SUPERDRY Case Study: The Marketing Strategy Behind One of the Top UK Clothing Retailers

superdry marketing strategy-case study

SUPERDRY is a renowned clothing company based in the United Kingdom and was established in 1985. The company offers casual clothing inspired by classic American styles and Japanese graphic design fused in a uniquely British way. Popular with celebrities including Idris Elba and David Beckham, SUPERDRY is a fast-growing brand offering a distinctive look. The company has grown significantly in the past decade, from £237 million in 2011 to £610 million in 2022, reaching a high of £872 million in 2018. To continually expand, the company takes advantage of its omnichannel retail strategy. In this piece, we will learn how the Superdry marketing strategy works.

The History of SUPERDRY: From 1985 to This Day

In 1985, businessman Julian Dunkerton and a former business partner founded cult clothing and gained popularity with university students. Nearly two decades later, Dunkerton teamed up with James Holder, who was running a famous skatewear brand, to create SUPERDRY. 

The duo introduced the new brand by carrying clothing in Cult Clothing stores. They opened the first SUPERDRY store in Covent Garden in London in 2004. By 2010, SUPERDRY had introduced a new partner, Theo Karpathios, who ushered in a new period of growth, spurred by the company’s emerging popularity. In 2007, the brand gained global visibility, with David Beckham wearing one of its jackets. 

The Marketing Strategies SUPERDRY Used to Grow

SUPERDRY got a boost when David Beckham sported their clothes in a world-famous footballer’s calendar. While celebrity exposure helped improve the brand’s credibility, SUPERDRY also used clever marketing strategies to grow the brand throughout the 2010s. 

Source: Daily Mail

Their marketing strategy shows the importance of knowing your audience and using its preferences to focus marketing efforts. Feel free to imitate these key strategies. 

Key Strategy #1: The Omnichannel Adaptation

As part of the marketing strategy of the SUPERDRY company, executives took action when they noticed in-store sales were starting to slump. To help boost sales, SUPERDRY knew it needed to take an omnichannel approach, which fueled its investments in technology. They partnered with the online shopping app Fynd to offer a seamless experience to customers who wanted to buy something online and pick it up in the store. 

In-store sales clerks had the app on their phones, allowing them to look up a customer’s order to ensure it was correct. This part of the SUPERDRY marketing strategy also came in handy when the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for all stores to offer contactless payment options. Using this approach helped the company improve its sales by about five percent.

Key Strategy #2: The Mobile-First Approach

Since its inception in 2007, the smartphone has changed how people search for fashion retailers online. Mobile internet users made up over half of the internet traffic in 2022, and the trend is likely to continue. A SUPERDRY marketing analysis wouldn’t be complete without discussing the company’s mobile-first approach.

Source: Superdry

As part of its eCommerce strategy, SUPERDRY uses videos to appeal to customers on mobile devices with social media links customers can use to shop the looks. SUPERDRY also improved its logistics, including setting up local warehouses and distribution centers in Australia and other countries to speed up global delivery times.

Key Marketing Strategy #3: Becoming the #1 Sustainable Style Destination

With the rise of fashion influencers, “unboxing” videos, and fast fashion in general, the industry has become known for its harmful footprint on the environment, and customers are pushing back. As of 2022, the ethical fashion market is worth $7.7 billion, and we anticipate it will continue to grow. To appeal to younger and more eco-conscious consumers, SUPERDRY made efforts to improve its manufacturing and distribution processes, aiming to become the #1 destination for sustainable style. 

The SUPERDRY website highlights its commitment to sustainability, which allows customers to hold the company accountable. To promote its commitment, SUPERDRY teamed with young women advocates, including Jasmine Jobson and Saffron Hocking, to promote its eco-friendly lines, prompting a conversation with customers about responsible shopping.

Key Marketing Strategy #4: Social-First Brand Marketing

An essential part of the SUPERDRY social media marketing strategy is pushing its message out to followers using multiple platforms. The company has amassed a following of over 750,000 on Instagram and regularly engages its audience through a YouTube channel called SuperdryTV

Its social media presence is consistent. Posts on the company’s Instagram grid are simple and styled in a way that users can focus on the clothes without many distractions. Any SUPERDRY market segmentation strategy case study will highlight its immense presence on social media.

