The decision to use guerrilla marketing for Clever Fools came as a way to get the community to RECOGNIZE our brand on the streets of KC. We decided to use this style of marketing because of it’s proven results: the more street advertisement, the more people will recognize the brand.
We have become familiar with many artistic brands behind the years. Brands that were artists before they were ever clothing sell outs inspired us to do the same things. Shepard Fairy, from the world famous Obey company, opened our mind to HOW PEOPLE VIEW STREET ART. If you're not familiar with Shepard, he would put Andre the Giant's face on signs, poles, and even on the side of rooftops. Thousands of people recognized the icon that was posted everywhere. Recognizing and reacting is important when it comes to the marketing aspect of Clever Fools. Clever Fools is a brand that is true to the roots of creative artistic culture. Most brands claim they’re about the culture of streetwear, but in reality they sell shirts in hopes to make a profit. Clever Fools truly takes the time to put the name out there. Consistency, passion, competitiveness, and having audience knowledge make the most successful brands come to reality. It’s not just advertising that separates the brand from others, it’s the lifestyle of continuously putting in the effort to support the intent to hold the name Clever Fools.
Why do they have the word “street” in streetwear brands? Yeah, the style can be found in the city life we live in, but we take a whole other belief in the definition of “street wear.” As we walked around town, we saw nothing related to the most popular "new" brands around that were exceeding in Kansas City at the time. Maybe a sticker on a pole or in a hipster restaurant in town every once in awhile. To this day, Kansas City is where if you don’t make KC logo shit, you’re an outsider and not cool.
Why follow a bandwagon that has been done year after year? True originality stands out a lot more than something you see over and over. We really wanted people to view the brand as “active” or “down” for what we WE BELIEVE IN!
So here is a shortened description of how guerrilla marketing became associated with our name:
Once we had the first design, the mountain triangle, people associated us with that design, even though it wasn’t a logo. We wanted to reach mass audiences with what we had available; which was seriously nothing. Haha. Stickers are cool and all, but you gotta put your forehead to the sticker to read them sometimes. We saw a bigger picture in the schemes of marketing. Lights came on in our heads. Laminating a flyer would be perfect, especially on every pole in Kansas City. Not lying… every pole. Wonder if anyone got sick of seeing it? So, we grabbed some of our friends and together we taped and stapled thousands of fliers around the city. Yeah, it works to this day, but as we continue, the bigger idea of guerrilla marketing came to be. Then came our spray painted banners as we cleverly marked the city.
We take the word “streetwear” to heart with Clever Fools. If you walk around downtown Kansas City, our brand stands out among the rest. One of the craziest and most memorable nights was hanging a 30 foot banner on a fence running down the highway reading “INSTAGRAM: CLEVER FOOLS”. It took four friends and over an hour to prep, hang, and get out unnoticed. It was huge, all eyes were directed on our brand and there was no way onlookers could miss it. The next day while driving passed it, we quickly realized that this should be our main tool for marketing.
Next thing you know, the city is covered with the Clever Fools triangle design. People wanted to know what is this, why it was everywhere, and how it got there. That was shocking to us. The identity of Clever Fools was becoming recognized and people started to capture the idea behind the brand.