Johnny Cupcakes: Marketing the Unusual

Everyone knows the traditional skull-and-crossbones symbol. It is, after all, a universal image signaling danger and associated with piracy. What not everyone knows is the cupcake and crossbones symbol, used by fashion-forward clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes. Using the traditional black-and-white theme, the business has replaced the skull with a cupcake, a move that has made it a popular brand in its hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts and the rest of the country.

Johnny Cupcakes was first formed in 2001 by Johnny Earle, who found inspiration for his business when his co-workers would come up with new nicknames for him, one of them being Johnny Cupcakes. Earle designed the insignia and printed it on some shirts, which were immediately noticed by others. This soon turned into a full-time venture, with a Johnny Cupcakes flagship store now located in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as in Los Angeles, California, Carnaby Street in London. Oak Bluffs and Hull, both in Massachusetts, also have Johnny Cupcakes retail shops, all of which feature a bakery motif. The company also maintains a strong online presence and sells a wide range of jewelry, accessories, casual and underwear.

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