Superdry is a clothing company that was founded in 2003. The owner of the company started with a cult clothing store in Cheltenham (United Kingdom) in 1985. In 2003 the founder decided to work together with a designer to create a new in-house brand: Superdry.
Although the company only existed for 1 year at that time, it started growing exponentially in a short amount of time in the year of 2004. What was the event that led to this exponential growth?
Social media and word of mouth played a great role in the quick success of Superdry. Superdry focused on creating a unique brand that was different from the mainstream clothing companies. The founder of Superdry made a gamble by sending some pieces to David Beckham, and hoped that he would get some media attention as a result of Beckham wearing his clothes in public. David Beckham was generous enough to wear his clothes, and this soon led to Superdry becoming a famous brand.
Alongside with the support of the celebrities Justin Bieber, Kate Winslet. Nicole Scherzinger and Zac Efron, people started recognizing Superdry. This enabled the interaction between the company and its customers, but also the interaction between customers. People that had seen the celebrities wearing Superdry started to talk to their friends about the brand. This word of mouth marketing proved to be really valuable for Superdry. Normally companies have to pay millions to let celebrities wear their clothes, but Superdry did not have to pay anything. It was all part of their word of mouth marketing strategy.
In general, there are three types of engaging consumers through social media and word of mouth: functional, social and emotional. For Superdry the most important type of engagement is social. Social engagement refers to people expressing their uniqueness to increase their reputation. You can probably imagine that people that had seen the celebrities wearing their clothes wanted to be as unique as the celebrities. This social type of engaging customers fits perfect with a word of mouth marketing campaign.
Superdry even launched a YouTube channel called SuperdryTV as part of their social media marketing: https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperdryTV.
On this channel Superdry promotes their clothing especially for niche markets, such as snow jackets or rugby clothing. By engaging with customers on social media their brand is more likely to be shared within these communities. Superdry solely focuses on this social media and word of mouth marketing, and makes almost no use of traditional forms of marketing.
I would say that Superdry has proven that social media and word of mouth can be just as valuable as traditional marketing types. Do you know any other companies that have been successful in these new types of marketing? Feel free to comment them.