A trip to Abercrombie and Fitch was a mall staple a few years ago. The dimly lit stores with obnoxious music and overly fragrant perfumes epitomized a specific form of calm.
But those days are over. In a world where viral social media backlashes can quickly become brand crises, retailers must be more mindful of their branding strategy.
The Moose Logo
Moose are one of the most potent symbols conveying confidence and a sense of power. That’s why many companies use them for their logos or branding. The moose’s large body, horns, and speed give it a dominant presence that signals power. That is why it’s the perfect symbol for a fashion brand like Abercrombie and Fitch.
Abercrombie and Fitch’s moose logo is used across their entire branding and store experience to create a unique identity. Their stores exude a relaxed, American collegiate lifestyle that appeals to preteens, teens, and young adults. Their logo, marketing campaigns, and signature scent contribute to the brand’s image and perception.
The company’s new direction is based on authenticity and inclusion. They have dropped the sexualized images and elitist tone of the past. With a more inclusive approach to sizing and model representation, they now offer shirts with the word “Fresh” for sale. Utilizing TikTok to connect with their target market is one strategy Abercrombie and Fitch uses.
The California Dream
When housing costs and wages rise, it has become harder for young people to buy into the California dream of a suburban family life. The company hopes to revive it with a new focus on college students.
Abercrombie’s brand strategy has used exclusivity to create a feeling of aspiration in its customers. It means they offer fewer styles than their competitors and only sell to a specific demographic.
This approach has been successful, but Abercrombie is losing ground as support for inclusivity grows and brands like Aerie and Fashion Nova embrace extended sizes. The company is trying to turn around the trend with a revamp of its stores, which are now brighter and quieter and don’t smell of cologne. They have also cut back on shirtless greeters and stopped using partially nude models in ads. The company’s goal is to reposition itself as more of a luxury brand, but it will have to do a lot of work to make it happen.
The “Attractive” Customer
Abercrombie and Fitch’s marketing and branding strategy has been controversial. They were accused of using partially nude models in advertising campaigns and promoting sexualized content. These controversies have affected their brand image and their revenue.
Despite this, the company has overcome these controversies with effective marketing strategies. The brand has also focused on modern styles and a more inclusive approach to sizing. It has helped them to revive their reputation as a retailer for Gen Z.
Abercrombie and Fitch also focus on differentiation between themselves and their sister brand, Hollister. It will help them to create a more distinct identity and increase their revenue. Research by Millward Brown shows that meaningfully differentiated brands capture five times more volume and command a 13% price premium than those with no meaningful differentiation. It will improve their profitability and customer loyalty. They have even started to use influencers in their advertisements to promote their new products.