It seems like some brands don’t even have to try to get their products and services into the hands of the public. What is it about these names that makes them exempt from the traditional advertising strategies that are so important to other companies?

In the world of brand advertising and marketing, companies constantly scramble to get a leg up; to push their products or services to the forefront of the consumer’s mind. In this accelerating contest, which saw more than $545 billion being pumped into advertising in 2014, there are a few brands that appear to be exempt from the demand for advertisement, according to The Next Web.

What are these brands doing differently, and what allows them to forego marketing departments and huge advertising budgets?

Are they just the lucky few who happen to be blessed with unique, indispensable products? Is it really possible for companies to avoid marketing entirely, or do they just seem to be doing less heavy lifting than some other brands?

Here are four brands that, for one reason or another, are outside the norm of brand marketing.

Krispy Kreme

In gas stations and many other stores across the U.S., Krispy Kreme donuts are a popular American snack.

Despite the massive popularity of Krispy Kreme — their sales came out to over $1 billion during their most successful year — they have avoided the sort of massive advertisement campaigns of competitors like Dunkin Doughnuts. Instead, Krispy Kreme has relied on successful word-of-mouth marketing.

Honestly, there seems to be something unfair about seeing an organization become so successful, despite putting barely any energy or money into advertising. Their success lies in the simplicity of their product and business model.

They’re famous for one delicious product, glazed donuts, and while they do sell them in their own stores, consumers mostly find them in glass display cases in gas stations, rest stops, supermarkets, and coffee shops. It’s admittedly pretty hard not hard to remember what they sell, and hey — who doesn’t like donuts?

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce is an example of a brand that has avoided the need for traditional advertising platforms, but for very different reasons. Since Rolls Royce products are luxury cars, the company caters to the super-rich, which immediately changes their marketing objectives.

Rather than inundating the market with television, print, or mobile advertising, Rolls Royce depends on the common perception of their brand as an exclusive, luxury good to do the talking for them.

This uncommon reliance on reputation alone, which is basically foregoing paid advertising, relies on that moment when you see your wealthy neighbor pull into the lot with a brand new Rolls Royce. A mass advertising campaign does not work for a product that the masses cannot afford.

Instead, Rolls Royce does specifically targeted marketing by sending direct mail to certain zip codes, which is much more effective in reaching the 1% clientele they seek.

Huy Fong Sriracha

Sriracha sauce has had somewhat of a “moment” during the past ten years. This traditional asian condiment has come into vogue across America and has attracted a cult-like following, with users making lists of non-traditional uses of Sriracha and extolling its many virtues on the web. However, Huy Fong, the company that makes the most popular brand of Sriracha, did not even trademark the name.

This has led to a number of “knock-off” brands of Sriracha, created by supermarkets and existing condiment companies. Despite this, and the total lack of an advertising campaign, Huy Fong’s Sriracha has remained exceedingly popular, selling over 20 million bottles in 2013.

So how does a somewhat niche hot sauce attain this kind of popularity without any advertising? The answer: Huy Fong’s CEO David Tran has decided to focus the company’s attention exclusively on making a great product.

Without a trademarked name, Sriracha depends on its trademarked Rooster label to denote the original, and prefered, brand. Huy Fong simply cannot compete with the advertising budget of larger food and hot sauce companies, so instead, they rely on a loyal customer base that prefers what they claim is a superior product.


GoPro, maker of high-definition personal cameras for adrenaline junkies, does utilize some traditional advertising. But that’s not how they built their loyal following of nearly 2.6 million YouTube subscribers, a feat most professional advertising campaigns only dream of.

GoPro has been able to build a customer base literally on the back its most adventurous consumers. These base-jumpers and deep sea divers are basically the marketing team for a company that has sold more than 3.8 million cameras in 2014, selling the product through their intrepid exploits.

While these companies can get away with the improbable, they are certainly the exceptions to the rule. In the end, whether you use a television campaign, user-created Youtube videos, or written content to get your brand’s identity out there, nothing is more important than creating exposure for your product. Getting the message and identity of a brand into the public’s eye is the first step in building a company’s name into a viable and lucrative business.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer brand publishing services and strategies to transform your company blog into a sophisticated trade publication that drives visibility and influence in your market. Learn more about brand publishing here.

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