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A new collaboration with Benefit further cements Crocs’ cult status



The past 16 months have been full of surprises. One example: Crocs are not only tolerated, but they’re cool.

In early June, the original “ugly shoe” brand launched a collaboration with Diplo that quickly sold out. Highsnobiety’s headline on the collab was “Diplo’s Crocs propelled me into an existential crisis.” They were, it should be noted, decked out with Crocs’ trademark Jibbitz — the decorative accessories used to customize the brand’s styles. For Diplo’s iteration, they were psychedelic, glow-in-the-dark mushrooms. Prior Crocs collaborations with Justin Bieber and Post Malone have also sold out, and a collaboration with Bad Bunny sold out in 16 minutes.

The spate of high-profile partnerships has worked to create buzz. “Collaborations have allowed us to start a new dialogue,” said Heidi Cooley, svp and CMO of Crocs. “They enable us to make the most out of the tension and polarization that surrounds our brand. Each collaboration is unique and even unexpected.” 

Now, on the heels of a successful co-branded giveaway with Crocs on Instagram last year, Benefit has become the first beauty brand to collaborate with Crocs. The giveaway exceeded expectations: Benefit gained 14,000 followers on Instagram and Crocs gained 10,000. That’s when we realized that collaborating with Crocs, whose motto is ‘come as you are’ and that everyone should be comfortable in their own shoes, aligns with our core values and brand. The audience felt the same way,” said Jenn Whipple, Benefit Cosmetics’ vp of U.S. marketing.

“We’re two brands unafraid to take risks and make noise. We knew that we needed to be the first-ever beauty brand to have a partnership with the brand,” Whipple said. The resulting shoes are hot pink, to match Benefit’s branding, and feature iconic Benefit products — like its Gimme Brow brow gel and a Benefit handheld mirror — in Jibbitz form. There are two styles in the collaboration: Crocs’ Classic Clogs, for $69.99, and Classic Sandals, retailing for $49.99. 

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In tandem with the launch, the two brands are hosting a social challenge across TikTok and Instagram Reels using the hashtag #benefitofcrocschallenge. “[We’re] bringing that humor and that fun. Crocs and Benefit are inviting all customers to do a typical makeup routine when joining this challenge, but there’s a catch: You have to do your beauty routine wearing Crocs on your hands,” Whipple said. To kick off the challenge, the brands partnered with influencers like Mariale (6 million followers on Instagram) and MannyMUA (4 million followers on Instagram). Those partaking are entered to win a press package that includes the shoes from the collaboration, as well as Benefit products. 

It would be unfair, however, to suggest the advent of Crocs began in 2020. Believers have always sworn by the foam clogs’ comfort level. They’ve also made runway appearances: In 2016, Christopher Kane presented a collaboration with the brand. In 2018, Balenciaga created a platform edition, which received ample criticism. That didn’t stop Balenciaga: It once again showed Crocs, in platform welly boot form, on its spring 2022 runway. In April, Questlove wore a gold pair to the Oscars. Even Ariana Grande wore them, back in 2019. 

And now, they’re showing up in street-style pics from fashion weeks in Milan and Paris for the current spring 2022 menswear collections. On June 30, writer Emily Farra wrote, “You’ll notice very few heels…Instead, there were Birkenstocks and, gasp, Crocs.” At this point, however, the “gasp” is more tongue-in-cheek. In the recent street style pics, classic white styles have been most prevalent. On July 3, Vogue UK asked, “Are you ready for a Croc girl summer?”

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Crocs has been smart about its influencer strategy, using content creators who are excited about the brand. Take Bretman Rock (8.7 million followers on YouTube), who 10 months ago posted joyfully when he made it on Crocs’ PR list. He is now an official brand ambassador, working with the brand in a paid capacity.

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Body acceptance advocate and influencer Katie Sturino is also an ambassador. Around April 2020, she often wore a white pair embellished with a strawberry pattern that became popular during the early months of the pandemic. She became an ambassador in January 2021.

“We stay top-of-mind by having genuine, two-way conversations with our fans, especially on social media. By speaking with them, not at them, we can be there when they need us and continue to better understand what they want to see from Crocs,” said Cooley.

The company has seen massive growth: First-quarter revenue grew 64% year-over-year to $460 million. According to Tribe Dynamics, Crocs collected $46 million in EMV from March 2020 to May 2021. This is a 37% year-over-year increase. Crocs’ top five EMV drivers between March 2020 and March 2021 were Justin Bieber, Bretman Rock, Priyanka Chopra, Hypebeast and Post Malone.

The Benefit x Crocs collaboration will be available for purchase on July 13 at noon EST on Crocs’ website.

Of the latest unexpected collaboration, Whipple said, “We’re expecting a very, very quick sell-out. We’re not expecting this to last long.”

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August





Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …





Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android





Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly


We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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