The SUPERDRY content marketing strategy employs a social-first approach to attract new, younger customers. The company launched its TikTok profile in 2021 and has since grown its following to over 270,000. It’s also popular with influencers and partners, with a pool of over 2,300.

Instead of creating a generic marketing strategy, SUPERDRY opts for targeted campaigns that use seasonal keywords and specific targets. With this strategy, the company has managed to double its return on investment in advertising spending.

Key Marketing Strategy #5: Delivering Exceptional User Experiences

The SUPERDRY global marketing strategy involves appealing to international customers by offering them a consistent and exceptional shopping experience. Its website is visually appealing and easy to navigate to capture a customer’s attention. In addition to local distribution centers in multiple countries, customers can expect their items to arrive quickly. 

SUPERDRY’s market entry strategy involves partnering with known personalities across the globe. Influencers serve as a lead part of the SUPERDRY marketing strategy, helping to enhance the user experience. Subsequently, customers can shop entire outfits and carts curated by social media influencers. 

Superdry-social-media-strategy
Source: Superdry Instagram account

Key Marketing Strategy #6: Sticking With What They Know

A SUPERDRY marketing strategy analysis would not be complete without mentioning its commitment to its brand. While the company carries a wide range of products in its wholesale and outlet stores, the brand is mainly known for jackets, t-shirts, and basic staples. SUPERDRY’s content marketing strategy highlights these staples, showcasing how to incorporate them into a user’s lifestyle. 

Aligning with its strategy as a sustainable retailer, SUPERDRY doesn’t make overly trendy clothes, opting instead for timeless cuts and colors that are easier to pair with statement pieces. While this brand won’t appeal to every fashion-conscious customer, SUPERDRY knows what it does well and sticks with its identity.

Key Marketing Strategy #7: Focused Target Marketing

When SUPERDRY entered the market, its customers mainly consisted of men. However, when female celebrities like Kate Winslet and Helena Bonham Carter appeared in SUPERDRY clothes, they began making clothes for everyone. But its target market has always been young people, with most of its website traffic consisting of 18-34-year-olds. Thus, commitment to social media and influencer marketing gears toward this demographic. 

SUPERDRY’s TikTok features multiple younger Millennials and Gen Z personalities hanging out at home, traveling the world, and living in SUPERDRY apparel. Its price point also appeals to younger shoppers on a budget, inviting them into the sustainable fashion scene at a fraction of the price. The SUPERDRY marketing mix strategy makes sustainable fashion accessible.

Key Marketing Strategy #8: Knowing the Global Market

China has specific rules on how companies can enter the market, and many choose to partner with a locally-based company. SUPERDRY previously operated a joint venture with Chinese retailer Trendy International, which expired in 2020.

China and other countries also have stricter laws governing social media, which makes the social-first marketing strategy trickier. Since they weren’t seeing significant growth in China, company executives exited the market after ending their joint venture, ceasing their operations in the country. 

SUPERDRY’s international marketing strategy involves knowing which markets to leave. Sometimes, companies are better off cutting their losses in an underperforming market rather than trying to compete with more well-known brands.

SUPERDRY’s eCommerce Website

Since the SUPERDRY marketing strategy is built on an omnichannel approach and a seamless experience, its website is a crucial part of the brand. SUPERDRY is one of the most highly evaluated retail brands on the market, with its mastery of eCommerce conversions. 

So how does its website measure up? Here is a rundown of four-page templates outlining eCommerce best practices and mistakes to avoid.

A. Analyzing SUPERDRY’s Home Page

Source: Superdry

Like its clothing, the SUPERDRY home page is simply designed with bold colors that stand out to the eye. It features an animated banner, showcasing sales and promotions. The animation offers visual interest, but it’s subtle enough not to be distracting. However, the bright red background on each product image is a little jarring to any surfer’s vision, taking away from the shopping experience.

What we liked:

  • The promotional banner grid is prominently displayed at the top of the page, easily seen by anyone who wants to click on the sale.
  • It’s easy to find categories and types of clothing.
  • Social media buttons are featured clearly at the bottom for anyone who wants to follow the brand.
  • The calls to action stand out, prompting users to shop and sign up for email newsletters.
  • The filter navigation is easy to find once a user reaches a product category.

