Huy Fong Foods, the makers of Sriracha
If you like to treat your taste buds well then you've probably heard of Sriracha, but you likely haven't seen an ad for it on TV. Huy Fong Foods, the company that produces the cult favorite hot sauce, doesn't advertise, a spokesperson wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. In fact, it doesn't have a Facebook page or Twitter account, and it hasn't updated its website since 2004. That didn't stop the company from selling 20 million bottles of the hot sauce last year, according to Businessweek.
The big box retailer, known for its bulk toilet paper and fair treatment of workers, also doesn't pay for advertising, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to HuffPost in an email. And while only relying on social media and direct mail circulars to spread the word, Costco's profits still soared earlier this year.
Apparently those hot and ready signs are enough to draw the donut-loving masses into Krispy Kreme stores. The company doesn't do any paid advertising, Lafeea Watson, a spokesperson for Krispy Kreme, wrote in an email to HuffPost. But they do use free resources, like social media, to get the word out.
The trendy skin care line uses generous samples at its stores and other means besides ad campaigns to get shoppers to buy their products, according to ABC News.
When Sarah Blakley first started Spanx in her 20s she didn't advertise the undergarments because she couldn't afford it, according to Forbes. Now, even though the company could spare some money for TV, magazine ads and billboards, Blakely says she still prefers word of mouth: "The power of women discovering the brand from other women was actually a better strategy," she told Forbes.
The purveyor of famed (and sometimes controversial) yoga gear relies on social media, in-store community boards and grassroots word-of-mouth campaigns to advertise its clothing, a spokesperson from the company told HuffPost.
The luxury carmaker doesn't do advertising as a brand and instead benefits from its reputation among its wealthy clientele, according to a spokesperson for the company. Even without traditional ads, Rolls-Royce beat a 107-year-old sales record in 2012, Luxury Daily reported at the time.
Zara, one of the world's largest retailers, doesn't have an advertising budget, according to the Atlantic. Instead, the company uses that money to buy expensive storefronts next to luxury retailers so that they can make themselves the leaders in "affordable luxury."
Jiffy's Muffin Mix
The Michigan-based muffin company doesn't pay for advertising for a few reasons, according to its CEO Howdy Holmes. First, he says the most "effective" way to sell your products to customers is through word-of-mouth. Second, by not paying for advertising the company can offer its muffin mix at significantly lower prices.