This weekend I witnessed something spectacular. A brand called Corteiz, run by the marketing mastermind, Clint, started a movement that we were all able to follow online known as the ‘Da Great Bolo Exchange’. 

The exchange allowed those that wanted a new limited release Corteiz puffer jacket to get one, in exchange for one of their own branded streetwear jackets. Huge crowds of young people gathered for the chance to get their hands on the new Corteiz puffer.

Corteiz has repeatedly shown the influence it has on the UK streetwear market and is quickly growing a cult-like following and this isn’t by chance. If you analyse successful streetwear fashion brands like Supreme, Stussy, Kith, there’s a science behind their marketing. In order to be a successful brand, Corteiz has been building (1) a strong reputation, (2) a tight-knit community, (3) scarcity for its products, (4) authentic word of mouth marketing, and (5) extravagant experiential launch events.

Corteiz is building a very strong brand reputation through consistency. Your brand reputation is the public perception of your brand, this is heavily influenced by the internet. Your brand reputation plays a critical role in every stage of the sales funnel: awareness, consideration, decision and long-term loyalty. Corteiz to this day still hasn’t done any paid advertising, their marketing is purely organic. The only form of advertising used by the brand is social media, they’ve created an extremely engaged audience through creative content and marketing. Great quality content goes a long way with brand positioning.

Clint, the brand’s founder, has done a great job building a brand bigger than himself. Building in public and being consistent in his message- breaking free from the norm and ruling your own world has gained him a large following of supporters.

Source: Tom Schwimmbeck©…

To succeed in anything you need to have an extremely engaged community. Corteiz has an extremely tight knit community that markets for them. Community members have created social media pages with thousands of followers such as Crtz Leaks, Crtztalk, to share all information about Corteiz drops.

Corteiz keeps their community engaged through engaging with them online, replying to dms, tweets etc. You need to know your target audience, you need to know how to speak to them and excite them. When you buy streetwear you’re doing it to be part of a particular community. It’s more than owning a specific brand item, it’s about understanding the culture and putting yourself out there. People buy because they want a piece of culture. Your tribe become brand advocates who can generate momentum and defend your brand reputation.

Creating a fashion brand that has the scarcity element can often be tricky, this is a different approach to what most clothing brands do. Restricting the quantity creates more demand than supply. This is what causes buyers to rush and purchase before it sells out. With Corteiz you have to keep an eye out for drops and make sure you act fast when they release. Even more impressive is the fact that once merchandise is gone it is almost never sold by Corteiz again, turning all of Corteiz drops immediately into limited editions. This has also now led to there being a secondary market where resellers trade items or sell for a higher price and you can tell there’s demand as people will still purchase. 

Corteiz benefits a lot from authentic word of mouth marketing, the right people wearing the brand strengthens the brand’s image and influences others to purchase. Even those who may not be into streetwear will want to try it as they’ve seen their favorite influencer or artist wearing an item of clothing. Corteiz have had the likes of Virgil Abloh (RIP), Jorja Smith, David Guetta, Eva Apio, Stormzy, Central Cee, Dave, and many influential face wearing their items. This increases the brand’s awareness, authority, and trust by having these industry influencers vouch for them. Stormzy even wore it during his performance at Glastonbury, the biggest stage in the UK!

The brand’s relationship with these artists has even grown to collaborations with artists like UnknownT collaborating and creating tour merch. Relationships with artists and influencers plays a huge role in brand reputation management. Also, these are people with passionate and loyal audiences that Corteiz can leverage to grow the brand. 

One thing that makes Corteiz stand out from all other streetwear brands is their product launches. Every physical launch of their products creates some kind of mania. They have done launches such as people chasing Clint in the streets of London,Paris and Nigeria to get a new item of clothing, people swapping their train tickets to get a new item of clothing. These exciting activations lead to a lot of user-generated content; Instagram posts, stories, TikToks, etc.This helps the brand generate a lot of hype, commotion, and also a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), positioning the brand as something you HAVE to get involved in. 

To conclude, things like this take a while, Clint started Corteiz from his bedroom with screen-printed crewnecks and t-shirts. They have a very captivating core message behind the brand. Making consumers buy into the brand and connect with it. Corteiz is showing no sign of slowing down and with the way things are going, they are definitely on track to ruling the fashion world. 

This article was written by – Subomi

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