What we didn’t:

  • There is no filter navigation on the home page. Users have to navigate to individual product pages. 
  • It’s uneasy distinguishing the home button once the user navigates away from the home page. 
  • The choice of colors is not pleasing to the eye and makes it hard to focus on merchandise. 
  • To change the language, a user has to navigate to the bottom of the homepage, which should be easier with a global brand.

B. Analyzing SUPERDRY’s Category Page

Source: Superdry

Keeping it simple, SUPERDRY’s category page is part of its homepage. Scroll past the initial promotional banner to find the categories page. This page is easy to navigate and well-organized. The user wouldn’t have to search far to locate the category he wants. While the site is mobile responsive, users must scroll sideways to find different product categories. Yet, it would be easier to navigate if the site was mobile-optimized.

What we liked: 

  • Sticky cart functionality — shoppers can see the “add to cart” feature even if they scroll to a different part of the page.
  • It’s easy to filter products by range within each category.  
  • Each category is prominently displayed at the top of the page when shoppers are looking at certain products. 
  • Categories function well on mobile devices and are more organized than the home page. 

What we didn’t: 

  • The color scheme on each home category is distracting and doesn’t match the products featured. It could also make some of the clothes look unappealing. 
  • It’s uneasy for shoppers to navigate to another category when they finish looking through a specific product type.  
  • Some of the video banners that appear when looking for clothes would be more appropriate on the home page.

C. Analyzing SUPERDRY’s Product Page

Source: Superdry

As customers navigate further into the SUPERDRY website, the design becomes simpler. Its product pages are to the point. Product descriptions are prominent, letting customers read about the best features of each. Each product page also details what size the model is wearing, so users can better visualize how the item would look on them.

What we liked: 

  • Each product page has details and instructions precisely under the descriptions so customers can find clothing measurements.
  • The return policy is front and center for users to read before they proceed to check out.
  • There is a link to help and FAQs so customers can get real-time, helpful answers to their questions.

What we didn’t:

  • The “Add to Cart” button could be more eye-catching. 
  • SUPERDRY is a UK-based company, and the website defaults to UK prices and sizes. This setting could confuse customers who forget to set their country before they begin making purchases.
  • When shoppers navigate among different products, the website shifts back to UK prices and sizes. As a result, users have to change their country every time they look at a new product.
  • The company could use a better variety of models of all shapes and sizes, so customers can better visualize how merchandise will fit. 

D. Analyzing SUPERDRY’s Checkout Process

Source: Superdry

It’s tricky to find the “My Account” button on the mobile website, but once a customer signs in to his account, the checkout process is simple. Setting up an account, helps the user save his address and payment information. Since the website automatically defaults to the UK, customers shopping globally must set up their location, before they checkout to get accurate prices and sizes.

What we liked: 

  • The return policy is featured prominently throughout the checkout process. 
  • We found a sticky cart functionality, that makes it easy to return to your shopping bag when users are ready to check out.
  • Customers can make an account or pay as a guest.
  • The site offers third-party checkout options like PayPal and Apple Pay. 
  • It’s easy to choose delivery or in-store pickup.

What we didn’t:

  • There’s no way to check out based on a user’s location. 
  • The in-store pickup option could be more intuitive. 
  • Some parts of the site load slower than others.

Retail Technologies That SUPERDRY Could Adopt For Its Customer Engagement Strategy

SUPERDRY has built its brand on customer engagement and experience. Content Pigeon offers multiple tools the company could use to enhance its customer engagement, including omnichannel chat. This AI-based tool uses machine learning to provide valuable and personalized interactions with each customer.

By using this tool, SUPERDRY could eliminate wait times, thus, answering customer questions and addressing their pain points in real time. The company could also monitor its social platforms and mitigate negative feedback. SUPERDRY has seen its share of bad press, and this tool could help executives and marketing personnel respond to customer complaints and other negative information. 

