Supreme has the secret sauce for creating a cult-like following:

  • Over 6M Instagram followers
  • Their products resell at over 1200% their retail price
  • Founder, James Jebbia, net worth of over $40M dollars

Today’s article shows you EXACTLY how Supreme New York has grown from a one location retail store run by skateboarders to a worldwide known ecommerce brand with a following larger than some religions.

It is VERY long and detailed. It analyzes practically every aspect of the company. Traffic sources, email marketing, influencer marketing, page layout, viral content, advertising campaigns, you name it.

Here I will include only a few particularly interesting elements. For all the rest, head over to the article and have a cup of tea to read everything comfortably.

For those of you who don’t know Supreme, Wikipedia to the rescue:

“Supreme is a skateboarding shop and clothing brand established in New York City in April 1994. The brand caters to the skateboarding, hip hop and rock cultures, as well as to the youth culture in general. The brand produces clothes and accessories, and also manufactures skateboards.”

It also has more viral content than any other ‘big name’ streetwear and skateboarding companies. Which is impressive because this industry is well known for creating the viral content.


They are all about the unusual.

They produce very limited quantities. At the same time, when a Supreme product sells well, they never make it again. That’s what creates the hype and insane resell prices that get as high as 1200% or more. The effect?

Their homepage is unusual too.

Yes, that’s the whole homepage. There’s nothing else on that page.

They want you to chase them, they won’t chase you.

Unusual newsletter

When you sign up… you get nothing. Crickets actually start chirping as you wait for any sort of email from Supreme.

Their email marketing strategy actually makes customers impatient for their next email. Again, “you chase us”.

Supreme has been known to send messages and updates to a select group of customers. The way they come up with this list is a mystery.

Supreme’s email tactic is such a mystery that sometimes they do not even send order confirmation receipts. There are dozens of conversations online regarding order confirmations. It only adds to the mystery.

Here are the nine key takeaways from the article:

  1. Intentionally limit the quantity of every product you sell. This is how you can build a demand frenzy around your brand and get people in internet groups and major news sites promoting your product for you.
  2. Match your homepage design with your brand image. If you’re trying to go high-end luxury, keep your website simple and stylish.
  3. Rethink your email marketing strategy. Are your customers replying to your emails excited to get the next one, or do you send out so many they just ignore you? Just because 90% of retailers spam people with emails and push for sales does not mean it is the best tactic for your email list.
  4. Release content your target customers want. Just because everyone is writing blog posts, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right marketing tool for you. Supreme use “lookbooks” that get the attention of their fans and the media. Think outside the box for what content your buyers want to engage with, and how often.
  5. Find moderators inside subreddits of Reddit to promote posts for you. This is the only guaranteed way of getting links to your business promoted in Reddit without being self-promotional.
  6. Get collabs with celebrities. You do this by helping them researching them and helping them hit the goal they are working on right now, building your product with them and showing them how you will promote them to your audience.
  7. Focus on growing one social media channel. You can’t win on every social channel, but you can double down on one like Supreme did with Instagram by finding what type of posts your audience most like to engage with.
  8. Double down on advertising campaigns that work. Supreme have being doing photo tee and poster ads for over a decade. They haven’t jumped around between different marketing channels, they just do what’s worked in the past. Look at what’s worked best for your business in the past and double down on it today.
  9. Use these two ecommerce marketing rules together: Scarcity and Consistency. By limiting the quantity of product you sell and releasing product at a consistent time and day every week/month/year you can sell out of product consistently.

For more weirdness and ingenuity, read the full thing. I’ve only scratched the surface here. Even if you won’t use any of the tactics, it’s interesting to see the thought process and how you can do things differently.

Case Study: Supreme Streetwear’s Insane Success

 

PS. I liked this one in particular.
No biggie, just $2k on eBay. And not even in my size 😄