Beyond undies: How Tradie’s founder Ben Goodfellow is breaking the rules of brand extension | #629

Beyond undies: How Tradie’s founder Ben Goodfellow is breaking the rules of brand extension | #629

The Tradie Underwear brand (now turning over $200M a year) has gone from protecting the family jewels to branching out into everything from energy drinks to skincare to watches and tools! So hitch up your strides as Ben Goodfellow, the brand’s founder, reveals how and why he’s extending the brand into all sorts of categories, proving that Tradie isn’t just keeping you supported downstairs, but they’ve got your back (and your taste buds and whole lot of other needs) covered too! It’s a pants-off episode 629 of The (13 year-old, award-winning) Small Business Big Marketing podcast.



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A little more about Tradie’s founder Ben Goodfellow …

In 2010 Ben Goodfellow launched Tradie underwear, going head-to-head with Bonds, one of Australia’s most loved underwear brands (who, BTW, his old man worked for in Marketing!). 

From what appeared to be a brave move from the outside looking in, Tradie quickly established itself alongside much bigger brands like Bonds and Calvin Klien, and would become a household name … no mean feat as I’m sure you marketing aficionados would agree.

Impressed by the brand’s rise to fame, I chatted to founder Ben Goodfellow on this podcast five years ago. At the time, the Tradie brand was about to crack $100M in turnover, and was using Nick The Honey Badger Cummins, a well-known Aussie rugby player, to front all its advertising. One of my favourite quotes from that chat was Ben’s definition of a brand as being something so powerful in the minds of your customers that they want to go to the pub and talk about it.

Back then, underpinning the Tradie brand were just a handful of SKUs … basically it was just men’s and women’s undies and some workwear. 

Fast-forward to 2023, and Tradie has literally grown into an empire, full of categories for the entire family including workwear, boots, baby wear, tools, drinks, food and beauty.

You can now buy Tradie branded watches, protein bars, moisturisers, notebooks, glues, chalkboard paints, pyjamas and tool kits!

Plus they’ve partnered with some of Australia’s most iconic brands such as the mighty VB .. or Victoria Bitter for those not in the know! So now you can knock back an ice-cold green belly tin fish whilst relaxing in your VB-branded Tradie’s undies, socks, shorts and T-shirt. What a sight!

So, why has the Tradie brand stepped beyond its original core offering? What is its core offering any more? Has licensing other brands been a good move?

Let’s find out as we welcome back Ben to The Small Business Big Marketing Podcast. I start by asking him how business has been since we last spoke …



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