SUPERDRY may also benefit from unique customer profiles, created by Content Pigeon’s platform. They could monitor how customers interact with their website and create highly targeted campaigns that appeal to people based on their online activity. SUPERDRY doesn’t appear to utilize technology to automate abandoned cart messages when shoppers desert their transactions. Using this tool could help convert more shoppers. 

Interesting Technologies SUPERDRY is Already Using

Since SUPERDRY bases its tactics around customer interaction, it already utilizes different technologies on its website. By analyzing the site using BuiltWith , we highlighted these programs and features.

Google Optimize 360

Google Optimize 360 helps businesses personalize the user experience on a website. This feature allows them to test different versions of their website and launch them based on a user’s demographics. For SUPERDRY, this feature could help change the website based on a user’s location or how they interact with the site.

For example, the company can highlight numerous seasonal merchandise to customers in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia, Africa, and South America.

New Relic

New Relic offers insights into how users interact with a website or a mobile app. This platform is ideal for finding potential flaws in a company’s app and taking steps to fix them quickly. It also offers practical dashboards that provide comprehensive insights into user behavior. 

Pinterest

SUPERDRY includes Pinterest widgets on its website, on its website, which makes it easier for users to create shoppable posts. Any eCommerce business with a large social audience should take advantage of this widget, so Pinterest users don’t have to navigate away from their feed to buy something.

Latest News of the Fashion Retailer

After some down years, SUPERDRY is currently rebounding in sales, partially due to a resurgence in popularity, thanks to Gen Z. The company is making headlines for many reasons. 

A Top Pick

With economists predicting a recession, SUPERDRY is determined to weather the storm. Its revenues grew by 10% in 2022, and market analysts have ranked the company as a top pick for the 2023 stock market. SUPERDRY managed to stay afloat during COVID-19 and is making strides in branding itself to the sustainable fashion market. 

A Top Place to Work

With a bright spot on London’s stock exchange, SUPERDRY is attracting and retaining talent. The company is leaning into its sustainability measures, attracting people who care about the issue. But SUPERDRY doesn’t offer lip service with no delivery. It is committed to sustainable business practices in retail locations and the corporate office, which drives people to work there. 

A CEO Who Believes in His Company

Julian Dunkerton returned to the helm of SUPERDRY in 2019 following an absence. He focuses on turning the company around following its COVID-related struggles. He proved his commitment by buying multiple shares of company stock, now owning five percent of it.

A New Location

Superdry-Battersea-power-store
Source: drapersonline.com

In October 2022, London’s newly repurposed Battersea Power Station reopened following an almost 40-year absence. The station, formerly used to power a fifth of London’s power, has been converted into a mixed-use retail and leisure destination where SUPERDRY now has a store. The SUPERDRY group marketing strategy involves the strategic placement of retail stores. Thus, this upcycled location is on point with the brand purpose for a sustainable fashion company.

SUPERDRY Statistics You Should Check

  • SUPERDRY averaged 3.1 million site visits in the past month. (Similar Web)
  • The company’s revenue grew by 8% in 2022. (Retail Insight)
  • SUPERDRY made a profit of £21.9 million in 2022. (SUPERDRY)
  • More than half of SUPERDRY’s web traffic comes from the United Kingdom. (Similar Web)
  • Its web traffic splits almost evenly between males and females. (Similar Web)
  • SUPERDRY’s Instagram posts have an average of 1.4K likes. (Speak RJ)

Resources about other renowned fashion retailers

SUPERDRY Never Stands Still, Will You?

After reaping the benefits of accidental product placement in the early 2000s, SUPERDRY has managed to stay at the top of the retail game with targeted marketing strategies designed to attract its ideal customers. This SUPERDRY marketing strategy case study showcases how company executives took advantage of the onset and growth of online shopping, adapting an omnichannel approach early on. 

The company appeals to young customers by operating a mobile-first retail and a social-first marketing strategy. Each social platform gives SUPERDRY a new chance to engage potential customers. Plus, this SUPERDRY marketing strategy analysis highlights how important it is to recognize threats and opportunities in the market and adapt business strategies accordingly for long-term success.

Content Pigeon can help you adapt to new realities in the retail landscape, including an omnichannel approach and on-demand customer service. Book a retail engagement consultation today to learn how we can help move your business forward. 

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