New Balance uses celebrities to influence any latest design or product. However, innovation has made a more significant impact than social influence. Materials like engineered mesh are sporty and contribute to footwear ease-of-usage. While the local production is majorly in the USA and the United Kingdom, it is less effective on the overall distribution.


New Balance history is so inspiring that its lovers realize the motivation that birthed quality and fair prices. The brand’s products may not be as cheap as any random footwear, but users will get more value for the price they pay. The brand has not relented on its innovation, which is evident in the products the manufacturers keep creating. They keep testing how far technology can go with the fashion industry. As time went on, Davis has chosen to incorporate excess money into the show’s production to cover huge outsourcing space. Although New Balance is deep-rooted in the U.S., thanks to the critical and wise decisions taken in history, you can find it in several places around the world today. If you are an enthusiastic footwear or New Balance lover, hopefully, this article has shed some light and has helped you get right on track!

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New Balance History Case Study – The Story Behind the Brand New Balance has been seamlessly making iconic and high-performance athletics shoes since 1906. Let’s explore New Balance history.
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