A long time ago, branding was simple. It was a logo here, a dab of color there, and perhaps the presence of a tagline. But as customers evolve with time, so too did their demand for branding which meant something more. Today, consumers crave for tales about passion, goodwill, and courage.
Brands which fail to fulfill this hankerings are quickly left in this dust, while those who do are quickly rewarded with a boost from social networking standing and today may be given a gold standard. While this is a rather new development for several businesses such as an online t-shirt business, there are a small number of old-school cool cats that found huge success using this strategy even before anyone knew what it was and long before social network was born.
Their continuous success is a testament to what creativity and passion can do. But do not simply take our word for it. See for yourself how two famous t-shirt brands achieved success.
The iconic Stussy Brand
STUSSY. The creator of this iconic Stussy brand, Shawn Stussy, began as a surfboard shaper who only wanted to offer a few boards. The promotional campaign was a hit, but paradoxically it was the t-shirts that everyone wanted.
The uniqueness of Stussy's signature drove this first demand for his t-shirts. The graffiti styling was really inspired by his celebrity uncle, Jan Stussy. Nonetheless, the ongoing demand and constant comprehension of the brand as a star of streetwear occurred because Stussy did what many other manufacturers had to learn – consistency, word-of-mouth, and exclusivity.
Consistency. When Stussy found his niche from casual streetwear, he always stayed true to its brand rather than followed gaudy trends. To this day, Stussy clothing still rocks the distinctive signature, unique designs, and the relaxed attitude of its first supporters.
Word-of-mouth. Throughout its history, the private brand has chosen to ignore marketing, relying instead on the influence and impression of its fans, both big and small. Stussy never had to tell others that it had been a cool brand since everybody else had been already doing it for them.
Exclusivity. Stussy kept tight control over his brand's distribution and availability. Demand rose because he provided new products in limited batches and maintained, outside his brand, main retailers. Today, the sheer size of the private brand has pushed it into several larger retailers. Nonetheless, it still offers exclusive versions only available at Stussy boutiques.
The JOhnny Cupcakes T-shirt brand
Johnny Earle, better known as Johnny Cupcakes, began his line of t-shirts as a joke. Co-workers frequently added new last names to his first name such as Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Pancakes, Johnny Come Lately, and so on.
Johnny Cupcakes happened to be the most recent rendition while Earle had been designing a t-shirt for his band and wanted to add a nickname for himself. Fifteen years and lots of elbow grease later, the joke became a very popular private brand with its own cult following.
What is it about Johnny Cupcakes that causes tens of thousands of fans to get a tattoo for themselves designed with his exclusive cupcake and crossbones logo or stand in very long lines for a t-shirt? The answer is exclusivity. Everything about the Johnny Cupcakes private brand is tightly controlled.
image source: pixabay.com, stassy.com, ahoodie.com