Small Brands Doing Big Things: 3 Success Stories

Some companies enjoy being small and that’s perfectly okay. We’re in a culture where generations are attracted to being the underdog, and why not?

For years, big brands have ruled consumers’ pocket books, but it’s anybody’s game since social media took root. The social media platform is any small business’s best resource aside from word-of-mouth. In fact, companies that reach out and do something more — like support a cause or help their local community — are more likely to be accepted.

Here are a few examples of smaller brands pulling their weight in a big way.

Obey Clothing

Obey Clothing is more than just an apparel company. “Obey,” contrary to the word’s actual meaning, is a campaign targeted towards the do-it-yourself counterculture: specifically the rock, punk, and skater communities. This campaign is meant to remind people to keep an open mind and not to be persuaded by the bias of political messaging or media manipulation.

What started as a 90’s underground subculture still applies today. Though Obey is now known for their political imagery, it all started with founder Shepard Fairey. He began his journey using his famous Andre the Giant sticker, which was soon translated into street art. It soon became a reoccurring icon that appeared in several cities through the use of stencil art, murals and wheat paste posters:


As some of you may know, Obey was around long before the social media craze began. Some would argue that they are no longer a small brand. In some cases that would be correct, but the limelight is not exactly what they’re looking for either. They’re more about contributing to the cause.

Check out their awesome deeds!

Shepard Fairey On Obey Awareness from OBEY CLOTHING on Vimeo.


Pure Fix Cycles

Pure Fix Cycles, as the names states, is a bicycle company located in the Bay Area (San Francisco). What makes this company so awesome is everything they represent and the many causes they continually participate in. This Bay Area cycle company is not just about selling bikes. If you need to understand how to ride or how to fix a bike gear, they have how-to videos and an online community to keep people coming back.

Additionally, they often reach out to surrounding communities and donate bikes to various causes. A few of those causes are Feeding America, Leukemia & Lymphoma society, and The Concern Foundation.

Fixed Gear 101: Everything you need to know about the basics of fixed gear bikes. from Pure Fix Cycles on Vimeo.

pure cycle causes


Random Objects

Random Objects is another example of an online apparel company making a difference. Their designs are based on quotes, most of which are either encouraging or very clever. Each design is thought out using type that either directly reflects what the quote means or is simply visual inspiration designed using a quote. The company is small but its design makes a huge impact, along with the messaging people are looking for.

Jason Carne – Lettering Designer from Jason Carne on Vimeo.


Many companies are coming up to speed in understanding that there has to be more of a connection with their consumers. They fail to understand that this generation wants something more genuine, something more engaging, and something with less of a big-box retail feeling. It doesn’t matter if your business is small or not, as long as it’s got heart like the 3 examples mentioned here!

So what can your brand do that’s more than pure profit?

Expand Your Brand!

Image credit to Obey Clothing, Pure Fix Cycles, and Random Objects.


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