With constantly emerging new marketing platforms and customer acquisition channels, it’s hard for many retailers to keep their heads above water when it comes to getting in front of new customers, let alone stand out and create loyalty in a sea of competitive brands.

From the latest social media trends to pop-up shops and giveaways, creativity is crucial for retailers to gain traction, build momentum, and scale their businesses efficiently.

Here are five retailers that have made a splash with their unique marketing strategies.

1. Rustic Cuff Hosts Project Cuffway

Since 85 percent of consumers prefer businesses and brands that support a charity they care about, philanthropic campaigns or events are a great way to boost business while making a positive impact on your community. With a very personal tie to pancreatic cancer (Rustic Cuff founder Jill Donovan’s father passed away from the disease), Rustic Cuff hosted an event where 1,500 brand loyalists submitted entries in which they crafted outfits that complemented Rustic Cuff’s bracelets and shopping bags. One hundred and twenty-five of them got to walk the runway at this Project Runway-inspired event held in Tulsa, and Donovan raised $125,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. While the goal of the event was to raise funds for an important cause, it created brand awareness and fostered customer loyalty.

Project Cuffway

Image via MoreTulsa
2. Birchbox Engages With Customers on Snapchat

The popular disappearing-photo app seems like a tough one for retailers to use effectively, but subscription beauty brand Birchbox was up for the challenge. In a recent ‘Snapchat Story,’ the Birchbox social media team prompted viewers to take a screenshot if they had received a sample of a certain dry shampoo. Since the team can see anyone who screenshots a Snapchat through the app, they’re able to track who is watching their Snapchats, as well as these customers’ reactions to certain products.


Image via Pinterest

3. Chubbies Writes Content that Resonates

Know who your customer is and speak to them in their language. Chubbies, an apparel brand well-known for its quirky men’s shorts, quickly identified their target audience as young people seeking a fun-loving, laid-back ‘weekend’ lifestyle. Their language never deviates from their attempt to connect with that audience, addressing customers on their website as “Hombre, Friend, Chubstomer, Amigo,” and writing product descriptions that start with, “Don’t even bother filling out that PTO form.” Chubbies’ voice is unwavering in who they are targeting, which has enabled them to grow an immensely loyal customer following.


4. San Franpsycho Creates Local Loyalists

San Francisco-based apparel retailer San Franpsycho has mastered unifying customers around the one thing they all love and relate to: San Francisco. The brand is constantly hosting events and sponsoring giveaways, both of which are promoted via social media. From partnering with local restaurants and breweries and hosting events in their brick-and-mortar (one example is customers dancing to a DJ while getting to watch Tshirt screen-printing in real time) to creating merchandise to support local sports teams, San Franpsycho markets to a specific audience in an authentic way. Even if a brand isn’t as specific to a city or region, everyone can benefit from creative, grassroots marketing.

San Franpsycho

5. Flash Tattoos Leverages Industry Influencers

From having over 400,000 Instagram followers to co-designing tattoos with Beyonce, Flash Tattoos has mastered influencer marketing and organic growth in the age of omnichannel marketing. The Austin, Texas based accessories company often partners with bloggers and other influencers to design new lines, which are then promoted heavily via that person’s social networks. One example is L.A.-based lifestyle blogger Rebekah Steen, who was commissioned by Flash Tattoos to create the Goldfish Kiss set. She promoted the set on her blog, saying, “They are tropical. They make you want to roll around in the sand…say adios to worrying about losing any beloved bling when surfing, swimming, traveling or cannon ball-ing.” With Steen’s audience targeting exactly that persona – women who love to surf, swim, and travel – the promotion was a perfect way to increase sales on the newest set of temporary tattoos and promote the Flash Tattoos brand.

Learn more about how Flash Tattoos’ marketing strategy has enabled them to scale from a small side project to an accessories powerhouse.

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Image via Rebekah Steen

While there are added challenges in marketing to the ever-connected customer, these retailers prove that it can be done.

What makes your brand unique? Where do your mission and your customers’ passions intersect? Considering these questions is the first step to shaping a creative marketing strategy that will not only cut through the noise and grab potential customers’ attention, but will foster loyalty and gain repeat shoppers.