In the mid-2000s, the average pair of jeans cost about $30.

So, when apparel company True Religion burst onto the scene with designer styles that ran $250 to $300 a pair, they had to show the world that theirs weren’t your everyday denim.

To get that message across, they knew I specialized and had a great track record in turning entrepreneurial dreams into multimillion dollar companies. So, they contacted me and my team at CDMG.

Here’s the story …

The Marketing Challenge

How do you market something that seems common and appears to be priced way too high?

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

Our three biggest marketing hurdles?

  1. The cost of True Religion Jeans
  2. No one had ever heard of True Religion Jeans
  3. And convincing the retail establishment to clear valuable (and expensive) display space in their stores to promote an unknown company with a small marketing budget.

Our Creative Solution

My team 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. We touted that the jeans were finished by hand, and it took months to create a single pair.

And as part of the positioning, we stressed phrases like “livable perfection” that elevated the brand from a mere luxury item into an entire lifestyle.

Our creative team of direct response copywriting, direct response web designers, and direct response artists created:

  • The first True Religion website. Incorporating direct response marketing principles of copy and art, we created a powerful image, including the positioning and branding of True Religion jeans. We presented all key selling points in a cohesive, exciting experience for the visitor.
  • A persona for the owner by sharing his “True Religion Jeans Story” on the website that brought excitement and personality to the brand.
  • Data collection, e-commerce, and social media elements to create a full sense of community and ability to communicate and mobilize our audience.
  • A special 3D direct mail marketing campaign to high-end retailers and specially selected “influencers” was created. 3D campaigns are one of the most powerful ways to grab the attention of a hard-to-reach audience … and resulted in over 20% response. (You can read more about this format here.)
  • And all the accompanying integrated marketing materials including emails, fliers, ads, inserts and direct mail pieces.

The Results

The True Religion Jeans campaign was one of America’s great success stories.

From a retail point of view, the company was elevated into a highly sought-after brand by retailers.

Bloomingdale’s, as well as most high-end retail stores carry True Religion jeans.

In fact, thanks to our positioning of the company, the high cost of the jeans became a plus and played into the desire for the look and feel of luxury goods. Not only was the higher quality/higher cost accepted, it transformed the company into one of the most successful and profitable brands in the retail clothing sector.

The brand is a favorite of celebrities.

For consumers, True Religion Jeans is a household name.

Do you need a fresh approach to supercharge your marketing and advertising? My team and I would love to help you. If you would like to discuss your marketing strategy and approach, give us a call at 615-814-6633 or email William at