After a long history of component of technical shoes supplier, Vibram created in 2005 FiveFingers, launghing the barefoot running trend.
A component supplier has 2 ways to strenghten his trademark: the first one is make it recognizeble, adding value to the whole product (like Intel or Goretex). The second one is create his own product. This is the way choseng by Vibram while creating FiveFingers, but the ingredients of its success are various: an italian enterprise, with the R&D department locaded in China, and willing to give credit to the last hired intern, which proposes an invention.
It’s what Gary Hamel e C.K. Prahalad called the core competences, that allowed Vibram to make success, creating a product that exalded them, proceding alone in this difficult path.