Skullcandy is punk rock, techno, and rap. It’s snowboarding and skating. But they don’t sell skateboards or snowboards or music. Skullcandy makes cool headphones for the X-Game audiophiles demographic. The target age is 14 to 24; people who are intense about their music and their lifestyle. Skullcandy racked up $125 million in sales. They have done this by clearly knowing their target, getting the xtreme marketing strategy right, by valuing creativity and interesting graphics and by making the best quality product at each price range.
Fortune: You’re the No. 2 manufacturer of audio gear in the U.S. Do you need to target new consumers to get to No. 1?
Levine: No. We’re pretty focused on the customer that we’ve been servicing. Our product development efforts have really turned towards a higher-end quality experience. At the same time, they’re coming from our creative point of view, which is what separates our brand in the audience space.
Fortune: What’s your marketing secret?
Levine: All of our athletes, advocates, musicians, and DJs that we partner with are truly friends of the brand. The best way to experience our brand is to come and visit us in Park City, Utah or visit our office in San Clemente, California and see a collection of individuals—extremely talented individuals—that are doing what they say and are living this. When a brand is honest about its lifestyle, you have a powerful brand—that’s what we have.
I think the skull as an icon is a bit tired and has been done by many others, but they keep it fresh by riffing on the theme and allowing individuals to submit interpretive wallpapers each month.