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eCommerce Case Studies

Chubbies Shorts: A Unique eCommerce Store Case Study

Chubbies Shorts: A Unique eCommerce Store Case Study

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

7 years ago

Chubbies Shorts: A Unique eCommerce Store Case Study

Finding your eCommerce stores niche and embracing it is one of the key aspects when building a thriving business. However, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the numerous competitors and know what your message is as a company. One online store that has identified its idiosyncrasies, recognised a perfect target market and built an eCommerce empire is the quirky, playful and innovative men’s shorts brand Chubbies.

So Who Are Chubbies?

Chubbies is a men’s shorts brand with a difference. The brand was established by four graduates located in San Francisco that simply hated pants. Their mission is to get men into their retro inspired, short-shorts declaring:

 “We know shorts. We love shorts. To us, pants are a necessary evil - built for the work week because your boss just doesn't get it.”

Chubbies set out to be different and light-hearted with their merchandise and marketing campaigns. Their promotional efforts have gained tremendous momentum and are beloved and embraced by their audience who are affectionately known as “Chubsters”. From wearing DIY costumes around their college campus to now having over 100 different short styles and a company that has tripled sales with 2013, the four guys who set up Chubbies have an interesting store that is a fascinating eCommerce success story.

Chubbies Unified Brand Image

Chubbies continues to grow as a brand and gain unprecedented popularity for a number of reasons. One particularly commendable aspect is their cohesive and unified brand image that is projected across all of the company’s online platforms. They chose a fun, laid-back and informal style that is brilliantly reflected through their website. 

Their images and message are all very humorous and reflect the retro feel. They even have a slogan that is ubiquitously used by their fans “Skies Out, Thighs Out” that’s printed on tees, frequently tweeted, hashtagged and shared. Added to this are the little details such as links to social media that don’t have the typical “please like and share” message rather they state “Share If You Hate Pants”. Also shorts having unusual, funky names and descriptions such as “The Bomb Diggity” described as “Only one word perfectly captures the utter radness of these neon trunks. Bomb Diggity. Ok two. Two words.” All of these quirks come together to portray the company as a fun loving brand.

The simple yet effective, colloquial and informal layout really endears fans as they see the motif and attitude being projected and want to embrace the brand lifestyle and manifesto.

Chubbies Know Their Target Audience 

Overall one of the brands biggest successes is identifying the right target market, embracing them and engaging with them in effective, appropriate ways. They saw an opening for mischievous, lively brand that would connect with its audience. 

Through research they recognised their potential for growth came from targeting male college students who wanted a laid-back, blasé lifestyle that was also fun and different. With a customer image identified, the brand built and developed their marketing efforts around this. From the nonchalant, anti-business like lingo that is used to describe products and what the company is doing to the chilled, relaxed, yet playful images displayed on their social media that show their audience the life they should try to attain and live.
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Chubbies: The Social Media Masters

Every online merchant knows that to truly connect with your brands fans you must develop successful social media. Judging by the number of followers, shares, likes, comments and everything else that Chubbies get on their social media, it is obvious they have become masters. Continuing on from their website they display an interconnected brand image that focuses on their exuberant nature. With the use of videos, memes, images and other interesting content they promote the lifestyle that they recommend their followers, Chubsters, aspire too. 

Chubbies also expertly encourage Chubsters to post images of themselves wearing the shorts onto all social media platforms. They even include their own specifically recommended hashtags to add on. 
Chubbies hashtags: 
 #chubbies   #chubsternation   #chubbiesshorts   #skysoutthighsout   #mericas
In addition on their website there are 45 Facts about the company, their message and their merchandise that fans are encouraged to share on Facebook and tweet out using #ChubFacts. These include: “#01 Chubbies are the best shorts ever (Note: this is not “Opinion 1″, this is “Fact 1″)”, “#12 A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? Chubbies” and “#36 Apple tried making Chubbies, but realized they didn't have the technology”.

This is different, engaging and adds a bit of fun and attitude to the company that customers want to see. Through social media they have set themselves apart from the multitude of monotonous other companies who offer nothing other than the norm. 

Chubbies College Ambassadors 

As well as their social media campaigns, Chubbies participate in a number of marketing efforts in an attempt to engage with their fan base. These are not your typical marketing ploys. Instead Chubbies have decided to think different and truly involve the customers who love the brand in the marketing campaign. 

One marketing campaign involves college students who can apply to become a Chubbies College Ambassador. This is a much prized position and one that truly represents the brand and what Chubbies is all about. Chubbies describes them as an “elite group” who spread the word of the brand “in a sea of confused cargo and man-capri-wearing jabronies”.

Chubbies place responsibilities on the ambassadors such as “leading the Shorts Revolution” and “finding the most radical ways to bring their peers into Chubster Nation” within the ambassadors own campuses. 

The company coordinate with their ambassadors mostly through social media by planning activities and connecting fans across campuses to create brand awareness, engagement and eventually improve sales and profits.

Chubbies reward the ambassadors for their help by offering exclusive deals, access to new product launches and presents making it both a rewarding experience for both the brand and the loyal followers.

There are numerous lessons growing eCommerce stores can take from this Chubbies case study. Being innovative, individualistic and knowing who your target market has aided Chubbies in amazing growth and fan devotion that every eCommerce store should strive to achieve. 

Visit Chubbies website: 
Or check out Chubbies on their social media: FacebookTwitter & Instagram


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