I love turning dreams into reality, taking an entrepreneur and small company and growing it – HUGE!

And that’s what my CDMG team and I did with True Religion Jeans…even in a recession where new product introductions seem impossible.

It’s a great story of marketing breakthroughs.

You see, True Religion Jeans was unknown when the owner first talked to me.

And what he presented was a huge challenge.

In fact, what I told the founder surprised him – and shocked my staff. It was how we would create a success.

Here’s the story…

From a small company to multi-million dollar company: True Religion Jeans

True Religion Jeans came to Creative Direct Marketing Group (CDMG) to meet with me and my CDMG creative team.

True Religion Jeans was an unknown, start-up company that faced many obstacles to break into the cutthroat, denim clothing market. The challenge was for CDMG to position True Religion as a genuine competitor in this ruthless and crowded retail segment, and to creatively navigate a recession/recovery environment.

Two difficult hurdles were overcome to make this campaign successful: Because the jeans cost between $150 and $350 a pair, the first hurdle was motivating the consumer to pay the high cost of the jeans and adopt a new favorite brand in a seemingly saturated marketplace.

The second, and perhaps more difficult, hurdle was convincing the retail establishment to clear valuable (and expensive) display space in their stores to promote an unknown company with a small marketing budget and lower demand.

The Creative Solution:

We immediately fashioned a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) around the individuality of the clothing line: A healthier, more natural jean where no chemicals were used in its production…touting that the jeans were finished by hand and it took months to create a single pair…and finally, stressing phrases like “livable perfection” that elevated the brand from a mere luxury item into an entire lifestyle.

So CDMG’s creative team of direct response experts, direct response web and digital experts, and artists created:

  • The first True Religion Jeans website. Incorporating direct response marketing principles of copy and art, CDMG created a powerful image, including the positioning and branding of True Religion Jeans. All key selling points were presented in a cohesive, exciting experience for the visitor.
  • The website included “The True Religion Jeans Story” and the owner became a “personality.”
  • Data collection, e-commerce and social media aspects were used for a full sense of community and excitement.
  • A special 3-D marketing campaign to high-end retailers was created.
  • Integrated marketing materials including emails, fliers, ad inserts, and direct mail.

The True Religion Jeans campaign was one of America’s greatest marketing success stories. From a retail point of view, True Religion was elevated into a highly sought-after brand. Today the brand is carried by major luxury retailers, such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s, as well as most high-end retail stores.

Thanks to CDMG’s positioning, the high cost of the jeans became a plus and played into desire for the look and feel of luxury goods even in a poor economy. Not only was the higher quality/higher cost accepted, it has transformed the company into one of the most successful and profitable brands in the retail clothing sector.

For consumers, True Religion has become a household name. The brand has also become a favorite of celebrities. Not long ago, True Religions Jeans – the start-up – sold for $835 million. Its start-up stock price was 70 cents per share and the accepted purchase price at the time of the sale was $32.00 per share.

If you would like to discuss your marketing strategy and approach, email Craig at craig@cdmginc.com or call Johnny at 615.933.4647.

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