Marketing

How Supreme built a billion dollar brand with unpaid ads

The fashion industry spends about $ 500 billion annually on advertising. The Supreme brand has never invested their money in advertising, and you are unlikely to see Supreme on billboards or in magazines.

Supreme’s net worth was $ 1 billion after selling 50% of the Carlyle Group for $ 500 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. But even after the company gave up half of its property, Supreme’s hype and brand image remains the same.

Supreme’s story: from streetwear brand to billion dollar company

Supreme is an American streetwear brand. It started as a skateboarding shop in New York in 1994. The company was founded by James Jebbia – now his fortune is estimated at $ 400 million.

Previously, Supreme was involved in the production of clothing for skateboarders. These were mainly hoodies and hoodies. Until the early 2000s, Supreme was considered a street brand for skateboarders. Even in a niche market, Supreme has made sure its products are always in high demand as they are launched in small quantities. Thus, the purchase becomes “scarce”.

Supreme got a lot of attention when it released its premium T-shirts with the brand’s logo. This design drove everyone crazy – from ordinary guys from the streets to world celebrities. Everyone wanted this premium T-shirt with the Supreme logo.

Why Supreme is dropping paid ads

Supreme has become the most massive brand apparel phenomenon in the world. It got to the point where Supreme even started selling bricks and nunchucks. People were crazy about everything. They were ready to buy everything that the brand produces. Below are a few reasons why the brand has gained immense popularity without paying for advertising.

A scarcity that never ends

Supreme is known for releasing its product in smaller quantities and creating hype among consumers so that they can get their hands on the brand’s products.

For many years, the company has been producing its goods in smaller quantities than there are those who want to get it. Thus, a shortage is created around the launch of a new Supreme product. The whole concept of scarcity has turned product launches into an event that drives people crazy around the world.

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HYIP lovers

These are people who need to collect branded accessories for the sole purpose of impressing others. To Supreme, people like that mean everything.

They are one of the main reasons Supreme has never done paid advertising. These people have created a community of people like them – able to go to great lengths to get new Supreme products. The people collecting Supreme products have created a culture around them.

Collaborations and branding

A simple white Supreme tee with her logo is a timeless classic for the brand. Long before its appearance, Supreme first became famous when they started producing T-shirts with pictures of artists printed on them.

Supreme released the first such T-shirt featuring a photo of Robert De Niro and the iconic Supreme logo. Over the years, Supreme has made many T-shirts featuring photographs of various celebrities. Supreme was the only clothing brand to do this in the early 2000s.

Supreme also got a lot of hype when celebrities started wearing the brand’s clothing and appearing in front of the media and people. One example is Kanye West wearing the Supreme Blazer SB shoe, created in collaboration with Nike. This attracted a lot of audience attention and the shoes were in high demand even after they were sold.

Over the years, many celebrities like Justin Bieber and Tyler The Creator have been spotted wearing Supreme clothing even in their music videos. It just blew up Supreme’s brand value.

Where is Supreme now?

Supreme is still an industry giant. In 2020, the company seems to be pursuing the same strategy of releasing goods in smaller quantities and creating hype around it. This August they launched their winter collection with Nike. Supreme items have a resale value of two or three times their actual value.

In the past, even Supreme plastic bags were sold in the resale market, and some people made a living simply buying and selling Supreme clothing.

Supreme seems to be the only brand that has grown so much without much marketing and advertising.

What can you learn from Supreme?

For many brands, it is even harder to meet the highest standards. But there are certainly a few things to learn from Supreme in regards to brand building.

  1. Branding takes time: It took Supreme nearly two decades to stand out in a crowded space like the fashion industry. There is no branding in a year or two. It takes time to build something sustainable
  2. Build True and Loyal Fans: HYIP lovers are a strong pillar of brand building. Supreme knew they would always have to come up with the designs their community wanted. Over the years, Supreme has offered bolder designs that appeal to their consumers.
  3. Launch Products and Let Them Talk: Supreme clearly spends a lot of time creating its designs and launching rare products. This is one of the main reasons Supreme never bothers about marketing and advertising. They are confident in their design and the buzz around the launch that will make it a success.

About the author

Donnell Reed

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