4 Brands That Built Empires Without Traditional Advertising

4 Brands That Built Empires Without Traditional Advertising

The mom-and-pop shop on the corner probably doesn’t rely on traditional advertising (television, print, billboards, etc.) to bring in customers. Neither does your favorite local burger joint. But most iconic brands have hired an ad agency at some point on their upward journey.

In 2014, businesses will spend nearly $545 billion on advertising, and that number is expected to increase by another $100 billion by 2018, according to eMarketer. But there are major brands, with huge market share, who have opted out of the traditional advertising game.

Despite their size and influence, these brands have built their loyal followings by co-opting the grassroots, relationship-focused marketing tactics that are often the domain of smaller businesses.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

There’s no shortage of companies competing for your breakfast dollars. Starbucks, Wendy’s, McDonalds and even breakfast newcomers like Taco Bell all rely on TV commercials and paid advertising to draw you into their restaurants.

Breakfast is booming after all. According to Slate, breakfast food sales amount to $65 billion annually, and they’re rising by an average of 4.8 percent a year… all while other restaurant sales remained flat.