How Laava helped Hey Dude Shoes kick their gray market problem

In a partnership now in its third year, Hey Dude Shoes and Laava have collaborated to successfully safeguard Hey Dude’s brand, consumers and supply chain integrity - while increasing consumer engagement - thanks to Laava’s innovative secure connected packaging platform.

Case Studies

The Project

One problem becomes two

When Hey Dude Shoes first approached Laava in 2021 for a collaboration to protect their products against counterfeits, they also harbored suspicions of potential gray market activity, however they lacked concrete data. Within 6 months of deploying Laava’s serialized and secure Smart Fingerprints on pairs of Hey Dude Shoes, Laava’s advanced analytics began to transform their suspicions to reality, exposing the true scale of a problem that was difficult to pin-down.

Using insights provided by Laava, Hey Dude uncovered alarming levels of unauthorized distribution and diversion activity on a global basis, and utilized Laava's advanced analytics and product traceability technology to pinpoint the source of the diversion. This came at a critical juncture when authorized distributors were feeling the pinch of undercutting by unauthorized parties, posing a significant threat to some of Hey Dude’s most critical global markets.

One connected packaging solution solves them both - and more

Recognizing the urgency, Hey Dude Shoes made a strategic choice, opting for Laava Smart Fingerprints to safeguard their brand. Laava’s inherent security and serialization rendered it the ideal solution - offering class-leading product authentication, trusted on-product access for consumers to Hey Dude competitions and enabling secure and dynamic ecommerce links - provided the end-to-end supply chain traceability Hey Dude had been looking for.

Hey Dude Shoes are excited to partner with Laava for our brand protection solution for the coming SS22 season. Over the last three years, Hey Dude Shoes has experienced enormous growth and popularity. Recently, Hey Dude has been voted the fastest growing casual footwear brand in the USA by the NPD Group.

“Laava immediately shut down that Fingerprint so that anyone scanning it would be notified that the product was not genuine. That single Fingerprint had been reproduced and used multiple times on more than one product.”

“Working with an innovative company like Laava enables Hey Dude to bring a secure, scannable product authentication technology that gives customers confidence that their latest pair of Hey Dude Shoes are genuine and authentic. We look forward to developing this platform with Laava and providing our customers with shoes that can take you anywhere” - Chris Martin, Head of Digital Commerce, Hey Dude Shoes

Next generation tools to succeed

Using the Laava Manage Product Cloud, Hey Dude Shoes were able to quickly and easily generate Laava Smart Fingerprints specific to each pair of shoes, in a simple and effective integration with Hey Dude’s order management system.

Hey Dude were also able to leverage Laava’s Digital Experience Builder to develop and tailor their own dynamic product landing pages, utilizing Laava’s suite of enterprise integration tools to dynamically access SKU-level content for product images, descriptions, promotions and more - as well as enable easy batch and item-level traceability.

Laava Analytics was used to track every single product scan globally - providing the essential intelligence to identify disparities between intended and actual product destinations, down to street level.

These scans were easily traceable back to the implicated distributor via the power of Laava Analytics and Laava’s sophisticated digital product identity management platform - providing irrefutable evidence of ongoing gray market activities.

Strategically engaging consumers in multiple languages with special offers and competitions, Laava’s advanced consumer engagement features helped Hey Dude Shoes capture invaluable first and zero party data (on a permissioned basis).

Consumer participation a key factor

Hey Dude is also especially noteworthy in the way it engaged its consumers in its global brand protection strategies. Leveraging social media, influencers, and other media, Hey Dude actively involved its consumers in its Laava-powered global trust program - fostering awareness, understanding and participation via their secure connected packaging.

Harnessing the Laava platform to its fullest, Hey Dude maximized the use of serialized, dynamic data, providing a unique experience across more than 800 SKUs.

With millions of pairs of Hey Dude shoes having been proudly protected by Laava over a multi-year partnership, the collaboration stands as a testament to effective brand protection in action.


Hey Dude Shoes’ paramount goal was to protect their brand against counterfeiting and gray market activity. Recognizing the risks, they sought a solution that was easy to maintain, cost effective, reliable and most importantly, inherently secure.

Hey Dude was facing a slew of brand dilution challenges in some of their largest markets, exacerbated by unauthorized distributors shipping products across region at discounted prices. This practice undercut authorized distributors, causing frustration and uncertainty.

Moreover, it raised concerns among Hey Dude Shoes loyal customer base, who were unsure about the authenticity of their purchases due to fluctuating prices and unreliable distribution channels. The ripple effects related to returns and complaints were a cause for concern within the Hey Dude team.

Taking decisive action supported by Laava, Hey Dude Shoes focused on gathering as much data as possible to tackle the issue head-on. They recognized that their customers could serve as vital eyes in the market.

Each Laava-powered scan yielded crucial insights - including the scan location and critical production and order related, which Hey Dude cross-referenced against the intended distribution network. This proactive approach swiftly identified gray market activities, enabling Hey Dude to pinpoint the exact shipment, distributor, date, and location for every pair of shoes involved.


For over 3 years, Hey Dude Shoes have successfully protected their supply chain, brand and consumers using Laava’s secure connected packaging technology.

They achieved enhanced channel visibility and integrity, consumer and partner confidence, and ultimately enhancing brand value. Equipped with Laava’s brand protection tools, Hey Dude Shoes continues to proactively monitor and manage gray market activity and protect their brand against counterfeit attacks.

Laava Smart Fingerprints also serves as an additional channel for Hey Dude Shoes to dynamically engage directly with their customers on a global basis. Additionally, the Laava solution has set the foundation for meeting Hey Dude’s Digital Product Passport (DPP) regulatory requirements.

Hey Dude Shoes innovative and committed application of Laava’s secure connected packaging suite has elevated its brand to being at the very forefront of the industry in terms of brand protection, consumer engagement, and sustainability.